Sleep Training: 5 Unique Sleep Tips for Better Sleep

Sleep Training: 5 Unique Sleep Tips for Better Rest

Apr 30, 2024

If your sleep habits are a hot mess, gather ‘round, because this article is for you. Tossing and turning shouldn’t be your full-time job. While we have myriad sleep resources on our site, this article is for the quirky folk, the ones who might enjoy the unconventional methods. No more excuses, no more bleary-eyed mornings. Let’s get into it.


How to go to Sleep? Do a Brain Dump!

We’ve all been there: lying in bed, ready for the sweet embrace of slumber, but your mind is abuzz with thoughts—work deadlines, mentally drafting your grocery list, pondering life’s mysteries, and that embarassing moment from years ago that still makes you cringe. Sound familiar? Enter the brain dump. Before you cozy up under your covers, grab a notebook and a pen and start writing. Any lingering thoughts, worries, or tasks that occupy your mind. By externalizing mental clutter, you free up valuable headspace. Picture it like mental feng shui, and a brain dump is like decluttering your closet before bedtime. 


Eat (Wisely) Before Bed: Fuel Your Sleep

The age-old advice is to avoid eating before bedtime. And it remains true—a great rule of thumb is to avoid all food for at least three hours before bedtime. But here’s the twist: light snacks can actually promote better sleep. The key lies in choosing the right foods. We have an entire article dedicated to great night-take snacks here. Consider these sleep-friendly options:

  • Oatmeal with Nuts or Seeds: A small bowl of warm oatmeal sprinkled with nuts or seeds provides a gentle dose of complex carbohydrates and tryptophan—the precursor to serotonin and melatonin.
  • Bananas: Bananas are nature’s sleep aid. They contain both tryptophan and magnesium, which help relax muscles and calm the nervous system.
  • Herbal Tea: Sip on a cup of chamomile or valerian root tea. Chamomile contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to receptors in your brain, promoting sleepiness and reducing insomnia. These herbal infusions soothe your senses and prepare you for slumber. Bonus points if you swirl it counterclockwise under a full moon (okay, maybe not).


  • Turkey: Ah, turkey—the nutritional heavyweight of the bird world. This delicious poultry is rich in protein, riboflavin, phosphorus, and selenium. But the real sleep magic lies in its amino acid content, specifically tryptophan. Some studies suggest that moderate protein intake before bed is associated with better sleep quality, including fewer nighttime awakenings.
  • Kiwi: A personal favorite of ours, kiwis are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating sleep patterns. Some studies suggest that eating kiwi before bedtime may improve sleep onset, duration, and quality.


Remember, moderation is key. Avoid heavy meals or spicy foods close to bedtime, as they may cause dreams of dancing pepperoni.


The Power of Mantras: Repeating a Word

Sleep consultants propose a simple technique: repeating a calming word or phrase. If you’ve ever seen Seinfeld, you’ll be familiar with the phrase “serenity now”. Thing is, it actually works. Choose a soothing word like “peace,” “relax,” or “serenity” and focus on it as you lie in bed. Let it replace intrusive thoughts. The repetitive nature of this practice acts as a mental lullaby, quieting the mental chatter. It’s like whispering sweet dreams to your restless mind. Repeat until your brain waves do the Macarena.


Engage Your Brain: Fun Distractions That Work

Even though it may seem counterintuitive, engaging in cognitively challenging activities that divert your mind from stressors can really help you decompress before bed. Here are some ideas:

  • Puzzles: Whether it’s a crossword, Sudoku, chess or a jigsaw puzzle, these brain teasers shift your focus away from worries.
  • Reading: Choose a captivating book (preferably not a heart-pounding thriller) to transport your thoughts to a different world.
  • Mental Math: Challenge yourself with simple calculations or multiplication tables. 

By redirecting your mental energy, you pave the way for a more peaceful slumber. Your brain will be so busy, it won’t even remember that embarrassing thing from middle school.


How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?: Who Cares, Ditch the Clock

That ticking clock on your nightstand? It’s like a tiny stress factory. Hide the darn thing, especially if you find yourself checking it repeatedly once you’re in bed. Consider moving your clock or phone out of sight so you lose the impulse to check it frequently. Trust your body’s internal clock. Obsessing over minutes and hours only heightens the pressure to fall asleep. In some cases, you’re past your bedtime anyway. Counting the minutes won’t help. Let go, and allow yourself to drift off naturally.


There you have it, five unique tips for the exceptional being reading this article. Incorporate these unique sleep tips into your nightly ritual. Experiment, adapt, and conquer your sleep.. Remember, consistent sleep patterns lead to a healthier, happier you. Now go forth, and dream big.