5 Steps to a Restful Night

If you’d told me just a few years ago, that there’d come a time when I regularly enjoyed a good night’s sleep I would have thought you were crazy.

5 Steps to a Restful Night

If like me you struggle with sleep, here are five simple things you can do to get your much needed rest:

Make Sleep a Priority

If it’s not important to you it won’t be important to anyone else.

I’ve struggled with sleep most of my life.  But getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night has become one of my top priority, and one that my family understands.

Sleep deprivation not only contributes to excess weight but it ages you prematurely.  I have a nine year old and I want to be dancing my heart out on her wedding day!

Oh yeah, and I do kind of turn into an impatient and clumsy monster when I’m sleep deprived…

Let’s just leave it at that shall we? 😉

Regular bedtime

Going to bed at the same time every nigh is the best way to get the rest you need.

I used to get to bed whenever everything I had to do was done or I was just too tired to think straight.

Not anymore.

I’m in bed by ten at the latest..

I’m okay with leaving a few dishes in the sink and the girls have learned that I do not do laundry at midnight.  If you need it for tomorrow, bring it to me by dinner time or it will wait ’til morning.

For most of my adult life I was a night owl and it took a concerted effort for me to change my habits but I assure you it is more than worth it!  I had no idea how much I was missing out on before I insisted on a good night’s sleep!

Listen to your body as it will let you know when the best time to hit the pillow is.  Your body temperature will drop and you will feel pleasantly tired.  But you only have a small window of time, about a half hour,  before your body wakes up again.  Ignore that window and you will have a hard time falling asleep despite your best efforts for another 90 minutes!

Bedtime Routine

We know how valuable a bedtime routine is for our little ones, but it is equally valuable for us moms.

Establish a nightly routine that relaxes you and stick to it.  This is the best signal you can give your body that it is time to wind down.

A nice bubble bath with candles and easy reading is heavenly!

A brief warm shower can be soothing.  Don’t linger too long, however, as you will end up waking up instead of winding down.

I love to drink a cup of warm herbal tea such as verbena or chamomile.  This is a ritual that I shared with my mom while I was still living at home.   It fills me with warmth and serenity.

Your bedroom is a sanctuary

Years ago, my family doctor, who is a sleep expert, told me to keep my bedroom for two things only: sex and sleep.

Television or reading can be distracting and interfere with proper sleep so if you are serious about getting your rest you will keep the television out of the bedroom.  I’ve never had a problem with that as I grew up in a family where there was only one television in the house and it resided in the family room. I realize now how smart my parents were in making this choice. Not only was it the best way for them to monitor

Books are a little harder for me….   I love to read in bed.  I find that curling up with a good book and a cup of tea while diffusing a little lavender or cedar wood is just the right combination for unwinding after a busy day.

The Right Sleep Environment

A beautiful decor creates a welcoming environment but it may not be enough.

To ensure you can easily fall asleep and stay asleep you need these three things:

  • a cool room
  • total darkness
  • peace and quiet

Studies suggest the perfect temperature to ensure a restful night is 68˚F.  Our body temperature naturally lowers  to support the repair work that takes place while we sleep.  Ironically our nanny for my third daughter taught me this as way to know when she was ready for sleep — if her forehead was cool, she would fall asleep without fussing.  If it was warm, it would be a pointless battle!

Do you sleep with a night light?  Or does the moonlight stream through the window?  Blackout curtains were a Godsend for me!


I know you don’t want to hear this but Social Media is now the number one culprit for lack of sleep (and grumpy mornings) today.

There is a purely physiological reason for this. Most devices we use to surf the net emit a blue light that has the same frequency as daylight… Our bodies know that we are supposed to be awake during the day so our brain sends out “wake up” signals to our bodies and we find ourselves tossing and turning even though we are tired and have put

Ultimately you need to find what works for you but make sure your nightly routine helps you unwind properly. Whatever you need to do to make sure you get your beauty sleep, do it!

When you sleep your body goes to work, repairing, rebuilding and bringing every one of your systems back into balance.  For the average person this process requires a minimum of 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  For some more, but never less.  For teens and pre-teens, studies show that 9 hours and 15 minutes is the magic number.

If you compromise on your sleep, the repair work remains unfinished.  If that happens once in a while, your body will make up for lost time the following night. But if you routinely get less sleep than you need, then you are consistently creating a deficit and that is a recipe for disaster.

So do yourself and your family a favor and sleep the night away!

What are some of YOUR secrets to a good night’s sleep?  


  1. Rebecca Hudson says:

    Such good info! Thanks!

  2. Mishelle says:

    I am a regular non-sleeper – in fact I’m going thru a bad cycle now. I’ve been told before to remove the tv but the problem becomes my son only snuggles with me the last 20 mins before his bedtime, on my bed with the tv… I’m not ready to let go of that last snuggling one yet. He’s growing up so fast… he’ll stop this soon. Then I’ll get rid of the tv.


