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How to Get More Sleep

How to Get More Sleep

I’ve said this before and I say it often: “Burning the candle at both ends does not make your superwoman; it makes you exhausted.”

Sleep is so important, and I know we all struggle with getting more sleep and getting quality sleep. I have discovered that if I don’t get enough sleep, it affects every other area of my life.

When I get enough sleep, I am more productive, happier each day, and have so much energy! When I don’t get enough sleep, I am exhausted, stressed, unmotivated, and not nearly as productive.

Struggling to get more sleep? Here are 5 suggestions:

1. Go to bed earlier.

This is a no-brainer, but it’s one of the harder ones to do — and something I’m still working on! This is why I’ve been doing the go to bed early challenge!

Are you feeling exhausted when you wake up in the morning, struggling to keep your eyes open after lunch, or hitting a productivity wall in the afternoon? If you feel any of these things, you are most likely not getting enough sleep and need an earlier bed time.

How to Get More Sleep

If you’re having a difficult time going to bed early, you can try the shock technique or the gradual technique. The shock technique involves getting up earlier a couple days in a row, until you’re so exhausted that you can’t wait to fall into bed earlier than usual. (This is actually why I did the get up early challenge first, so that I could force myself to get used to an earlier bed time.)

The gradual technique involves gradually teaching your body to adapt by choosing an earlier bedtime by 5 minutes each evening until you’ve reset your bedtime to what you want it to be. Once you’ve reset your bed time, try to go to bed at the same time each night.

Most importantly, learn how to go to bed when you’re tired. Don’t wait for your body to catch that second, third, or fourth wind.

How to Get More Sleep

2. Plan ahead for great sleep.

Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before you want to go to bed. Having an evening routine can really help you get in the mindset for going to bed.

Think about what helps you relax. Maybe it’s reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to music.

You can also prep your environment for a great night’s sleep. Here are just a few suggestions from my Say Goodbye to Survival Mode book:

  • Make sure your room is cool and dark.
  • Dim the lights early.
  • Have white noise in the background as you fall asleep.
  • Try using an eye mask or ear plugs to block out sight and sound.
  • Diffuse or apply lavender essential oils.

I personally love drinking Sleepy Time Tea as part of my evening routine and applying Badger Sleep Balm to my feet before bed.

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3. Drink less caffeine.

I love my coffee, and I will not be giving it up any time soon. I do limit myself to two cups per day, and I try not to drink it after 3 p.m. each day.

If you’re struggling with falling asleep at night, limiting your caffeine intake might be something worth trying.

4. Turn off the electronics.

Turn off the electronics at least an hour before bed time. Taking e-mail off of my phone helped me so much. I used to instinctively check my e-mail right before bed and feel like I needed to deal with it right away, which always prevented me from winding down and relaxing because my brain wouldn’t shut down properly.

Now I try to shut down the computer after dinner and not turn it back on until the following day. This helps my mind stay calm so that I can wind down, relax, and wind down at night.

I’ve also found that when my mind is racing, it helps me so much to write down anything that’s keeping me awake. This is why I love brain dumping and planning out the following day before I go to bed each night. It makes for a much more peaceful night’s sleep, knowing everything is out of my brain and onto paper.

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5. Give yourself grace.

Sometimes you don’t get a good night’s rest, and that’s okay. Choose to make the most of the day and try again tonight, even if last night didn’t go well!

What helps you calm down, feel relaxed, and get in bed on time each night? I’d love to hear!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? It all starts the night before! Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Evenings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you maximize your evenings in order to experience more success in your life, more order in your home, and more joy in your soul.

It’s time to stop sleep-walking through life and wake up to the amazing excitement and fulfillment that comes when you follow my simple plan to Make Over Your Evenings.

Find out more about it here.

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  • Jessica says:

    Don’t do anything stressful within an hour of going to bed. If paying the bills or talking to your mom stresses you out, don’t do it before bed. There is also the “marital activity” issue… if that leaves you wide awake, perhaps a different time of the day is better than bedtime! Also don’t eat too soon before bed, don’t exercise too soon before bed, make sure your bedroom is dark and cool and turn off all your electronics so they don’t light up with notifications.

