4 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep
When times are tough, it's hard to get a good night of sleep. The other side of that coin, though, is that a good night of rest is essential for managing stress. There are many strategies that I'm sure we've all tried — I, for one, have a cabinet full of melatonin and hot teas that haven't helped. But although those hacks didn't work for me, I do have a handful of other tricks for getting a good night of sleep. Some are tried-and-true habits I've had for years, and others I developed during quarantine. Without further ado, I present to you: my favorite ways to get a good night of sleep.
1. Ditch your phone
I know this one can be a tough pill to swallow. And I get it — scrolling through TikTok in bed is one of my favorite pastimes. But recently, I've been trying something new. About an hour before I need to be asleep, I put my phone on the charger in the bathroom next to my room. The results? I'm reading more, falling asleep faster, and staying asleep. I guess what they say about blue light disrupting your circadian rhythm is true.
If you're wondering how you'd replace your morning alarm, I highly recommend trying a sunrise alarm! This type of alarm clock imitates the sun as it gradually lights up and eventually plays a sweet little tune. It's much more pleasant than basically being shaken awake by an iPhone ringtone. There's a bunch to choose from, but I found one on Amazon for $20 and have loved it for years. It works like a charm.
2. Incorporate magnesium
I have to say, I was a skeptic about this correlation at first. I had many failed personal experiences taking melatonin in college, so I have always been a little suspicious of leaning on a natural supplement to get some sleep. But after hearing multiple friends sing the praises and reading that it can actually activate your nervous system, I decided to give magnesium a shot.
The first time I tried it, I felt like I had taken a sleeping pill. It doesn't always knock me out like it did the first time, but I always feel way more chilled out and ready to snooze after a magnesium moment. It's also helps to keep you regular, which isn't my point here, but never hurts. 🤷🏼♀️
3. Work on your circulation
I'm not going to lie, this is a wellness step I totally neglected until this year. But once I was in, I was all the way in. I can really feel the difference in my body when I'm mindfully sticking to these strategies. Namely, my limbs don't fall asleep multiple times a day. The strategies that are working for me are:
- Viparita Karani pose — aka lying on the floor with your legs extended straight up the wall at a 90-degree angle. A yoga teacher once told me to do this for 15 minutes before bed since it's a great way to get your circulation moving after standing on your feet or seated all day.
- Acupressure sandals — I ordered a pair of these at the start of quarantine to keep under my desk and mindfully wear during work hours to keep a routine. While my boyfriend may give me looks for the way I hobble around in them, I do feel a difference between days I wear them and days I skip out.
- Yoga and pilates — Moving your body is obviously great for circulation. My at-home workouts of choice are Glo (I love Gustavo), Yoga with Adriene, and Melissa Wood's flows.
4. Try a noise machine
A few years ago, I moved into a cute little one-bedroom in an adorable neighborhood. I was so excited until the second day when I found out (at 5am, I might add) that construction would be occurring seven days a week outside of my window. I tried iPhone apps to no avail, so I began my search for a noise machine. Fast forward a few years and I've slept with this one every night since.
What are your tricks for falling (and staying) asleep? Let us know in the comments.