3 Things I Quit to Sleep Better at Night

Inside:  We all know quality sleep is important, but getting it is more difficult for some than others. Here you’ll find the 3 things I quit to help me sleep better at night. 

Sleep Better at Night

I used to wake up all the time in the middle of the night and stay awake for hours, worried about the most obscure things. Tiny things that would never bother me during the light of day, scenarios that were likely never going to happen, and conversations yet to be had, would keep me tossing and turning. I’d lay there, trying to reason with my own brain, somehow managing to grow more anxious as the night moved on. It was the worst.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve made three small, but impactful habit changes that have led me to sleep straight through the night almost every single night. In fact, it worked so well, so quickly, that I considered writing about it months ago. However, I wanted to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. That I wasn’t just overly exhausted or coincidently had a few weeks of great sleep. But after six+ months of sleeping better than I ever have in my adult life I figured it was time to share my tips for how to sleep better at night.

How I’ve Managed to Sleep Better at Night

1. I Stopped Drinking Coffee After 9:30am.

I know, I know, your afternoon diet coke is keeping you alive. Keep reading though. I’ve been there. But quitting caffeine early in the day pays off. Every now and then I’ll break my own rule, but I almost always regret it at night when I do.

I allow myself to drink as much coffee as humanly possible as long as I stop drinking it by 9:30-9:40am max.

2. I Moved my Phone Out of my Bedroom.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this tip. At one point I heard Simon Sinek give a talk in which he, himself, offered to buy me an alarm clock if I’d just move my phone out of my room. I just never thought it would work for me. I mean, “I NEED my phone next to my bed.” It served as my reading light and my alarm clock.

sleep better at night

But after recently reading, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, by Mark Comer, I finally decided it was time to give it a whirl. I bought myself both an alarm clock and a reading light and BLAMO, problem solved. I now look forward to plugging my phone in for the evening and falling asleep to a goos historical fiction novel instead of Michael Scott.

3. I Quit Wine.

Alcohol is to anxiety as gasoline is to a fire.” -unknown

I read this line somewhere on Instagram, but don’t recall where.  Because of it, I started to wonder if perhaps those nights when I woke up most anxious happened to be the same nights I drank wine before bed. I quit wine back in January, and stopped waking up worried at three in the morning!sleep better at night

Now, I feel it’s important to note that I’m not announcing I’ll live totally alcohol-free forever. I love a good Bell’s Oberon on a summer afternoon.

When I say I made these habit changes, it doesn’t mean you won’t find me sometime this summer, enjoying a McDonald’s diet coke at 1pm. It’s not that I’ll never have another glass of French rose with dinner again. These are just major habit changes. I was in the HABIT of pounding coffee until noon, drinking wine many nights, and watching Netflix or texting friends as a means to fall asleep. Those habits weren’t serving me, so I worked to change them.

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, give these tips a whirl. I’d love to know if they happen to work as well for you as they did for me.

Do you have any other tips for how to sleep better at night?


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10 thoughts on “3 Things I Quit to Sleep Better at Night

  1. I too keep all the habits that you mentioned “most” of the time. I do make exceptions occasionally. Alcohol was guaranteed to wake me up at 2 am even though I had been using it to help me fall asleep. Now I have a cup of peppermint or chamomile (I prefer the blended Chamomile Nights Stash Tea) in the evenings. That works great for me.

  2. Interesting read. Definitely no tea or coffee after 5pm for me- not even decaff. If I have a warm drink it is peppermint tea or sleepy tea (camomile) or cocoa. Phone is never in bedroom at night and is switched off til morning. I read my book- not a kindle- for 20 minutes most nights before I sleep. In bed at a similar time most nights too as if I stay up too late it does make me lethargic the next day.

  3. These are all great ideas! I stop looking at my phone after 8 p.m. and also started the habit of reading before bed. It helps more than one would think.

  4. Paper and pen by my bed to put my “Hope I Don’t Forgets” (aka: mulling over and keeping me awake)

  5. There are a few things I do to sleep better at night.
    1. I avoid most screens after 9pm at the latest, including the TV. I get into bed and read from a physical book for the last hour or two of my night or listen to a sleep story on the Calm app with the screen turned off.
    2. I stop eating at least 3 hours before bed. I had to do this due to acid reflux and discovered I slept better as well as better controlled my reflux without meds.
    3. I practice Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breath if I feel tense or anxious before bed. Calms me down every time and it becomes more effective the more often you practice it.
    4. I don’t vary my sleep schedule by more than an hour. Unless there is an emergency I plan to be in bed by 10pm most nights. I have an alarm just in case but usually wake just before it goes off.
    5. If your neighborhood is noisy like mine, Mack’s earplugs are a godsend!

  6. Yeah, I feel like it took me way too long to make the connection between wine and waking up in the middle of the night. I thought it helped me sleep. I too swapped wine for sleepy time tea.

  7. That’s a good idea. I need to do that. There have been a few times where I’ve hopped up and gone to my phone to send myself a note for the next day. Paper and pen would probably solve that. Thanks!

  8. Love it. I do the sleepy time tea too. 🙂 And I can’t do decaf coffee either. I totally get in my head about it. “What if they accidentally gave me caffeinated!?” Thanks for sharing!

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