How To Get To Sleep (For Night Owls).

There are a number of ways you can better manage your sleep and admittedly I fail on quite a few on the following list.

Sleep has always been a ‘Will I/Won’t I’ situation. I’m a creature of the night. More commonly known as ‘A Night Owl’. Apparently, I’m among 20% of the population who prefers the absence of the sun, as opposed to watching it rise. We would much rather go to bed well after Cinderella’s dress turns back to rags, and wake sometime after lunch.

This has been a constant throughout my life. What I thought was a “teenage phase” is actually just my personality. I’ve gotten better with the help of various things, the most effective being cutting out caffeine after four p.m. However, due to my elevated levels of anxiety and my tendency to have nightmares, *medication has been my saving grace.

*With that being said, I don’t always have to take medication.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep is essential for not only our physical health but also our mental health. It’s just as important as eating, drinking, breathing, etc. Sleep and poor health are strongly related. Without enough of it, you can find yourself suffering from some serious side effects.

You may even die.

While we sleep our body recovers from physical and mental strain. We go into a hyper relaxed state where our tendons, neurons, brain cells (etc) can all repair themselves in peace.

Want to learn more about sleep? Check out the Festival of Sleep for more information!

Are you lacking sleep?


Natural Ways To Get To Sleep;

1. Schedule.

Set yourself a time to go to bed each night and stick to it. Night owls are usually attracted to the night, and that’s fine, but you can’t be in a relationship with it. We’re diurnal mammals by nature after all.

Regular sleeping and waking times have been proven to be beneficial to our bodies and help prevent chronic sleep issues. In order to keep a regular schedule determine how much sleep you need. Think about when you need to get up for work in the morning, and then work your way backward by eight hours. Whatever you come up with is the time you should be going to bed at. Bear in mind the time it takes to get ready for bed and the wind-down period in between.

This whole schedule also applies to your days off. Don’t go thinking you can stay up late and then just lie in the next day. Once you get out of the routine you risk a sleepless Sunday night, and there’s nothing worse than pre-Monday insomnia.

2. Learn to shut down.

There are many ways to wind down in the evening. You could try bedtime meditation, yoga for sleep, a warm bath, nature sounds, white noise, or simply deep breathing.

It’s also suggested that you completely switch off from emails, phone calls, text messages, etc a few hours before bedtime. This is to reduce the levels of interference from technology.

3. Make your bedroom a ‘sleep-friendly’ haven.

This is a personal failure on my part. I raise my hand up to and say ‘Oops!‘ wholeheartedly. Apparently, if we remove electronics from the bedroom we’re more likely to get a healthy nights sleep because we’re free from distraction. Who knew?!

You should also ensure that the bedroom is kept as dark as possible to aid in the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Some would go as far as to say that the room should be kept cool as it promotes healthy sleep.

I have a different idea in regards to the light and temperature of the room, but this is just a personal preference. I don’t like the cold, so I always go to bed with a hot water bottle.

The lighting situation is a tough one too. I prefer a dim light in the bedroom as opposed to complete darkness. Yes, I know, grown-ass woman scared of the dark? What!? I’m not scared, just apprehensive. Having a dim light on in the bedroom makes me feel safer mostly because sleep paralysis is a very real fear of mine.

4. Keep an eye on your intake before bed.

Limit your caffeine well before your bedtime. I try to cut myself off at four in the afternoon at the very latest. In fact, my mother, who also has issues with sleep, recently took the plunge and switched to decaf. She’s told me that since giving up caffeine on a daily basis her sleep has been somewhat regulated for the first time in years.

You don’t have to go cold turkey on the caffeine. Switch to decaf at about three in the afternoon before going any further. Fight the early evening lull (which we all get, it’s chemistry folks) with a few stretches or get some fresh air.

5. Keep your workouts as early in the day as possible.

You would think getting in a late gym session would tucker you out but no, quite the opposite. Working out provides adrenalin and stimulus to your brain neither of which sit well when trying to get over to sleep.

If possible keep the workouts for the morning hours or early afternoon. Don’t head to the gym at eleven-thirty if you can’t sleep. I’ve made that mistake so you don’t have to!

6. Remember; Rest is important.

I get it. The world is full of distractions. Just look at Netflix; You could sit down with the intention to watch one episode of Friends. Next thing you’re eight seasons in, and you’ve just found out Rachel is pregnant.

Rest is more important than Rachel’s baby daddy (spoiler; It’s Ross). You need to remind yourself that taking the time to wind down and rest is good for you. Feeling fatigued due to inadequate sleep is a real mood killer, and can impact many other areas of your life. Your productivity, appearance, social skills and ability to handle difficult situations all suffer when we’re chronically fatigued.

