Sleep Hacks from a Sleep Consultant
I am often asked if I am a great sleeper because of my profession. I help others get better sleep, so it would only make sense that my sleep habits are also excellent, right?
My answer: Sometimes yes and sometimes not so much.
Like many others, it depends on the day. I do often get 10+ hours of glorious sleep and I wake up ready to take on the day, and then other nights I wonder if I ever fell asleep #passthecoffee
You don’t have to have a newborn or even children at all to experience the effects of sleep deprivation and I am certainly not immune to them either.
This is one of the reasons I became inspired to work with others to improve sleep. As a business owner, a wife, and so many other things, I have a constant list of to-dos running through my head. And although I climb into bed exhausted, it can sometimes take me hours to fall asleep.
Thankfully, I do have a few tools in my toolbelt that I can utilize and in the spirit of giving I am happy to share them!
Here are my top Five hacks for better adult sleep…
1) Prepare your body for sleep at least 30 minutes before getting in bed. Many of us (myself included) expect to fall asleep the moment we get in bed and will become frustrated when it doesn’t happen. This can often lead to grabbing our phones or flipping on the TV which only makes matters worse. It is completely normal to take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep once you’re in bed (unless you are my husband who is snoring within 3 minutes). Try to remain patient with yourself during the process of falling asleep. Reading, taking a bath, or listening to soft music are great sleep-promoting activities. I also enjoy doing a few stretches and restorative yoga poses to help prepare my body for rest.
2) Cut screen-time at least an hour prior to sleep. I’m sure you’ve heard this over and over, and I’m saying it again because it is SO important. Lights that radiate from screens suppress melatonin which is needed for your body to recognize that it is time for rest. I will admit there are rare occasions that I grab my phone while I’m in bed and scroll through social media or answer an email, but if I do, I always dim the brightness on my phone to the lowest light which is a much better option .
3) Take melatonin or other natural supplements. Ok, this one can be a slightly controversial topic, but I do have a few recommendations simply based on my own experience that I have found to be helpful. For some reason, traditional melatonin does not work for me-however, the gummy form of melatonin does. I also have some essential oils by my bed that sometimes help induce sleepiness such as lavender and frankincense. I have also found that my body will become resistant to some of these over time so I try to cycle my use, keep a rotation, and use sparingly. (Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these recommendations are not based on medical evidence).
4) Switch up your environment temporarily. It has actually been proven that moving from your bed to another room can help induce sleep when you’ve been lying in bed for more than an hour awake. You want to make sure you do so without turning on bright lights or causing too much stimulation, but if you are able to quietly go into your living room or another room in the house for a short time it could help. This has to do with the association of your normal sleep environment and difficulty getting to sleep consistently. This can also help in some cases with your child if done correctly.
5) Think about sleep more than anything else. Have you ever noticed that when lying in bed your mind starts to wonder in every which direction-focusing on the day past or ahead and your never-ending task list? I am so guilty of this, but I have noticed that once I actually let my body relax and I focus my thoughts on sleep above anything else my thoughts start to soften. Some ways I do this are by praying, breathing deeply, whispering positive thoughts to myself about sleep, and re-positioning. These are actually not too far off from the same soothing techniques I would recommend you use with your baby.
As adults, and especially parents, it is easy to forget the importance of focusing on our own sleep. The effects of sleep deprivation are real and can be serious, so making your sleep a priority is not a luxury it is a necessity.
Getting enough rest is as vital as drinking enough water each day and by practicing even a few of these suggestions, you should see an immediate improvement in your sleep.
Have more questions about improving your sleep? We conduct consultations for adults too. Contact us today!