5 Tips to Restful Sleep

Recently, I've come to find that peaceful, productive mornings are actually made in the evenings.

Here are 5 tips to a more restful night's sleep.

1. Keep your phone charging in another room. I can't tell you how many hours of precious sleep I have lost to mindless scrolling on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Knowing it would always tempt me on my nightstand, I have since started charging it overnight in my office. I knew I was going to have to invest in an alarm clock since I wouldn't have my phone handy and ultimately decided on this "retro-future" alarm clock radio by Electrohome (pictured above).

2. Switch from an electronic reader to physical books to reduce the blue light strain on your eyes. I really wanted to incorporate reading before bedtime, but trying to read on my iPad was starting to affect my eyes and I would tend to get distracted with the apps I mentioned above. If you are on a budget, or like to keep minimal books around, your local used book store or library would be a great resource. We happen to have a few book shelves filled with books, many of which I haven't read before. I read a lot of personal development and science books for school, so I like to chill out with some fantasy novels before bed. I'm currently loving the Wizard's First Rule series by Terry Goodkind and the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks. (I JUST realized while typing this that there are two extremely popular fantasy authors named Terry.)

3. Be aware and bring attention to your body's sleep needs. We usually hear "get at least 8 hours of sleep" (which I try to follow) but everyone's sleep to functioning ratio might be a little different (more or less.) The right amount of sleep will leave you feeling alert and refreshed upon waking. For me that can be anywhere from 8-9 hours, depending on how much activity I've done during the day.

4. Try allowing 15-20 minutes to meditate before you go to sleep. Those evenings when I've allowed enough time to do meditation have provided me with some of the best sleep. I was using the "Body Scan" meditation from Palouse Mindfulness and really want to incorporate it back into my routine. There are also lots of meditation options available on the calm.com and Headspace apps.

5. Keep a gratitude journal. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude contributes positively to our well-being. Ending the night on a high note, even when you've had a rough day, can provide you with some peace before you fall asleep. Right now I am using a regular notebook and will probably upgrade to this beautiful yet simple option from Etsy seller The Lively Pen (bonus- it's customizable!).

I've also heard great things about The Five Minute Journal which has a space for both morning and evening entries. I will probably check this out in the new year, considering it's almost October.

I will be sharing my new nightly sleep routine soon so you can get a glimpse into the things I do to prepare myself to be well rested for the next day.

Did one of these tips resonate with you? My challenge to you is to find one tiny step you could take to improve your sleep.