I’m a light sleeper. This is a mixed blessing. While I can use my phone on vibrate as an alarm, making me an agreeable roommate, it’s still a pain to be woken up by EVERYTHING. We’re talking the smallest things: tiny red lights on electronics, the hall light peeking out under the door, and the faint smell of bananas in the next room etc. etc.
Yet, I have never lived alone, therefore I have developed a toolbox of tricks for light sleepers in order to cope! Each of these tips is aimed at one or more of the categories of things that wake me up or keep me awake: movement, sound, temperature, light, and stimulants (caffeine).
1. Eye masks. I always have two or more on hand in case I can’t find one late at night. These shut out the light from windows and under doors and from roommates electronics.
2. Don’t allow electronics in the bedroom OR, in a pinch, cover all electronics before bed–especially those with lights that flash!
3. Flux. This program changes your computer screen from blue glow to an orange glow in time with the sunset. This means using the computer after dark is less likely to interfere with sleep. Still…
4. Turn off electronics 1 hour before you want to go to sleep. For me, the biggest temptation is watching YouTube or Amazon Prime. It’s not worth it. Try reading literature instead! I especially recommend a good story with writing that requires focus–you will easily fall asleep, but still want to keep reading tomorrow night!
5. Avoid drinking water after 8 PM. This means drink more earlier in the day so you will be hydrated!
6. Avoid caffeine after noon; avoid decaf versions of anything after 5 PM.
7. White noise. I’ve been using White Noise Ambience Lite, a free white noise application, for about one year. It is helpful to block out what’s going on around you (literally, around you–we’re talking about roommates!) with a calming sound.
8. Keep the thermostat a little lower at night. Snuggling in blankets is more conducive to sleep than sweating.
9. Skip dessert–especially sugary desserts and chocolate. Good quality chocolate has some caffeine in it, and as a light sleeper, that will not work to your advantage.
10. Avoid eating late. Laying down too soon after you eat is can cause or exacerbate reflux of stomach acid. It’s better to eat a several hours before bed.
Bonus Tip: Be more physically active during the day! It will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better at night.
Are you a light sleeper? What has worked for you? Please share in the comments!