Sleep is IMPORTANT.
Whether you’re trying to lucid dream or not, it’s just a major part of our lives.
Without sleep, we die. Literally.
No I’m serious, when you deprive yourself of sleep you actually become ill, anxious, go insane and eventually die.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting a good nights sleep. But how do you do that?
Well, you’re probably doing a lot of it WRONG. Here’s how to NATURALLY get a really good nights sleep every night, and wake up feeling like a million bucks.
1: Your sleep schedule
Do you have a sleep schedule?
By this, I mean what time do you normally go to sleep on an average Tuesday?
What about Friday? And Sunday?
Well, it should ideally be the SAME time on each day of the week. The time you go to bed should ideally be the same as well. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, you like to go out with your friends at the weekends and so can’t always go to bed at the same time.
That’s fine, but if you’re having trouble sleeping and you want to naturally improve this, then you should start thinking about the bigger picture. The time you go to bed sets your sleep schedule.
If it’s always a different time, you’ll always be adjusting to the new schedule and you’ll always feel tired.
If it helps, just make sure you get up at the SAME TIME every day, even if you’re hungover or tired.
That way you’ll have at least half of your schedule consistent and stable. Your body will adjust and start making you feel more tired in the evenings at the right times so you can get enough sleep to wake up at your set wake up time.
Even on weekends?! – Yes even on weekends. If you are the sort of person who is going to lay in every weekend and then wake up early in the week, you’ll always be in that awkward transition stage where your body doesn’t know what sleep schedule and times you’re running on.
Result? You’ll always be tired and groggy.
2: Your bedtime ritual
Before you go to bed, what do you do?
Do you have a ritual?
Or do you just do anything and everything you feel like.. Most people don’t have a ritual other than maybe brushing their teeth and having a shower or something. This is fine, but there is a better way.
A ‘bedtime ritual’ is a set of things you do every night in the same order. It becomes a habit, and after a while it makes it MUCH easier to fall asleep because you’re trained your mind and body to follow the ritual, and then fall asleep.
An example of a bedtime ritual would be this one – (This is actually my personal bedtime ritual, but you can feel free to copy it! Also I’m going to make it blue for literally no reason other than I think it looks kinda pretty)
– 8PM: Close down all business related tabs and put phone on silent mode. Write out ‘to do’ list for the next day and prepare anything I’ll need such as gym clothes, documents, books etc
– 830PM: Brush teeth, and sometimes have a bath depending on how tired I am, then get PJS on, then read for 20 minutes
– 840PM: Meditate for 10 minutes then look over my yearly goals and tomorrows to do list. Then get into bed, and normally fall asleep within 3 minutes or so
Meditation – Meditation is a very big part of my life and I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now without it. It’s such a simple thing, yet the benefits are enormous and I couldn’t list them all here if I tried.
To give you an idea, meditation has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, as well as heal and prevent depression, anxiety, stress and much more. It physically alters your brain and makes you calmer, smarter and more mentally sharp. Not to mention it MASSIVELY improves your chances of lucid dreaming naturally and makes sleep EASY.
Music – Some people like to listen to music before bed. I personally do as well. I find that in the day time my music tastes vary from Trance, Vocal trance, Dubstep, Industrial, Heavy metal etc and then in the evenings I like listening to a few types of music which I think are PERFECT for relaxing and getting ready for a good sleep:
Chillstep, Piano/Classical music and Chill/lounge music
Here’s a little example of a chillstep mix you could listen to to get ready for bed..
Bath or shower? If I’ve done a heavy workout or been physically active in the day I find that a warm bath is a good way to relax as well. It loosens the muscles and helps you to wind down for the day.
Incense and mood lighting – I sometimes burn incense in my room which makes the room smell nicer, and helps to relax me. This isn’t for everyone, and some people don’t like this sort of thing but I find that it helps me to get a good nights sleep and it’s a very natural way of relaxing as well.
Computer screens keep you awake! If you work from home or at least use your computer a lot, you’ll probably notice that the screen tends to keep your eyes working over time late into the night. The glare of a computer screen can keep your body producing ‘wake up’ hormones which in turn keep you form being able to fall asleep naturally.
I think that concludes the bedtime ritual part!
Add whichever things you feel would benefit you.
3: Do something if you don’t feel tired
If you’re not tired, don’t try and sleep.
Of course the long term goal is to be able to go to sleep at your set time, but to start with, you might not actually feel tired at the time you want to sleep. If this is the case, you need to do something else until you feel tired enough.
Make sure you keep the ‘wake up’ time the same though! this is important. So, like I was saying do something that keeps you occupied until you feel like you’re tired enough to go to sleep. Now, make sure the thing you do isn’t going to keep you awake too much!
What I mean by this is try and do things like Reading, Drawing or meditating. Don’t go and play some sort of violent video game because that will have the opposite effect and next thing you know, you’re sitting there at 4AM surrounded by empty crisp packets exploring some unknown part of Skyrim! (Trust me, I’ve been there!)
Try reading something, or drawing the type of dream you want to have.
Then, when you feel tired go to sleep!
4: Avoid bad stuff!
There are certain things which will make it harder to naturally fall asleep..
These things are things like Alcohol, Caffeine, Cigarettes and drugs.
Try and avoid these if you have problems falling asleep at night! Alcohol reduces your REM sleep, which as I’ve explained in the video below can mean you have LESS dreams, and find it HARDER to fall asleep. Of course, the flip side is you get ‘REM rebound’ but that’s neither here nor there. Long term, this stuff is bad for your sleep and dreams.
5: Make sure you’re comfortable
Your room needs to be nice. By ‘Nice’ I mean comfortable, relaxing, warm and inviting. It needs to make you feel like you want to sleep there, because it’s the perfect place to sleep.
Try adding some relaxing ornaments to your room, getting a new soft rug, changing your sheets and switching to a memory foam mattress. Even just by adding a plant to your room for example, you’ll improve the oxygen levels and the entire room will feel more fresh. You’ll be able to sleep better!
Your bed: Memory foam or normal? Memory foam has been shown to be much better for you than normal mattresses, and it can help you improve your sleep naturally. They are of course slightly more expensive, but they’ll last you years! There are certain things in life that you should never be fussy about price with. Things that will LAST you a long time and possibly affect your general quality of life..
Things like your food you eat, and the bed you sleep on.
6: Don’t nap if you have Insomnia
If you find it hard to fall asleep, try to nap less.
Napping makes your body think it’s time for bed. Sure, there are people who can nap and then sleep again at night but if you’ve got insomnia or you find it hard to sleep at night, don’t. Napping will just make it harder to fall asleep in the night! If you LOVE your naps in the day time, try and phase them out slowly.
Whether you’re trying to get better sleep for school, or because you’re stressed, these tips should help you. If you’re trying to get better sleep during pregnancy, see my article on pregnancy nightmares.
Other ways to get better sleep at night?
I made a video about how to get better sleep which you might like. It’s a long video but it’s good! Here it is
Getting better sleep at night doesn’t have to be hard. There are a few other things you could try.
Also, here are a few resources which will help you get better sleep..
Practice deep breathing – This can improve your energy in the day and make it easier to relax at night. Try practicing deep breathing 10 minutes before going to bed.
Learn meditation for lucid dreams – 5 Steps To Lucid Dreaming (My Ebook) has a free bonus Ebook called ‘Meditation for lucid dreams’. This will help you as well!