Click here for a printable PDF of the following sleep tips.
We all lead different lives with varying levels of stress, health, and metabolism, but one thing we all have in common is the need for a healthy night's sleep. If you consistently have a problem sleeping, staying asleep, or insomnia, these suggestions may help; however, it may be best to contact a healthcare professional to rule out a causal underlying medical condition.
The following is a collection of some common sense (and some scientifically proven) tips for setting ourselves up for success in getting a good night's sleep. Many of these tips have been useful to me over the years; feel free to take what you like and leave the rest:
- Many studies show a higher quality of sleep for those who maintain regular sleep/wake times. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time(s) each day.
- Lower the lights in your sleeping and living areas at least thirty minutes before bedtime to help set the stage for a good night's sleep.
- Try to sleep in complete darkness and keep your bathroom night-light to a safe, minimum brightness. Any light during the night tells your brain it's time to wake up, leading to confused body rhythms. Red night-lights are best, as a blue or white light stimulates brain activity. Black-out window shades are widely available.
- Research studies have shown that listening to relaxing music 45 minutes before bed improves quality of sleep in older adults.
- Most sleep authorities suggest avoiding late night eating, and limiting caffeine to early in the day.
- Avoid stimulating activities like television or work just before going to bed, as they can disrupt both the time it takes to get to sleep, as well as the quality of sleep. Instead, a few minutes of a simple clearing meditation (like slowly counting to 10, counting 1,2,3 etc. for each breath in and out) can set the stage for a peaceful night's sleep.
- If possible, keep your bedroom and bathroom free of work reminders.
- If you enjoy reading before bed, choose your subject matter carefully, not to stimulate, but rather to relax.
- Minimize nitecaps: Though alcohol has a short term drowsiness effect, it may reduce sleep quality as the alcohol wears off, interrupting the healing and regenerating stages of sleep.
- Try to avoid drinking lots of liquids just before bed (unless you are dehydrated) to minimize the likelihood of awakening during the night.
- Say a calming affirmation just as you lay down each night, for example: "I let go of all the day's activities and now enter a relaxing, regenerating and healing sleep."
Chuck Wild, composer of Liquid Mind relaxation music albums
All fourteen Liquid Mind albums are available at RealMusic.com, Amazon.com, iTunes, and CDBaby.com. Liquid Mind® may be heard 24/7 at Pandora, Spotify, and all major streaming sites.
Warning: Do not listen to Liquid Mind while driving, as it causes drowsiness in some folks. Please use care in operating vehicles or dangerous machinery, as the music may slow reaction times in some listeners.
These sleep tips are based on my own experience over the years and scientific evidence. There is no substitute for competent medical treatment. If you have a serious condition, see a healthcare practitioner now. No liability for improper use of these sleep tips is assumed or implied.