Getting A Good Night’s Sleep: Which Tips Worked And Which Tips Failed Me

Our contributor, Kaleigh Glaza, offers her experiences with some of the most common products and techniques that are supposed to help promote a good night’s sleep. Find out what worked and what didn’t.

I have a dream. That one day, I will go to sleep…fall asleep…and sleep so hard that I don’t even dream.

When you’re not a great sleeper, there is no bigger dream than that of a well-rested night in bed. I have struggled to get a good night’s sleep since my early teens and for many years, I just accepted the fact that I would constantly be tired. In the last few years though, I have been making a concentrated effort to try different products and techniques to help with my sleep. I won’t give up on my dream!

And after years of struggling, I have at long last found a few things that help me get my Zzzs. It took many tries and quite a bit of money spent on things that did NOT work, but it was worth it to find a few things that did. This is what works, what doesn’t and what I recommend for other troubled sleepers out there.

Successes

  • Having a Nighttime Routine: Some people do tea; some do meditation or journaling. I personally love spending at least 10 minutes reading something NOT on a screen, be that my book club’s monthly pick or the latest issue of Vogue (I loved this recent feature on Margot Robbie!). Pick something that soothes you and start there as you wind down for the day.
  • Choosing the Right Bed: If you aren’t sure if your bed is your ideal sleeping spot, do some research! Go to a mattress store and test out different mattresses and pillows. See if what you have is what you really want. If you can’t lay comfortably, how can you expect to sleep that way?
  • Using White Noise: I have been using some form or another of white noise for years, and it’s something people comment on quite a bit! At a bachelorette party last year, my Airbnb room buddy even said she felt like she was sleeping in a spa thanks to my chosen sound of relaxing rain. Find the noise that works for you (fan, ocean waves, ambient noise, etc.), and it will help drown out other distracting noise, plus set a tone of rest.
  • Cooler Room Temperatures: The idea that cooler temperatures help with sleep is much promoted and touted. For me, it actually does work! Ever since I started keeping my room cooler (sleeping in the basement level of a garden apartment helped), I found it easier to relax and snuggle down comfortably into bed each night.
  • Olly Gummies: I have recommended this inexpensive find to everyone who ever even casually mentions having trouble sleeping. After having been prescribed everything from melatonin to Ambien to help with my sleep, these are the best over-the-counter options I have ever tried. They give me a natural feeling sleep, don’t leave me feeling groggy in the a.m., and haven’t affected my sleep patterns even on days when I don’t take them.
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Failures

  • Lavender: Promoted as a soothing scent, spraying lavender in your room and on your pillow is said to relax you and prime your body for rest. This works for me when I am getting a massage, but certainly not for sleeping. No need to spend tons of money on sleeping sprays and essential oils unless you really want to go for the full Monty of sleep preparation.
  • Sleeping in an Eye Mask: These aren’t a complete solution for many different sleep types. If you’re a light sleeper, you’re going to spend half the night lifting it up to look around or check the clock. If you toss and turn, chances are it will come off during the night. And if it’s light that bothers you, blackout shades can fix that!
  • Almost Every Other Sleep Pill/Elixir: Trust me, I have tried them all! CBD gummies, NyQuil, Goop supplements, the list goes on. If you are really struggling with sleep long term (that means 3+ months in my book), your best bet is to go to a doctor. I first saw a sleep doctor during puberty and have been struggling with sleep since then. The Olly gummies have helped me stabilize my sleep patterns without becoming dependent, but that doesn’t mean they will work for everyone. If you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun, it might be time to go to the professionals.
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Sleep is such a key part of your mental health, fitness, productivity and sanity in life. We want you all to rest easy every night of the week! But many of us struggle with it, thanks to hormones or stress or who knows what else. Hopefully these tips will help you! But also feel free to share your own in the comments. We would never turn down the next best good night’s sleep.

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Make sure that you also read Weird Furniture & Décor We’re Oddly Obsessed With and These 6 Classic Thinking Styles Aren’t Doing You Any Good!

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