If you’re like me your sleep of late has been rather awful and sleep problems are plaguing your life. My sleep has been fragmented, I’ve been having vivid dreams and the tightness in my chest doesn’t seem to give up. And I’m having a particularly hard time falling back asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. But, given the fact that sleep hygiene plays an integral role in our immune systems and our ability to focus, function and process our emotions better, I thought I’d share some ways I am pursuing quality sleep during the coronavirus pandemic. Read on for help if you have trouble sleeping…
How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep
A lot of the following items I thankfully hadn’t needed up until the pandemic was in full force but I will say I’ve been glad to have rediscovered them as they’ve definitely been helping. I think when we are overly stressed it can be hard to prioritize quality sleep but using the following tips and tricks, I’ve improved my sleep.
- The WelleCo Fortified Calming Tea. I re-discovered this tea recently and remembered how much I liked it. It tastes lovely thanks to lemon balm, passionflower, and mango flower and I do find I sleep more soundly after a cup of this before bedtime.
- Inscape Sleep Meditations. Every night since the pandemic was declared I’ve turned on an Inscape guided sleep meditation via their app. They remain my best bet for falling asleep. Recently I’ve been doing another in the middle of the night when I wake up at 2:30 or 3 or 4AM as it seems to be the only thing that can get me to once again fall back asleep.
- The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique. Doing breath work through Inscape has helped me with falling asleep. A favorite breathing technique is the 4-7-8 one. It involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. It helps calm your nervous system which can aid in falling asleep.
- Diffusing Essential Oils. I use my Aera Smart Diffuser throughout the day to fill my home with restful fragrances.
- Weighted Eye Mask. I bought this weighted sleep mask last year and at first thought I hated it but now am pretty sure it helps me sleep better when I endure it. (It is indeed, heavy so it takes some getting used to). Just like a weighted blanket, it is meant to give your face pressure stimulation while also blocking out light.
- Sleep Socks. I am once of those people who can’t sleep if their feet are cold so I almost always sleep in socks. This pair of cashmere sleep socks is my favorite. I also think these make a great gift for new moms or anyone who needs a bit of pampering.
- Olly Sleep Gummies. When the going gets tough, the tough use a sleep aid. I always have Olly Sleep Gummies with me when I travel to ensure good rest but now I’ve been taking it from time to to time when I’m feeling overly exhausted or overly anxious before bed. It’s my “sleep medicine”.
- White Noise App. I rediscovered the White Noise App on my phone the other day and now have been using it to try and lull me to sleep if I want an alternative to my meditations.
- Equilibria Relief Cream. Stress has been manifesting in my shoulders and my low back of late, too so I’ve been treating the sore muscles with this CBD relief cream. Use code witwhimsy at checkout for 15% off.
- The Nue Co. Sleep Drops. I am so happy I found these Sleep Drops in my stash. They were able to bring me my first two full nights of sleep (well, till 6AM) in what felt like forever. SO grateful for these right now. Just add 6 drops to water. There’s no real taste either which I appreciate!
- Warm Baths. I’m a big fan of baths as a means to help my anxiety and they also can help your body relax and get your primed for sleep. Try running a warm bath before you do your bedtime routine. I find a bath of 20 minutes really helps me get more sound sleep. My favorite bath essentials.
- Hatch Sleep Alarm. This alarm is a game changer for better quality sleep! It helps with my bedtime routine, it helps me fall asleep faster and it helps me fall asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. It has all sorts of handy features that make it so much better than using your phone or a traditional alarm clock every day.
A few other sleep tips:
- Create and maintain a sleep schedule and stick to it as much as you can. I know I function so much better when I do this. When you try and go to bed at the same time every day it’ll help your internal clock. Regular sleep hours often sets you up for success!
- Try reading a few pages from a book close to bedtime. Opt for reading vs. TV whenever you can.
- Avoid screens an hour before you want to be asleep. This is so hard I know. It is something I have yet to master.
- Avoid the news in the evening so you’re not left thinking about headlines as you try and fall asleep.
- Move your body every day. It will help assuage anxiety and calm your nervous system which can interrupt sleep.
- Limit your alcohol. This is tough when the days stretch out in front of you and I’ve definitely been having my fair share of wine but alcohol doesn’t promote quality sleep so just keep that in mind.
- Avoid big meals for the few hours before you plan to sleep.
- Consider taking a morning nap if you’re able to – but no more than 20-40 minutes!
- Don’t go to bed too early. If you find yourself waking up really early, you may want to try and push back your bedtime.
Do you have any tricks you use for achieving a good night’s sleep? I would love to hear them!
p.s. my favorite home items and things getting me through right now.
I have that weighted sleep mask as well and while it does take some getting used to, I like it! I bought some sleep specific ear plugs from Amazon due to neighbor noise issues recently, and they’re amazing – made for small ears so I don’t wake up with pain from wearing them, they block out enough so I can sleep through random noises or my husband snoring but I can still hear someone talking to me. They’ve been a lifesaver!
I really want to try those sleep drops you recommended. Tea and a book before bed also sound delightful – I need to turn off my TV earlier tonight!
Ear Plugs for Sleeping, New Design Ultra Soft Sleep Ear Plugs, SNR32dB Noise Reduction Ear Plugs for Snoring, Working, Travel, Reading, and Etc(Small)
Thank you so much for sharing these! I have to sleep with earplugs due to neighbor noise too so I am intrigued by these!
Right? It is strange at first but then I definitely notice a difference of more sound, prolonged sleep!
Just ordered the CBD Cream! I stress I’m holding in my shoulders is like no other, hoping it will help!
Hope you love it!!
A tip I frequently tell patients is that the bed is for sleep and sex. This way you always associate your bed with sleep. Not with working on your laptop, watching TV, or using your iPad.
Yes I never work in my bed and it is so good for my work/life balance!
I think you covered all the things I use to get a better night sleep apart from using ear-plugs and keeping my bedroom chilly – to prevent overheating and really appreciate my blanket!
I have lately been quite vivid and scary dreams too and although they don’t wake me up every night they do make my sleep less peaceful and therefore making me tired.
Those are some great tips and I hope you get a better sleep tonight!
Oh yes earplugs for sure! Should have included those as I sleep with them most nights due to noisy neighbors! And I’m with you on the chilly bedroom – I open my window a crack at night most nights so I can get warm under the covers! Thanks for sharing, Anna!
Hi Meghan! Great post, sleep is SO IMPORTANT. Sorry I didn’t find you before you wrote this – I created a meditation timer + alarm clock (with a gentle chime…) to help you get your phone out of your bedroom.
Would love to send you one to check out! Am emailing you separately so if you’re interested, keep an eye out.