Since one of my New Year’s goals is to improve my sleep, I’ve been researching it and trying some methods on how to fall asleep faster, how to improve my sleep, etc. Here’s some of what I’ve found!
- Stretching before bed
- Sometimes I just stretch on my own, whatever feels right, and other times, I do this 12-minute wind-down yoga or this 20-minute version to switch it up. This just helps to loosen me up and start to relax.
- Not going on my phone before bed
- This is definitely a difficult one for me, not going on my phone. Ideally, I’d like to tuck it away an hour before, but most times it ends up being half an hour before. Instead of going on my phone, I sometimes will watch a show with my boyfriend (which still probably isn’t the best, but it’s better than my phone being right up in my face) or I’ll read a book.
- Only sleeping in bed
- I don’t ever sit in bed to relax or even to read. I try to keep my bed just for sleeping, so that way, when I get into bed, my brain recognizes that it’s time for bed and starts to chill out. Even when I read before bed, I read on the couch because while reading puts my boyfriend to sleep no matter what book it is, oftentimes, reading just gets my brain going if the story is good.
- Listening to sleepcasts
- A sleepcast is basically an adult bedtime story. I used to use the app Headspace but now they have some of their videos on YouTube so I’ll put that on and set a timer on my TV so it automatically shuts off during the night. Their YouTube page has other helpful playlists like Mindful Mealtime, Support in Challenging Times, The Science of Sleep and much more!
- Avoiding caffeine before bed
- I have a pretty high caffeine tolerance so I occasionally will have a Diet Coke with dinner but I still try to limit my caffeine intake (mostly energy drinks or yerba mate which has natural caffeine and I’d recommend) after 2pm. Since this specifically is one of my resolutions, I’ve been sticking to it and I feel like it’s definitely been helping.
- Writing before bed
- This is one I haven’t tried yet but I’d love to try soon. The 5-Minute Journal that I got for Christmas and want to start has a morning and night section, so even just starting out with that will be good for me. As I get into the habit, I think I’ll also end up using the writing prompt journal and filling in my bullet journal before bed. That’ll also help with no screen time before bed!
- Counting sheep
- I literally do this sometimes. About a year ago I wondered why people always mentioned it in movies or shows or whatever, and so I tried it. Sometimes it does actually help, it gets me to stop thinking about whatever stressful or unimportant thing I was thinking about and just relax to fall asleep. It doesn’t always work and it is a last resort but it is helpful.
I’ve also come across some fun facts while doing my little research, so I thought I’d share those as well because some of them are very interesting. Here are some fun facts about human sleep:
- More than 10% of people dream in black and white.
- Before color TV, only 15% of people dreamt in color!
- A third of your life is spent sleeping.
- Pain tolerance is reduced by sleep deprivation.
- You forget about half of your dream within the first five minutes of waking up.
- The longest someone has gone without sleep was 11 days.
Here are some fun facts I found about animals’ sleep:
- Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other.
- Otters wrap themselves in seaweed and as many as 100 otters can be wrapped in seaweed, which is called an otter raft.
- Are you kidding me?! Otters are the cutest animals on the planet and I will not be convinced otherwise.
- A cat spends two-thirds of its life sleeping.
- I can attest to this, I don’t know what my cats are so tired from every day, but they always are!
- Whales and dolphins fall half asleep. Each side of their brain takes a turn so they can come up for air.
- Elephants sleep less than any animal.
- They sleep for about three hours a day and only go into REM every three to four days.
- Koalas sleep 18-22 hours a day.
- Ants take one-minute naps a bunch of times a day to equal 4-5 hours a day. The queen will sleep up to 9 hours per day.
Hopefully you’re not struggling with sleep, but if you are, I hope this helped at least a little bit! If you don’t struggle with sleep, I hope you enjoyed the animal facts. Drop a comment down below if you have any tips. I’ll take what I can get!
That’s all folks,
By Karen Tinlin March 9, 2023
Fascinating facts! I’d love to just need the sleep of an elephant, but I need my 9 hours. I usually get it unless it’s one of those times when I just can’t shut my mind off. I’ve never found a solution yet for that! I do agree though that sleep is so very important to how I function the next day, so don’t give up…..we need our sleep!
By Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer March 9, 2023
If you find a solution to turning your mind off to go to sleep, please keep me updated. I need more sleep 😴
By peggy h az0090 sierra vista March 12, 2023
great article Lexi,
I agree, sea otters, sloths, and quokkas, are some of the cutest animals. Cats, yes, my Boris wakes up exhausted. and turns around for another 2 hour nap. I was taking meletonin to help with sleep. My PCP tool me off and started me on doxipin, it has cured my insomnia.
I also know when I am more active I sleep so much better.
By Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer March 14, 2023
I love the name Boris, that’s so cute! I’m glad your insomnia has gotten better, hopefully I’m on the road to it too
By teri jacques March 24, 2023
I’ve created a few playlists that are great for bedtime. Ask Alexa to play them for 30 minutes when I go to bed, at the lowest volume. Find that when I do this, I’m asleep well before the 30 minutes ends, when I don’t use the playlists, I’m often awake for longer as my mind keeps working