This afternoon we’re chatting about sleep… Something I’ve been told a time or two will start to slowly vanish from my life when we bring our newborn baby home from the hospital in the coming week or two!
What I didn’t expect to experience was a lack of sleep before our baby arrived. I read and heard all about women feeling uncomfortable during pregnancy, but for some reason I didn’t think back pain or feeling achy would really impact my sleep too much. (Ha! Ha! Ha!)
A few weeks ago, as you may remember me stating in one of my pregnancy recaps, I truly began to dread going to sleep at night because I knew I’d wake up a million times and feel incredibly uncomfortable. And then I’d start to play mind games with myself… “If I fall asleep right now and wake up at 6 a.m., I can still get seven hours of sleep…” Oh joy!
Well, after several weeks of lackluster sleep, I’ve come up with a handful of tricks that will often work for me and help me fall asleep at night or help me drift back to sleep after I’ve woken up for the 1,000th time to pee. I’m teaming up with Sleep Number to share some of them with you guys today and also offer you a pretty stellar sleep-themed giveaway at the end of this post!
Tips For Better Sleep
- Read Before Bed (Or When You Can’t Fall Back Asleep!)
Reading is a go-to for me when I am feeling restless and wide awake at bed time. There have also been a handful of times during my pregnancy when I’ve ended up falling asleep and then waking up around 2 a.m., unable to drift back to sleep. After a few nights of tossing and turning for more than an hour, I decided to try reading in the middle of the night. I turned on my light (thankfully Ryan was willing to wear an eye mask and didn’t seem to care!) and read for about 30 minutes until my eyes got heavy. I was able to fall asleep much faster than the previous nights when I just laid there thinking about all the sleep I was missing. Reading is key!
Also, Sleep Number recommends using a reading light that does NOT have a blue light, as blue light wakes you up more since it mimics daylight. Opt for a night light in more of a warm orange tone, which mimics sunset.
- Keep Phones Out of Reach from the Bedside
I used to keep my phone on my nightstand, but all too often I’d find myself checking emails or scrolling through Instagram before bed. There’s something about a phone screen that is just about the least soothing thing to look at before bed and once Ryan and I started keeping our phones out of reach from our bedside, we found ourselves reading more, talking with each other before bed and sleeping better. We started doing this years ago in Ocala and it’s a big one for us now!
According to Sleep Number, watching TV or using computers or phone before bed stimulates the brain and the blue light from screens makes it harder to get quality sleep. In a survey conducted by the company, Sleep Number found that people from California and Utah use electronics in bed the most, while those from Oregon and Iowa use electronics in bed the least!
- Get Into Bed an Hour Before You Want to Fall Asleep
(Pic from our baby’s nursery!)
I know busy schedules and to-do lists can make this one a challenge, but whenever possible, Ryan and I try to get into bed an hour before we actually hope to fall asleep. I looooove crawling into bed at the end of a long day (it’s seriously one of my favorite parts of every day) and when I know I have an hour to just hang out with Ryan, read a book or cuddle up with Sadie before I really feel like I need to fall asleep, I am much more relaxed and likely to drift off to sleep earlier than intended.
- Keep Your Room Temperature Cool
Two weeks ago, Ryan and I had our upstairs air conditioning fixed. (Hallelujah!!) Prior to that, we could not get our upstairs below 80 degrees at night and it was miserable. I could not stop sweating and eventually pointed a little space fan directly at my face and slept that way until we had our air fixed. We still don’t keep it as cool as I think we’d both like it because air conditioning is expensive, but at least a lot of the humidity is gone from our bedroom and sleeping in 70-something degrees is much nicer than 80+ degrees, that’s for sure! (Especially when you’re in your third trimester and can’t stop sweating as it is!) According to Sleep Number, the ideal sleeping temperature is 65 – 67 degrees.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that during the time I was experiencing intense sacroiliac pain, I slept the worst I have in years. Yes, I am sure a lot of this had to do with my inability to get comfortable in bed, but I also felt so incredibly restless and almost antsy. I feel like a lot of this had to do with the fact that I just wasn’t moving much during the day. My body wasn’t physically tired! I definitely sleep better on days when I am active and make it to the gym!
- Use Relaxation Techniques
Okay, this tip is a little strange, but I swear it works! Ryan actually taught it to me years ago when I was complaining about not feeling tired at all before bed one night. (Apparently he learned it in a yoga class years ago!) Focus on relaxing every part of your body starting from the very tips of your toes, moving all the way up to the top of your head. Concentrate on releasing tension from everywhere… Your ankles, knees, hips, every finger… By focusing all of my attention on relaxing my body, I cannot help but feel more calm (and, to be honest, a bit bored, which helps me feel more tired, too)!
- Track Your Sleep
This is a bit of a double-edged sword for me. Sometimes I can psych myself out if I feel like I’m getting too little sleep, but for the most part tracking sleep and figuring out what time I need to go to bed to get 8 hours of sleep helps me feel more motivated to get into bed at a reasonable time. There are tons of sleep trackers on the market these days that you can use and Sleep Number also created SleepIQ® technology that works with any new Sleep Number bed to track and monitor your sleep for you without requiring you to wear anything fancy. (Crazy, right?)
And now it’s time for a sleep-inspired giveaway! It’s a good one and I really hope it catches your eye, especially if you happen to be struggling to get a good night’s sleep!
One PBF reader will win the following sleep-themed prize pack:
- Two Sleep Number Pillows
- Comfortable Slippers
- Satin Eye Mask
- Anthropologie Personalized Mug (for evening tea)
- Lavender Candle
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post telling me about one trick you use to help yourself fall asleep at night.
I will randomly select a giveaway winner on Friday morning. Good luck!
Disclaimer: White this post is sponsored by Sleep Number, I am personally sponsoring the giveaway portion (though Sleep Number is providing the pillows). Thank you so, so much for your continued support surrounding sponsored posts. I truly appreciate it!
For more tips on how to sleep better, visit Sleep Number.