Having Trouble Sleeping? 10 Ways to Improve Sleep + 1 Exercise

Having Trouble Sleeping? 10 Ways to Improve Sleep + 1 Exercise

By Guest Contributor Kiki Ely, author of The Complete Guide to Self-Care : Best Practices for a Healthier and Happier You. The book features 100 accessible activities that help you reconnect with your body, mind, spirit, and surroundings, and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again.

Having Trouble Sleeping? Yes, many of us are facing sleep-challenges during these trying times…

Author Kiki Ely shares ways you can improve your sleep and create the ideal conditions for a great night of refreshing rest.

• Temperature:

The ideal sleeping temperature is between 60°F and 67°F. Make sure your environment meets these conditions.

• Light:

Any external source of light can interrupt your natural sleep cycle. Block all sources of external light from entering your bedroom while you’re sleeping.

• Sound:

Sleeping next to someone who snores or a noisy neighborhood can disrupt your sleep. Find a way to restrict this noise (earplugs are always an option).

• Physical Activity:

A body that has moved during the day is a body that’s more capable of resting during the night.

• Sleep Schedule:

Get up at the same time each day and go to sleep at the same time each night (including weekends!). This helps your body’s internal clock, which in turn helps you get a more restful sleep.

• Pillows and Bedding:

Replace your mattress every ten years for ideal support. Use cozy, allergen-free pillows and bedding.

• Essential Oils:

Soothing oils like lavender and bergamot signal the brain to relax.

• Bedroom Sanctuary:

The bedroom is for sleeping (and sex!). Remove all screens from your bedroom and don’t do your work on your bed. You want to associate your bedroom with relaxation.

• Relaxation:

Creating an evening ritual reminds your body that it’s time to slow down, relax, and prepare for rest.

• Caffeine, Alcohol, and Food (Especially Sugar):

When you are preparing yourself for bed, avoid all of these substances because they can interfere with a peaceful night of rest.

If you are having trouble sleeping, try this sleep exercise…

How to create your sleep sanctuary –

This step-by-step exercise consolidates the tips above into an actionable plan. Set aside a few hours to consciously shop, choose the items that will create a cozy and comfortable environment, and then set up your space to set the foundation for a more peaceful slumber. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Invest in quality bedding that feels good against your skin. Buy pillows that support and cradle your neck and head and a mattress or mattress topper that protects your back.
  2. Get a fan or use air conditioning to keep your room cool.
  3. Buy blackout curtains and hang them on every window.
  4. Remove all screens and work-related items from your room.
  5. Get an air filter, humidifier, or white noise machine to block out disruptive sounds.
  6. Keep a lavender-scented candle and/or lavender oil in your room and use it nightly.
  7. Invest in a dimmer for the light in your room or dimmable side table lamps to create a peaceful and relaxing environment before bed.
  8. Get ready for the sleep you deserve.

The Complete Guide to Self-Care : Best Practices for a Healthier and Happier You is available at