Lately, I’ve chatted with several friends who have been having trouble sleeping and have shared my own challenges with turning my mind off at night. In our conversations, it feels good to know that we aren’t alone in our minds lighting up when our heads hit the pillow. Each person I talk to has read about a variety of ways to get a better night’s sleep and we share best practices. Recently, I’ve tried a variety of the practices I’ve learned from these conversations and have actually been sleeping better as a result. I thought I’d share just a few. If you are having trouble sleeping, there are a ton of resources available and many things to try. I have cobbled together a combination that is working for me, but you’ll have to experiment with your own plan. I really couldn’t believe that I had to “try” to sleep better, but the effort has been well worth it to get a good night’s rest.

Exercise. For years, I have taken long walks every night, but those weren’t working for me anymore in relationship to sleep. I had stopped jogging with some knee pain a few years ago, but thought it might be time to try again. Since putting on the running shoes again, I have been sleeping better.

Put down the phone and glowing lights from screens. This is something I am still experimenting with based on a recommendation from a friend.  I leave the phone in another room instead of on the nightstand.  When I read an old fashioned paper book before bed, I sleep much better. I tried it for a couple weeks with good results. A couple nights ago, I went back to reading the news on my phone right before bed and I didn’t sleep well at all. So, back to books for me!

Natural supplements. I am always a bit of a skeptic about miracle cures, but I kept an open mind to research some of the natural sleep support supplements. For me, after trying several things, I like chamomile and lavender tea as well as a lavender oil supplement. Everyone is different, so do your research — there is a lot out there.

Mindfulness meditation. I haven’t been consistent with this one, but I have friends who meditate regularly and speak to the benefits over time in the ability to clear a cluttered mind. When I do make the time to meditate, I never regret it and for me it feels like a hitting a “reset” button.  If you are like me and have a mind of to-do lists and other worries, mindfulness meditation might be something to check into.

Like I said, I was almost annoyed that I was going to “have to do something about” my sleep woes, but by intentionally working on my sleep-related habits, my sleep has improved. I hope yours will too! Sweet dreams.