7. Make sure you get enough rest.

So, you stayed up to three watching the latest Louis Theroux documentary and still have to get up at seven for work? No biggie. Right?

If this is consistency in your life, it can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Although it’s tempting to think you can just catch up on sleep during your weekend, the truth is you can’t. The body doesn’t work that way.

On average you need at least seven hours of sleep each night or eight for good measure. If you’re a particularly active adult you could need even more than this and if you’re still within the teenage bracket it’s thought you need at least ten hours!


Sleep isn’t for the weak. You can’t just sleep when you’re dead or catch up on it at a later date. Sleep is important to not only our mental health but also to our physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

If you’re having problems getting over to sleep speak to your GP. Together you can hopefully come up with a plan to try and combat negative patterns without the use of harsh medications. However, if medication is the only option, remember to take responsibility.

Have you any more tips to help those of us who have a rocky relationship with sleep?

** If you like what I do please consider donating to my Ko-Fi. Your support helps keep this blog alive and helps improve my content in the future.

54 comments

  1. Sleep is so important! I had problems getting to sleep and even waking up in the middle of the night sometimes. I cut caffeine after lunch and no screens in bed – or maybe just 10min instead of 1h long death scroll. Now I read or make crosswords. That makes me sleepy by 11pm. Chamomile tea is my friend too.

  2. Pingback: 8 Benefits of Yoga. Wellness & Yoga - Nyxie's Nook
  3. Hi Nyxie. Great tips here! I find it hard falling asleep and these tips sound helpful! I’ll dedinitely implement them! Thank you! Always nice reading your blog!

  4. I just came back to this to try to use some of the points in it. I really need to get better sleep.

  5. It’s rubbish, isn’t it? For once mine isn’t even anxiety-related – I’m literally thinking about cool bug facts or something and I just can’t switch off!

  6. My husband needs this!! He always stays up way too late then complains he’s tired ????

  7. I’m exactly the same at the moment, pet. My anxiety is haywire, but I also have random thoughts pop into my head right as I’m about to drift off. It’s so annoying! Sometimes I just need to hide under the covers in complete darkness and wait for sleep, which often doesn’t come. xx

  8. I need to get back into mine, but going to work at 5.30am has just threw me. I’ll get there again eventually!
    Thanks for stopping in and reading pet 😀

  9. I’ve certainly got a rocky relationship with sleep right now – my mind is ridiculously active in the evening and I just can’t shut it down! Tried loads of different things but still not working – it’s weird because I’m not even worrying or anything, just thinking about stuff (I have a tendency to theorise in my daydreams, leading me down a whole network of rabbit holes). I think I need to try a few other of the things you’ve suggested, as sleep deprivation is really not a good thing.

  10. We need all these recommendations! Not every night is the same – sleep can be great or we can be night owls too.

  11. I am definitely a night owl so I needed this post. I think removing the electronics helps so much.

  12. An exceptionally well written post that will help many people. Thankfully I do not have any sleep problems, but will share with a few friends.

  13. These are such great ideas to help you sleep! Sometimes I sleep too much and I always wake up in the night too! I might use some of your tips, thank you for sharing xx

  14. One on top above all for me is to learning to shut down and get rid of all the stress long before sleeping.

  15. I was always a night owl but in the past year have found myself bouncing out of bed (or dragging myself out of bed) at 6am. Mostly to start writing but also to stick to a routine while trying to heal. I hope you manage to get your sleep back on track! Thank you for stopping in and reading 🙂

  16. I’m getting better at this sleeping stuff too, but it’s mostly down to medication and a weighted blanket.
    Thank you for stopping in and reading 🙂

  17. I find that too about screen time. If I turn off the PC/Laptop an hour or so before bedtime, I just feel so much better. The same goes for my phone. I try to keep it away from me at bedtime, but being a freelancer it can be hard to shut off sometimes.

    Thank you for stopping in and reading, pet 🙂

  18. Sleeps a weird one for me. Depending on my mood I can go from restless for weeks to sleeping as soon as my head hits the pillow. One thing stays the same; my quality of sleep is garbage. I’m always tired. I found that (as I work at a PC) it’s better to sleep after a period of time without a screen in front of you, sort of detoxing from the blue (I think) light that bothers you somehow (something someone else advised, no idea tbh) but that seemed to help a bit when it came to getting some more rest.

