If you are a creative person, an entrepreneur or a combination of the two, my bet is you have a very difficult time falling to sleep at night. Why? Your mind is busy designing the next project, decorating the next room, dreaming up the next big concept to sell. I know, I’ve been there!
Over the years that lack of sleep takes a toll on your personal health and quite frankly, your creativity. So let me share with you what I’ve done that has helped tremendously in shutting off my creative brain so I get a good night sleep.
- Splurge on high-quality sheets that fit snug on the mattress and don’t wrinkle. This is a MUST for me or I fidget like a cat trying to get comfy for an afternoon nap.
- Clean, fresh smelling sheets washed weekly (more frequently if you have the time but frankly most people don’t). Sunday is when I launder mine so I start the week off right. I use wool balls and lavender essential oil in my dryer to make my sheets smell heavenly. Just a few drops of oil on the wool balls and throw them in the dryer for the freshest smelling sheets imaginable. The best thing is a bag of 6 wool balls will last me several years! These are also great for your bath towels too.
- Blankets or comforters for the summer and winter months. It’s scientifically proven that people sleep better when they have weight on them when sleeping. It is why the “weighted blanket” is such a huge success. I have two separate blankets — one for summer that is a lightweight blanket and a heavy down comforter to keep me warm in the cold winter months.
- Turn the thermostat down at night. You sleep much better in cooler temperatures even if it means nighttime bathroom breaks have you shivering. If you are someone like me that forgets to do this until I’m IN BED, invest in a Nest thermostat that will remember for you.
- A sound machine to drown out outside noise (street traffic) and inside noise (kids who get up too early or a snoring spouse). The one I use and highly recommend is what my father-in-law used at the fire station when he worked as a fireman. There are also free and paid apps you can download for your phone or iPad. When we travel I use the free Sleep Pillow app to drown out elevator and hallway noise in hotels as well as outside traffic noises.
- A high-quality comfortable eye mask to drown out any ambient light, especially if you are a light sleeper. I can’t believe the difference this has made for me.
- A warm bath to relax using Epsom salts scented with lavender or other calming agents. Epsom salt contains magnesium that absorbs into the body and is a natural muscle relaxant.
- Room darkening curtains or shades to block out all light, including the full moon which seems to come straight through our windows every month! There are plenty of options available that range from inexpensive to high-end window coverings. If you will be opening and closing them daily, it is best to invest in window treatments that are a bit more expensive that can handle the wear and tear of being opened and closed daily. Mine is fabric covered and custom made to fit my window dimensions which weren’t standard.
- Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand for those nights when your creative brain just won’t shut down and the ideas are pouring out of you. Quickly jot them down and rest easy knowing they will be there in the morning for you to pick up where you left off.
- Remove all phones, tablets or other electric devices including TVs. There is enough proof that the light stimulates your brain, but I know that seeing that visual stimulation (like Pinterest) will also keep creative brains churning with ideas making it even harder to fall asleep. Do your Pinterest browsing in another room but not the bedroom. It also keeps you from sneaking a peek at the time in the middle of the night and making it impossible to go back to sleep.
- Getting your groove on, if you know what I mean. Enjoy a little hanky-panky before bed to release endorphins that relax you and help you sleep better.
- Last but not least, when I am really desperate and all my suggestions above still aren’t working for me, I resort to melatonin (approved by my doctor) or another over-the-counter sleep aid. I only use these as a desperate last resort when I’m still awake after laying in bed over an hour and can tell that my brain just isn’t going to shut down without help. When this happens I can always point to having too much caffeine too late in the day. I am someone who is very sensitive to caffeine keeping me awake, so I do not have coffee or tea after the noon hour.
Try these suggestions, or at least some of them, and see if it put you on the path to better night sleep. After all, creative entrepreneurs work best during the day when we are well rested.
Sleep well, my friends!
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for products I personally purchased, use and recommend. I have suffered for years with being able to fall and stay asleep until I implemented the strategies above. The items I listed have helped me in my quest for a good night sleep which leaves me well rested and boosts my creativity.)