Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for my productivity and sanity. I need a good night’s sleep, I’m sure you do too, but how many of us make it a priority to make sure we’re getting the correct amount of sleep our bodies require, and making sure that sleep is steady and not interrupted? Now before you leave saying, boring, I have something to tell you.
I am an insomniac.
In the twelfth grade insomnia crept up on me before I even understood what happened. One night I was sleeping soundly in my loft bed in my parent’s basement and the next night I spent the whole evening tossing and turning that eventually just lead to me staring at the ceiling until the sun rose. It lasted for almost 10 months. Nights would go by and I wouldn’t sleep a wink; I had so much on my mind and going on personally that the only way my body was able to handle the stress was to stay awake. I ran the dark streets with my dog by my side or did laps around my backyard when she was too tired to run with me. I’d skip in my bedroom if it was raining and I didn’t want to get wet. I would lay on my bed and count sheep, count my breathing, or say “sleeeeeep, sleeeeeep, sleeeeep” in the most calming voice.
I’ve been dealing with seasons of insomnia for over 10 years now and I can’t tell you how wonderful a good night’s sleep means to me. Mister makes fun of me for how much I love to linger in bed, but it’s mostly because I just never know when insomnia will come back again and sleep will be hard to find.
Because sleep is so precious to me I’ve learn to maximize my time with it to make sure it’s fulfilling my body’s needs. Here are a few things I’ve learned to make sure sleep comes and maximizes my productivity:
Write it out
I keep a moleskin notebook with me at all times, because I never know when an idea will strike or something on my to-do list will pop into my mind. But I can guarantee, nighttime seems to be my brain’s favourite time to fill me with ideas (blog posts especially). So I write it down, whatever is going through my head just before I go to bed, to allow some room for my genius.
Calm your body down
Just like when you are training a child to prepare themselves for bed, you must do the same. Dim the lights, turn down the noise in your house, read a book or take a hot bath. Do whatever that calms your body down to prepare you for sleeping.
Invest in a good bed
Investing in a good mattress is overlooked by so many people. They’ll easily purchase a $40,000 car but will balk at the idea of spending $2000 on a mattress. We spend 1/3 of our life sleeping, we should invest in a good mattress that protects our bodies while sleeping as well as making sure we get uninterrupted sleep. Mister and I invested in our mattress about four years ago and love it. When we were living in Europe we would lie in our ‘rental’ bed at night and talk of our bed back home. We missed the mattress we picked out that was just for us.
Know how many hours you need
Everyone is different, but really check in with your body to see how many hours of sleep you need to function properly and productively. Knowing how many hours you need will help you make sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour and set your alarm to wake you up, if your body isn’t already doing it for you. I require between 8-9 hours of sleep, Mister, however, requires between 7-8. Since we’re on different schedules someone is usually in bed longer than the other (me!) so we’ve learned to make sure to give the other person their space.
Get an eye mask
This is hands down a life changer for me. I’ve been sleeping with a proper eye mask for six years now and will never go back. My sleep has been fabulous since I’ve slept with one! The one I use is a $6 investment from Target – has a satin outside for a bit of luxury but the inside is plush with a soft mound to fully cover your eyes and is all black to block the light. When you’re dealing with a sleepless night, having a sleeping mask tricks your mind into thinking it’s super dark out so it must go to sleep. If you don’t have one, go, get one now. You can thank me later!
Do you struggle with sleeping or have any tips to share on how you get a good night’s sleep? Please share in the comments, I would love to hear about them!
Original Image by Andrey Ivanov