Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep Tonight!


We all have to do it, and we have lots of wants and desires about it.  We can’t change much about it through willpower, attitude, or motivation.  But honestly, when you are getting optimal sleep on the regular, pretty much everything else improves.

Sleep is a biological necessity, just like food and water.  Your body does some essential things while you sleep.

  1. Restores and rebuilds – sleep lowers inflammatory markers and boosts recovery hormones.
  2. Consolidates information learned during the day and stores it in long-term memory. This is true for social, emotional, and physical. One example of this is muscle memory.

To understand sleep, you need to think of it as a 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, a continuous loop, your circadian rhythm.  Each stage affects the next, as you can probably relate.  Most people are familiar with the late-night/dragging the next day scenario.

This sleep/wake cycle has three factors that influence it.

  • Sleep Drive – biological hunger for sleep that builds while you are awake.The longer you are awake, the more likely you are to fall asleep.  A neurotransmitter builds while awake, triggering the need to sleep approximately 16 hours after waking up.  This response differs for everyone, but 16 hours is the average.  While you sleep, your body metabolizes this neurotransmitter and clears it from your body.  If you sleep long enough, you wake up feeling refreshed and alert.  If you don’t sleep long enough, there will still be some lingering in your system, and although you may feel fine when you wake up, you notice that you hit a wall in the middle of the afternoon.  This process can also work against you, though.  Say you sleep in on Sunday morning, but you have an early meeting on Monday morning, so you go to bed early Sunday night.  If you were not awake long enough to build up that neurotransmitter, you wouldn’t be sleepy enough to fall asleep, and hello, insomnia!
  • Circadian Rhythm – the ebb and flow of your internal 24-hour clock dictates when you are sleepy or alert.It is usual for there to be a mild dip mid-afternoon, usually 8-9 hours after waking, and a mild spike 14-15 hours after waking.  Thus that 2 pm sleepiness that is so common many cultures use this as the opportunity for a “siesta.”  It is also why we get that “second wind” after we have been up for 14-15 hours.  One theory for this is that evolutionary-wise, falling asleep as the sun went down was not the safest thing to do.  You had to have enough energy to prepare a safe place to sleep, make a fire, etc.  It is short-lived, but it is there if you are in a generally rested state.
  • Stress (Fight-or-Flight) – When your brain thinks you are in danger, it will not let you fall asleep.Imagine you are camping and you hear a bear tearing apart your camp.  Do you think you would be able to fall asleep?  In our daily lives, we have lots of stressors that can make our brain believe we are in danger – work deadlines, bills, kids, etc.  The body’s stress response is the same.  We can not reason ourselves out of this response.  Some people have been under stress for so long; they don’t even realize it anymore.  One doctor I know calls this type of person a “stress leper.”  This kind of stress is what is driving the insomnia problem many people face.

5 Ways to improve sleep

1. Daytime Behaviors.    

  • Be active – exercise and other physical activities enable you to feel more tired and increase your “sleep drive.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6045928/  
  • Drink water -Staying hydrated throughout the day helps to ease the “flight or fight” response.  Just remember that chugging water at night to meet your hydration goal is counterproductive because you will be waking throughout the night to urinate!
  • Avoid afternoon caffeine – Many people think that caffeine late in the day does not affect them.  Caffeine may not stop you from falling or staying asleep, but it will impact how much deep, restorative sleep you can achieve.
  • Don’t eat close to bedtime – You want your body to be in as restful a state as possible when it is time to sleep, and digestion is a very active process.

2. Lock in your pre-bed routine

This consistent routine lets your brain know that it is indeed time to sleep.  Beyond brushing your teeth or putting on pajamas, this routine could include: stretching or yoga, listening to relaxing music, a hot bath or shower or reading the old-fashioned way, and turning off your devices.

3. Create an optimal sleep environment.      

  • Get comfortable – make sure you have the most comfortable mattress, pillow, and sheets you can.  And those cold toes?  They are keeping you from getting deep sleep.  Go put some socks on already!
  • Get your bedroom as dark as possible – It’s ol to go overboard in this area.  I even have electrical tape over anything that glows in my bedroom!  Blackout curtains are a fantastic option!
  • Cool it down – Ideally 68 degrees or less.  If that is not an option, then a fan is a fabulous alternative.  You get a breeze plus white noise, BONUS!  
  • No noise – earplugs or a white noise (fan) machine will do the trick if you live in a noisy environment.

4.  Maintain your circadian rhythm by being consistent –

You want to try to go to bed and wake up as close to the same time as possible every day.  Being consistent helps your body regulate that sleep drive and your brain to turn on and off the hormones needed for falling asleep and waking up at the proper times.

5.  Supplements

Even with the best of intentions, we sometimes need a little help.  Especially if we are chronically sleep-deprived (whether we know it or not), are shift workers, or are dealing with a stressful stage of life that does not allow for our flight or fight system to turn off.        