    • Oh Michele, I totally get not wanting to give up that special snuggle time… They do grow up so fast! My oldest just turned 19 in June… I do love that she still comes in and lies now with me for a snuggle every now and then. I absolutely cherish those precious moments!

  3. I don’t sleep well and it is hard to establish a bed time. thanks for sharing these tips.

  4. SHIRLEY SYMON says:

    I do try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time however sometimes it doesn’t happen especially when school is out. So now if I wake up earlier than I want I will play TWO rounds of candy crush then rest until my normal to wake up.

  5. Alyssa Emmett says:

    Needed to read this. I hate going to sleep but I also love sleep. It’s an endless battle.

    • I can relate Alyssa! I don’t want my day to end! My girls are the same. It’s a if they are worried they are going to miss out on the most amazing thing if they go to bed… but once they crash.. oh the sweetness of if all! An endless battle indeed 🙂

  6. I feel like I have to keep real busy during the day so I can go to sleep easier.maybe tea would help on my nonbusy days.

    • Tea, a good book and a warm bubble bath do wonders for me… And if I’m lucky a wonderful massage with lavender oil from my hubby or one of my girls 🙂 Maybe try playing some soothing music and diffusing some lavender or cedarwood oil a half hour before bed Katie.

  7. Melissa Storms says:

    I follow all of these tips and they definitely have helped me sleep better. I am still a restless sleeper and wake up often but have an easier time falling asleep.

    • I’m so happy you have an easy time falling back to sleep Melissa. I’m a pretty light sleeper and wake up much too easily but thankfully, like you, I now go back to sleep fairly quickly. I’m grateful for that because that was not always the case and there really is nothing worse than feeling groggy all day 🙁

  8. Allison CB says:

    I like low background noise – lulls me to sleep every time!!

  9. good tips

  10. Christy Caldwell says:

    These are great tips. I’ve got to stop doing everything and anything in the bed. I know better, but it’s so convenient until I can’t sleep.

    • Oh I know what you mean Christy 🙂 But trust you’ll be so grateful when you can master the art of doing absolutely nothing in bed….except a little snuggling here and there 😉

  11. We NEVER bring any technology in the bedroom. No tv, no computers, nothing. It makes sleeping much easier!

  12. Michael Howell says:

    Very helpful information!

  13. RobertA says:

    Really helpful!!

  14. John Heim says:

    Very good and straightforward concept for sleeping. If I don’t sleep well one night, I usualyy end up taking a nap, which sometimes messes up the next night’s sleep.

    • I can totally sympathize John! Naps are tricky. The right nap can be so powerful but, overdo it even by a couple of minutes and it can completely derail everything. I tend to find that mid to late morning naps are much more effective for me than afternoon naps. Perhaps because they are far enough from my bedtime. Have you tried different times of day and seen if is makes a difference?

  15. I need to treat my bed for sleep (and sex) only as I don’t. I know this is important but hard to do.

  16. My problem is I always fall asleep on the couch watching TV. The TV then wakes me up, or the fact I’m in a weird position. I keep telling myself that as soon as I’m tired I’ll turn the TV off and go to sleep. I really need to stick to that!

    • My husband is the same way Amanda! I wish I had a trick to share to help you beat that habit but unfortunately I don’t. I’ve been known to fight off sleep once or twice when I’m watching a movie… I know I could and should just turn it off because in the end nothing is more important than my sleep, but it’s so hard when I’m into it… Maybe start your program a little earlier so that no matter what it finished before you get drowsy…?

  17. Judy Thomas says:

    Thank you for sharing.I can never get a great nights sleep.I will try your suggestions.

  18. Susan Smith says:

    I do all of the things you mentioned in the post. I read a little bit and then fall asleep. No TV or electronics. I need my room to be dark and quiet.

  19. Don’t we all love a restful night after a busy day we had. I always try to aim this and so far I am keeping on focus. 🙂

  20. laurie damrose says:

    I do all of these and the sanctuary part really helps.

  21. I definitely agree on all these points, and will for sure try them out soon. Personally for me, I like to do some relaxing yoga in the bed and drink some warm tea to get a good night’s rest.

  22. Patrícia Xará says:

    Reading some pages when I’m already tired helps me fall to sleep.

  23. Crystal Walker says:

    What great tips, I do go to bed at the same time and I try to make sure everything is off and nothing will bother my sleep, these are wonderful tips

  24. sheila ressel says:

    I try to follow your tips and I take a melatonin pill at night but I still don’t seem to get enough sleep.

    • Have you tried other natural sleeping aids Sheila? I love to diffuse some lavender about half an hour before going to bed. I find it so relaxing! I sometimes even make a lavender tea. Other teas that help me decompress are chamomile or verbena. I know melatonin is often super effective but I’ve also heard that for some people it does the opposite and actually interferes with restful sleep. You might want to try doing without for a week or so and see if it make a difference. Another supplement that many of my friends find super effective is magnesium. I’ve used a product called CALM before and found it quite effective.

