Cracking the sleeping code

2020 was a rough year, and like many people, I’ve had trouble sleeping. Unlike my husband, I’m usually a world class sleeper. I even slept well as a baby. It’s in my DNA. Until recently.

I’d get up at 3 a.m. and stare at the ceiling for several nights in a row. Check my mail. Scroll through Twitter. Warning: do not do this. Nothing worked.

However, recently, I think I cracked the code. You ready? It isn’t that fun or that complicated.

First off – exercise. Every damn day if possible. I like to work out, so this isn’t a problem. You don’t have to do hours of exercise. A half hour should work. Work up a sweat or get in a nice yoga session. Do what you like. The point is that your body should feel spent especially if you do not have a physically demanding job. I really like a good 30 minutes on my elliptical. I watch an action movie and spin for 30 minutes. My legs feel like noodles. It’s perfect and easy.

Just water or tea before bed – no alcohol. It’s tempting to break out the Russian Imperial Stout especially in the winter when it’s dark by 5. A good 9.0 ABV brew will knock you out in a hurry, but you’ll be back up when the alcohol wears off. Resist the temptation.

No screens – just a paper book. If you must do screens – watch a show until you pass out. Avoid anything you have to read or concentrate on.

Melatonin. The bottle says take 1 – that’s for wimps. Take 3 or 4. They won’t kill you.

Sleep when you’re tired. If I go past my desired bedtime, so be it. However, the melatonin helps. I take it about 15-30 minutes before bedtime. I’ve been sleeping well for about a month with this routine.

Melatonin from CVS
Melatonin from CVS. Easy and cheep. Get yourself some.