8 Tips to Sleep

Stephanie McPhail
March 18, 2019
Personal Growth
Last night I had trouble sleeping.  I feel like I am aware of what I need to do to help myself get ready for bed but I don’t always follow it.  As a mom, wife and entrepreneur I have a super busy schedule and it seems to be hard sometimes get to bed when I know I should, even though I know how important it is to sleep!  So I am sharing with you some of the tips I share with my clients, and reminding myself, some of the best ways to get to sleep!
  1. Breathing Techniques.  Try the 4-7-8 exercise.  Inhale for 4, hold for 7 and breathe out for 8 seconds.  OR try square breathing which is Breathe in for 4, hold 4, breathe out 4.  Why do these work?  It changes our breathing pattern and slows heart rate and blood pressure which will help you sleep..
  2. Don’t go to bed until you are tired.  If you need to stay up and read a while longer to get sleepy then do that.  If not you will notice yourself getting more anxious which will keep you from sleeping.  Which also means if you are noticing you can't sleep, get out of bed!  You want your brain to associate your bed with sleeping.  Stay away from anything that keeps you from that (yes, all electronics too!).
  3. Journal.  I recommend this one to my clients all the time.  If you notice your brain swarming, then take the opportunity to write things down!  Once you write it down you may notice it’s easier to get them off of your mind and then you can see what you may need to tackle the next day.
  4. Make sure you have a good sleeping environment.  Your room should be cool, your bed should be comfortable (maybe it’s time to switch the mattress around), a good pillow, comfortable clothes and low noise.  Soothing music.  I like to listen to guided meditations by Jason Stephenson, you can also get a white noise machine and/or get earplugs.
  5. Before laying down to bed visualize a peaceful place.  You may want to do a meditation during the day to help alleviate stress.  You could also get into bed and spend time thinking of details of a peaceful environment like a beach or mountain hike.   
  6. Get into a regular Yoga and Meditation routine.  These help alleviate stress and slow down the mind.  Of course adding exercise in as well will be very beneficial, just make sure you aren’t doing anything very strenuous right before bed because this will actually keep you awake. These also help by focusing breathing which in turn will lower anxiety and help you sleep.
  7. Avoid Caffeine!  You may be good with caffeine in the am but you may no longer be able to handle it later in the day!  Try to stay away from anything with caffeine after 12, or earlier if you are having a hard time sleeping!  Caffeine can show effects 12 hours after consumption.  It is so frustrating to me when I feel sleepy but energized because I drank caffeine too late in the day.  Be aware of foods that contain caffeine...like chocolate!
  8. Take naps not sleeps!  What is the difference?  20-30 min is a nap, anything more than that is actually just sleeping.  Even if you are tired don’t let yourself for more than that 30 min mark because you will have trouble falling asleep that night.  It can put you in a negative sleep pattern.