  25. Nice tips! I agree with most of your tips. My secrets to a good night of sleep is not sleeping during the day because it keeps me awake if I take a nap (no matter how short it is), so I don’t use the time when my daughter is sleeping to sleep too, even though I would love to!

    Thank you for sharing this recommendations!

    • I use to avoid naps for the same reason Sabina. Somehow, though, I can now take even a 10 min power nap and feel recharged without worrying about compromising my night… The challenge for me is when I travel. If I cave in and nap I go into such a deep sleep it’s hard to wake up and then I stay completely off schedule. Even if I am able to go to sleep at a reasonable hour I wake up in the middle of the night and stay awake until about 5 or 6 then I completely crash… What do you do to stay awake when your little one naps so you stay awake?

  26. Richard Hicks says:

    I like these tips. I like to take a warm bath before bedtime and that helps me.

  27. So so connect with you! I am still up and its 1 am in India… kind of a bad habit but I am trying my best to sleep early these days. espcially on nights when I dont have to blog. I get so tired from my day job and blogging at night. And just like my family knows not to give me laundry after dinner..they better have spare to wear! Loved reading the tips. Keep it up! Xo, S.

    • Thank you so much Swayam! I dream of visiting India someday! Late nights are not an easy habit to break, but trust me it is so worth doing everything in your power to do so. I hear you though, juggling blogging with work and motherhood is no small task! It sounds like your family understands how hard you work and support you the best they can 🙂 Lots of love to you!

  28. Sheila Ritter says:

    I really need to follow this advice. My problem is I have 2 young sons with autism who only require a few hours of sleep and that sleep has to take place in my bed. We are slowly working on at least getting them to sleep in their room but it is a challenge. I’m sure we will get there one day but for now we just make the most of it.

    • Kudos to you Sheila for having such a positive mindset. I know you face a unique challenge with your little ones and it seems like you are doing an amazing job adapting to their own unique needs. I pray you are able to get a little more sleep, as it just makes handling everything else so much easier. My nine year old was the first one of my 3 daughters to sleep through the night, in her own bed and her own room. Then everything shifted and she became hyper sensitive and needed to feel me or her dad next to her or she would be frazzled. So we brought her into our bed for quite some time. In some ways it led to more sleep for us because she at least slept soundly so I understand what you are faced with to some degree. God bless.

  29. Christina A. says:

    These are important tips that I admittedly have such a hard time with–but I can really tell the difference when I am focused on getting good sleep!

    • I went on minimal sleep for YEARS Christina and thought I was doing just fine.. In fact, if I am to be completely honest I thought I was a real rock star for managing so well on so little sleep… It wasn’t until I committed to healthy sleep habits that I realized how foolish and down right detrimental that mindset was. I got by because I did not give myself the option not to, not because I was some sort of super human being who needed less sleep than everyone else… How I wish I’d learned sooner what I was really doing to myself and what I was robbing myself and all my loved ones of …

  30. Michelle Bartley says:

    Great tips!!

  31. These are great tips! I definitely believe that most people’s issue with not sleeping is that they need to unplug! I have been guilty of staying up really late because of my computer in the past. I enjoy reading before bed, it always helps me relax.

    • I’m glad you found these tips useful Lauryn. It’s so easy to get sucked into spending some time on an electronic device just before bed and think we are simply engaging in a relaxing activity and not realize we’re jeopardizing not only our ability to fall asleep but the quality of our sleep as well. Catching up with our friends’ activity on social media or playing a game of candy crush or two seems harmless enough… As is the case in so many areas of our lives, we’re finding out that turning to some more old fashion ways of winding down is a much healthier choice. That good old paperback novel is a fabulous choice. Enjoy!

  32. patrick jones says:

    nice ideas, it def helps to not have erratic bedtimes such as earlier sometimes and late night at another… keeping your room quiet/peaceful/a comfortable temperature.

  33. Kimberly Hillman says:

    I need all the help I can get with getting a great night sleep! Seems out of reach anymore! Do not seem to feel refreshed when I wake up. Still always tired.

    • Aww Kimberly, that breaks my heart. What seems to be the greatest obstacle to a getting the rest you need? Sleep is the foundation of everything and I would love to help if there is any way I can. Have you thought of seeing a sleep specialist? I pray you find a solution.

  34. It’s falling asleep that’s always been difficult for me. My brain doesn’t seem to turn off a bed time. Once I’m asleep, I sleep very well though.

    • That used to be a HUGE problem for me as well Stephanie. There are several things you can try to make falling asleep a lot easier. The most important is to create an evening ritual. Whether you take some time to enjoy a cup of chamomile tea with a good book, a bubble bath or some quiet prayer time, your ritual should signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down. Being consistent with your bedtime is also huge, and of course, unplugging from electronics at least half an hour before bed 🙂 I wish you all the best.

  35. Terry Poage says:

    These are great tips. I don’t sleep well at night and have a hard time getting up the next day.

  36. I guess I do not have regular bedtme, nice info, thanks…

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