  • Melatonin is an antioxidant and a hormone naturally produced by healthy bodies that tell our brains to start winding down.  Several things can disrupt production, so many people take a small dose before bed to help them fall asleep.    
  • CBD products are also gaining popularity in this area.  
  • Herbal teas are a popular product.  Many different brands make a bedtime version that usually includes chamomile, valerian, lavender, and the like.

Dawn Giammalvo

After hearing about Pilates for a few years and even working out on an in-home reformer, Dawn decided to attend her first Pilates class in 2005. Little did she know that her life would be changed that day and the path to Fitlosophy would begin. Her instructor; who not only trained with Joseph Pilates but is also a physical therapist, pointed out that she had scoliosis. No doctor had ever diagnosed her with that before even though she had been dealing with back pain for over a decade. With the help of her instructor, she learned the principles behind Pilates and what she needed to do to relieve her pain and build her strength.

What is a Health Coach?

Health and wellness coaches partner with clients seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhance well-being. In the course of their work health and wellness coaches display unconditional positive regard for their clients and a belief in their capacity for change, and honoring that each client is an expert on his or her life while ensuring that all interactions are respectful and non-judgmental.

What’s The Big Deal About A National Certification for Health Coaching?

Coaching has been around for a long time, there are sports coaches, career coaches, life coaches, and nutrition coaches, and in the past 10 years health coaches have come on the scene. There were never any guidelines as to who could call themselves a coach. You can choose to coach your child’s baseball team and suddenly you are a coach.

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Gifties and Discounts!

I am frequently asked what are my favorite products because my clients and friends know that I have been trying to clean up all the things I use in my home as well as what I put in and on my body for years now. I am always trying new products, but all of the products listed below are tried and true favorites. I hope you enjoy checking these out and hopefully get some Christmas shopping done as well!

Perfect Butternut Squash Soup

well y’all, i am not a food blogger, nor do i play one on tv, but this is a tasty soup! it has gotten pretty chilly here, and we even had a few snowflakes the other day, so that means it is time to make soup. last winter, i came up with this recipe after all the butternut squash soup recipes i found included apples or something sweet, and i just wasn’t feeling it. feel free to skip to the end if you just want the recipe – because sometimes life moves too fast to read all the things.

Thermography – A Tool for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Improving Our Chances to Catch Breast Cancer Early and SurviveWe all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; we’ve been hearing that for years. We are more than aware of breast cancer. We all know someone or know of someone who has had it or is currently fighting it. 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

Vitamin D and Your Immune System

Vitamin D boosts your immune system and lowers inflammation. Inflammation is what leads to more significant difficulties in fighting Covid. Studies have shown an increased chance of getting COVID with lower than optimal vitamin D levels. Update – As summarized by NewsWise: “New data from a recent study indicates that active forms of Vitamin D can inhibit the replication and expansion of Covid-19.

5 Ways to Fire Up Your Metabolism and Keep It That Way!

Metabolism can be defined as the process by which our bodies convert what we eat and drink into the energy we need to fuel all the basic automatic processes like breathing and cell division as well as the energy needed to walk, run and all the other activities we choose to do. Metabolism tends to slow with age making it easier to add on a few pounds and difficult to get them back off again.

Why am I starting a new career as a Health Coach?

The answer is long and not fully known by most people, but I thought it fitting that I put it into words in this first blog post so that you understand my motivation and maybe will decide to work with me one day. I warn you this is on the long side, but I promise future posts will be much shorter

Why Disposable Masks May Be Doing You and the Environment More Harm Than Good

This post is NOT a pro or anti-mask rant, everyone made their decisions long ago about the efficacy of masks. This is hopefully an eye-opening look at the dark side of disposable masks. After reading this post, I hope you will strive to make healthier choices about the masks you decide to wear. Better for you and better for the environment. Because disposable masks truly are doing more harm than good.

Minestrone Soup

Soup, my goodness how I love a good bowl of soup and this is one of my favorites! my mother-in-law gave this recipe to me years ago and until I went digital, it was the most stained and ragged little index card you ever did see. That, by the way, is how you know that there is magic written on that recipe card! you know what I am talking about.

New Year’s Resolutions

Today is the day, this is the year you are going to make all those changes you want to make in your life! Have you said that to yourself before? How did it work out? Want to learn some easy steps to make this year different? To actually make and KEEP those changes? Read on….

Thanksgiving Dinner: Healthier Subs that Taste Amazing!

There you have it! The first recipe roundup I’ve ever at Fitlosophy! I hope you have found it helpful and it has made your Thanksgiving prep a little easier! Make sure all the things on your table will make your body happy and not make you feel ill so that you can enjoy the day, and then most importantly, enjoy this day with your loved ones. Eat all the things – without guilt. Laugh, love, and cherish what is most important. Until next time friends, take care and stay well!

Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep Tonight!

if you are having trouble sleeping or you are not waking up rested and refreshed, consider trying some of these suggestions and see if it helps. I look forward to hearing about your experiences!


Gain a fresh perspective on healthy living.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.