Over the last 20 years, getting a good night’s sleep is something that has escaped me. I’ve often envied those people who were able to fall asleep within minutes of their head hitting a pillow and not having to deal with a night filled with tossing and turning. I’m not exactly sure when my sleep issues started, but somewhere between college and my early 30s, they became increasingly bothersome. But recently, I can honestly say that 5 simple changes to my sleep routine have helped me drastically.
When it comes to using sleep aids to get sleep, I quickly learned that natural remedies are better. And all it took was a week on Ambien and waking up on my kitchen floor. I’ve always heard the horror stories around Ambien, but until I experienced it first hand, I ignored them. But I quickly learned that prescription and over the counter drugs really aren’t the way to go for me.
What I found worked best for me, in the beginning, was melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle that is primarily released by the pineal gland. When I first started taking melatonin, I wasn’t sold on its effectiveness because I was used to the fast-acting benefits of Ambien; but, eventually, I became a fan. I didn’t wake up groggy or feeling tired, and it’s non-addictive.
When there were nights that needed something stronger than melatonin, I reached for my Indica vape pen. The indica strain of marijuana is the strain that causes you to relax and drift off into blissful sleep. As someone who occasionally wanted fast relief, I learned that two to three tokes from my vape pen were all I needed. And when you live in states where marijuana is legal, it can actually be a lot cheaper than a sleep aid prescription.
A New Mattress
When it comes to sleeping well at night, a good mattress is something you shouldn’t pinch corners on, especially since humans spend nearly half our lives in bed.
One issue that has been persistent in my life, is the fact that I’m a warm sleeper. No matter how cold my bedroom is, I’m always sweating during the night. I’ve had an ex or two joke about being afraid that one day my body temperature would cause me to spontaneously combust in bed.
Over the last several years, I’ve tried several types of mattresses and mattress toppers that promised not to overheat a body, but none of them worked. That was until I discovered the Pod mattress made by Eight Sleep.
The mattress is revolutionary in the fact that you can control the temperature with your cell phone. The pod has a hub that attaches to a layered mattress, and when connected to your house’s wifi, using the app, you can control both sides of your bed. The mattress’ temperature can be set between 55° – 115°F. The app will also help you when it comes to regulating your sleep habits. The upgraded app membership allows you access to daily, weekly, monthly trends and correlations for all your personal sleep, diet and activity metrics.
With the app, the goal is to get a score of 100 each night. Unfortunately so far, the highest I’ve gotten is an 80, because of my lack of ability to get out of bed fast enough in the morning.
During a recent move to a new house, I noticed a light from a building across the street was literally beaming into my room through the first area on my vertical blinds. Because the light illuminated my room a bit, it was hard for me to fall asleep. That was until one night I decided to head to Google for help. After reading other people with similar complaints, I decided to order extra vertical slats to attach to both ends of the valance the slats hang from. And thankfully that did the trick.
When my room is pitch black, sleeping is a lot easier without the glare of lights. I also don’t get a glare from any electronics in my room, because I keep it an electronic-free zone. See my next tip.
Electronic Free Zone
One of the biggest distractions when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep is alerts from my cell phone and even iPad. I learned by leaving my devices in another room, I won’t have the urge to wake up and grab my phone throughout the night to either check text messages, emails or to randomly peruse the news.
When it comes to using my iPhone, the DND function is beneficial because you can add people to your exception list, just in case you need to be alerted for an important phone call or text. So far, the only people who are on that list is my son and sisters.
In the end, these steps are things that have worked for me, but definitely doesn’t mean they’d work for everyone. But I’m glad that after 20 years, I’ve found my way to a better night’s sleep.Share :