Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We've spent the past month here discussing different takes on procrastination. For me, procrastination comes from exhaustion. In order to feel productive and stay on schedule with work, I have to protect my sleep. That means a solid eight hours a night, especially on deadline.

It's an ongoing battle as my house is noisy and I have a tough time settling down at the end of the day. But here are some tips I've found to tip the scales in favor of a better night's sleep. (Now keep in mind I am not a doctor... but I've written about one in my books many times!)


*When you wake up in the morning or once the sun rises, stand outside in the bright sunlight for 15 minutes to help reset your melatonin cycle so you'll be drowsy at night.

*No TV or computer right before bed.

*Only use your bedroom for sleep (not writing!)

*Lavender scent can help you relax. Scented linen sprays are a nice way to pamper yourself!

*Exercise during the day, but not in the evening.

*Try a noise machine. They can be great for covering startling noises - and for canceling out any ringing in the ears.

*Achy in the morning? Try a new pillow. Make sure your mattress isn't too old.

*Set a regular bedtime. Avoid naps if possible.

*Keep your room dark. Turn clocks and other minor light sources away.

*Avoid alcohol, caffeine and big meals at night.

*Avoid drinking too many liquids right before bed.

*Some advocate deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercies.

*And of course, there's always the tried and true, read a book until you drift off to sleep!

Do you have any tips for a better night's sleep? Or funny/strange stories about being woken up?


  1. Great tips, Catherine! I don't have any to add to your list, but I'd love to be able to get 15 minutes of sun in. Unfortunately, when I get up, it's still dark outside!

  2. Love the tips and the great pics, Catherine! I think you've covered all of the ones that I've heard.

    I agree with the need for sleep, especially when on deadline, but don't seem to be able to get more than a couple of hours a night.

    Like Tracey, I'm up when it's dark-writing before I head to my day job. ;)

  3. Hey there, Tracey and C.H.! Hugs on having to wake up in the dark!! That was especially tough for me when we lived in North Dakota - the days were so short. I vowed to my hubby I felt like a hibernating bear during those times, always yawning!

  4. I've used the noise machine (noisy house with insomniac sons), the lavendar spray (love it), don't write in bed, etc. Haven't tried the sunlight in the morning. But most of my problems have been related to sleep disorders: Severe Restless Legs Syndrome and moderate sleep apnea. Since dealing with both those issues, I find myself amazingly productive and awake! Quality and quantity of sleep are both important.

  5. Hmm, I'm wondering how I could possibly find the time to go outside for 15 minutes every morning to reset my inner clock. I know, I know, get up earlier! Luckily, I live in Florida, otherwise known as the sunshine state, and when I open the draperies in the mornings, I have plenty of light! Loved all the tips and do most of the them.

  6. Excellent tips! I love a noise machine with rippling water or a thunder storm. It makes me turn off my mind but it also blocks out the other noises! Trouble is if it's a storm day my brain says...sleep, Carolyn, sleep.

  7. Debbie, you bring up a great point about the restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. So glad you've found relief for both conditions!!

    Amelia - LOL! I often tell myself that opening the curtains wide counts as outside time in the morning. ;-)

    Carolyn - I do so love to sleep in ona rainy day too!! I'm addicted to my noise machine - although I've found the sound of a fan works just as well for me too.

    Thanks for stopping by to comment, folks!!

  8. Catherine, thanks for the tips! I'm a big fan of the noise machin too, because my ears ring and I really notice it at night. The only problem is that my husband is an airline pilot, and the machine sounds just like an airplane engine. Hopefully he's not being programmed to fall asleep in the cockpit! I think we need one of those nature sound ones instead:)

  9. I had (still have) trouble adjusting after my daughter finally started sleeping through the night. I started taking melatonin, just a low dose, but it's helped me sleep better.

  10. Joanne - LOL about the airplane noise! I often use a fan instead - along with the ceiling. My hubby said our room is wind tunnel. :)

    Shana - I totally hear ya about the mommy ears! It's tough to shut down that instinct to listen for every single sound in the night.

  11. Wow - 8 hours of sleep - that's amazing. You have some great tips - most of which I don't do. I'm getting inspired to try to improve my sleep habits!

  12. Why is it I seem to have relearn the importance of nightie-night time at every stage of my life? And how I do love that first moment of soft pillow, warm covers, big happy kitty comes purring to join me.... What a lovely thought, a good night's sleep!

  13. Great post, Catherine! The white noise is imperative for anyone who sleeps during the day like I do. I try to take my fan with me wherever I travel, which is why I dislike having to fly!

  14. These are great tips, Catherine! Thank you so much for sharing!