  • It helps to try and stick to relatively the same bedtime all week long I think. I can’t do caffeine past lunchtime, but I can’t make it through the afternoon without my Dr Pepper at lunch ? I’ve been trying to read instead of use electronics in bed, which definitely helps until my books gets to a really good part and I can’t put it down!

  • Great tips! I often read a few pages of a non-fiction book before falling asleep. I also like to snuggle up and drift off to sleep to the sound of my husband’s heartbeat – it relaxes me <3

  • Patty says:

    If you think you might have one or more of the many sleep disorders, check with your doctor.

  • Sarah D. says:

    Magnesium helps promote sleep, too, if taken at bedtime. Epsom salts contain magnesium, and combining epsom salts with a relaxing essential oil like lavender and soaking before bedtime is also helpful. Along with your brain dump idea, a Dr. of mine once suggested listing positive things about the day, negative things about the day, and things on your mind about the next day. I used to not only do that, but then also pray about the list as I drifted off to sleep. Gentle stretching right before bed can also make you nod off.

  • Danielle says:

    The biggest thing that helped me start getting to bed earlier and getting more sleep, was to finally admit to myself that I am simply wasting time in the evening. Like a lot of people, I had thought of the evenings as “me time”, “time to unwind”, “I’m an introvert…” etc. etc. But I finally realized I am spending a few hours mind-numb on screen time, and I don’t *feel* more relaxed after doing that (kinda guilty, wasting time, time gets away from me).

    So I challenged myself to an experiment: you can have the same amount of time for “me time,” but do it at the beginning or middle of the day. I started getting up at 5 am, and you know what, all of a sudden I don’t feel the “need” to unwind quite as long. (Actually I prefer to do my Bible reading and get a jump on the chores first thing in the morning). I am a lot more productive by going to bed earlier in the evenings (when it turns out I am actually *tired* not in need of screen time and me time like I thought). I still get that screen time in, but it is 30-60 min on the stationary bike during nap time. I feel a lot better about how I use my time and by quitting screen time & me time in the evenings I’m able to relax and go to sleep a lot earlier.

    • Maryalene says:

      Yes! This!

      I’ve always tell myself I’m going to get lots done after the little kids go to bed, but I am slowly coming to accept I’m simply not the type of person who’s productive in the evening. In reality, the only thing I do a lot of in the evenings is scroll through Facebook and watch YouTube videos.

  • JJ says:

    I have 3 kids 3 and under, and my little guy is undergoing allergy testing(has horrible reflux and eczema, up 3-4 times a night at almost 5 months…read, not much sleep for 5 months straight). And I can definitely tell you sleep deprivation is so hard; BUT your post about dwelling on positive things really encouraged me! I am sleep deprived, but I can go through my day feeling sorry for myself or live in and love the moments. And it is so refreshing when I do that. Even with having to cut out caffeine and chocolate(possible allergen!?!). #mamaneedsprayer #lovemylittles

  • Kim B. says:

    I am not up to speed on a lot of programs but what is it you are using that is monitoring your sleep and heart beat? Thanks

  • Julie says:

    You’re so right about turning off the electronics! I’ve also recently discovered that hiding the digital numbers on my clock helps me sleep much better! If I have the alarm set, then I really don’t need to stress over what time it is and calculate how much or little sleep time I have left. I just… sleep!

  • Donna says:

    At 52 years old I have finally learned that when my body and mind tell me to nap, I do. For years I just drank a cup of coffee and powered through but have now allowed myself the luxury of a short nap. This recharges me for the rest of the day.

  • I find that making sure the house is tidy and the kitchen is clean helps me to clear my head before bed. When I go to bed with my kitchen clean I feel like I rest more peacefully. In order for this to happen I had to get the entire family involved in evening cleanup.

  • Marie says:

    First of all as a new mom I didn’t get the amount of sleep I need. So, hoping that the tips you’ve shared will help me as getting enough sleep is really important. And I can see it before my eyes as my health is getting hurt due to this. Thanks a ton for sharing such tips.

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