How I Improved My Sleep in One Night

Sleep “hygiene” is a term we use to describe the necessary factors for promoting good sleep. You’ve heard of oral hygiene—the necessary factors to promote good oral health, like brushing and flossing regularly. Well, there’s sleep hygiene too.

Good Night, Light!

One of the easiest tools I have found to improve quality of sleep across the board (and I do this myself) is a simple eye mask.

This will often give you deeper, more restful sleep because it blocks out all light. Even small amounts of light from alarm clocks can blunt melatonin production and affect your sleep.

If the eye mask works for you, then it’s time to block out all sources of light in your bedroom. Your bedroom should really be like a cave. You shouldn’t even be able to see your hand in front of your face—that’s how dark your bedroom should be. If you can still see your hand, your room isn’t dark enough.

I personally got my wake-up call on this when I went on a cruise.

My room was an inside cabin, so there were no windows. This really freaked me out. All the other cruises I’d been on always had a balcony or a window…an “escape” route (I think I’ve watched the movie Titanic too many times).

To me the inside cabin was claustrophobic—until that first night I went to sleep. I remember there was light spilling into the room underneath the cabin door, so I stuffed a towel under the door to block the light. Once I did this, the room went completely black, like a cave. I had to be careful not to break a toe on the furniture.

And you know what? My husband and I both slept like babies! Every night we had deep, refreshing sleep. From that day forward, I knew how important it was to sleep in cave-like darkness.

So block out all sources of light from your bedroom. Light creeps in around window shades and blinds. Stop this with better blinds and drapes, or use the Blackout EZ Window Cover system for this.

We get light from alarm clocks, phones…pretty much anything electrical these days will cast some sort of light. I recommend taking all unnecessary light-emitting electronics out of the room completely, or cover up the lights completely before you go to bed every night. It will be worth it.

A Restful Routine

Establish a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time every night (including weekends), and wake up at the same time every day (including weekends). Stick to this schedule to maintain good, steady REM cycles that enable you to wake up feeling rested and energized.

Marvelous Mattresses

On that same cruise that I talked about earlier, the other big reason I got such great sleep was because of the fantastic bedding. It was like sleeping on a cloud.

Consider investing in better bedding—feather bed, feather duvet, feather pillows…even a new mattress. You spend a third of your life sleeping. Invest in your happiness! You’re worth it!

Still More Slumber Secrets

Remember: no alcohol or caffeine in the evening, and no exercise after seven at night, as these interfere with quality of sleep.

Have a cup of herbal tea, like chamomile tea, before bed.

Keep a note pad beside your bed. Don’t try to remember everything! Clear out your head; write it all down before bed.

Also, count your blessings—do a gratitude journal. List five things, no matter how big or small, that you are grateful for. Forgive yourself and others for any hurts accumulated through the day.

Lastly, use one or two drops of lavender oil on your pillow.

It will all help you sleep better. And the faster you start sleeping better, the faster your fatigue will stop.

Sleep, like food and water, is a necessity for good health. While you sleep your body is actually very active detoxifying, repairing, and rebuilding.

Lastly, for those who have not been getting good sleep:

Once your sleep mechanism kicks back in, your body will need to stock up on sleep. Don’t be surprised if you need an unusual amount of sleep for a while. This is your body getting out of sleep debt.

Make a promise to yourself starting today:

Stop feeling lousy…rotten…awful…crummy…miserable…terrible…crappy.

Find a good Functional Medicine doctor to help you get to the root cause of your health problems.

Like I always say:

Find the cause.

Fix the cause.

Feel normal again!


Dr. Carri Drzyzga, DC, ND – The Functional Medicine Doc

Find the Cause. Fix the Cause. Feel Normal Again!

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