  19. I read many comments here too.It seems I am not alone.I also stay late and get up early.I know that i am lack of good sleep and I know it is not healthy.But it is difficult to adjust to a routine of early sleeping with the kind of work I do.But I must try!Thanks for this reminding post. 🙂

  20. I am such a night owl. Plus I have my home office attached to my bedroom right now. I know it breaks all the rules of home, work, and rest, but it is what I need to do for now. And I have had sleep problems my whole adult life. I discovered magnesium about a year ago. It has been a game changer for me.
    Your article is spot on!

  21. Great post! I am a night owl and have always been my whole life. I feel like I have teenaged sleeping patterns well into adulthood. It doesn’t help that I had a hard time winding down, and am pretty much glued to my electronics hours before bed. This is a great post, lots of helpful information. Thanks!

  22. Hi Nyxie,

    This post really resonated with me. I used to be an early bird but since last year, I’ve somehow become a night owl and now prefer the company of the lamp instead of the sun. Sleep has been problematic and I’ve been living on coffee ever since. My mission this year is to be as regimented as possible so I can go to bed at the hour that I must.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it 🙂

  23. OMG Same! I always said it was because I didn’t drink as much but I’m not so sure! I think my body just hates me to get comfortable!

  24. Great post. I have huge sleep problems. Consuming light and water before trying to sleep is awful but I do it anyway. Why am I always so thirsty late in the day?

  25. Thank you for taking the time to read my post 🙂 I love the night. The stillness, the quiet – it all just motivates me. It’s when I’m my most creative. But I’m not 16 anymore, I have to start getting enough sleep so I can cope during the day. Sad, but true. Now I’m up with the sunrise due to a loveable but annoying cat, I’m not happy about it but the morning also holds a certain stillness.

    I’ll still be a member of that 20% though!

  26. I knew it was Ross! 😉
    Great post- as a night owl this all really resonates.
    I do fear for my longterm health however it had allowed me develop a keen skill for surviving on less sleep (very handy as a parent).

    Much as the introvert-extrovert dialogue has for many years been shaped by the loud ones, my experience has been that the argument is governed by the puritanical ( ha-ha!) early birds. “Did you see the sunrise?” “Best part of the day” blah blah!
    There is a beauty & stillness in the night that many aren’t aware of.
    Now is only society and my children would meet me lie in I’d be in tune with my own chronotypograhy and get enough sleep. Here’s hoping!

    Viva la 20%!

  27. The medication I’m on has worked but now I’m overly tired all the time and just want to nap!

    I’m an overthinker too and often would have found myself getting up at 3am because I needed to check something, write something down or find something I lost/forgot I needed 3 months ago. Honestly, it’s a problem!

    Thank you for stopping by and reading 🙂

  28. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and respond.

    I am like you right now. Working away (on my blog) at home and this usually means I can’t turn my head off at night, thus I manage to stay up wayyyyyy to late. That being said my brain works better at night, but sadly we aren’t wired that way!

  29. I’ve always been such a bad sleeper, part due to my lack of ANY type of routine and also because I’m a chronic over thinker and as soon as my head hits that pillow the anxiety goes from background noise to being in a full on rage! I’ve tried it all in the past, too, including medication. Has any of it worked? Has it heck.

    In the last few days I have however embarked on trying to work with a new schedule and I’m forcing myself up in a morning again (being a stay at home/work from home Mom is dangerous for sleeping patterns), also making sure I get a quick work out in.. I’m absolutely shattered right now and I’ve not got up at 8AM, but have managed to get out of bed in the morning, with a 9:30 start today being my absolute latest.. It’s already working wonders for me. I’m so tired from being up early and getting in a morning workout that I’m asleep almost instantly.. I’m just hoping it doesn’t take too long for my body to catch up to the change because I’m in constant yawn mode today. I really am starting to think the whole determination and work out thing is the key.

    Davis | http://www.everythingstartswithtea.co.uk

  30. With working from home it is sooooo easy to get distracted. I work typically at night when my husband leaves for work. He’s gone, anybody who normally would call is asleep, and the world is quiet. Perfect time to work! I have a nice routine, honestly. But with blogging, it can be damn near impossible to shut my brain off at times. I hate that! So I end up going to lay down and 47 FB/Twitter notifications later, I’m still working, just laying in bed instead of from the couch or my desk. It’s frustrating. My biggest issue is when I stay up too late and get out of my normal schedule. It takes me a good 2-3 weeks to get back to normal. So I take great care to sleep at my “normal” time. I also use the ‘do not disturb’ function on my phone a lot. It’s amazing to silence the non-stop notifications.

  31. Thank you for reading 🙂 I really appreciate it.

    I’m currently having issues sleeping again since coming home from vacation so I’ve found myself having to revert back to this post for guidance 🙂

  32. Love the name of your blog!

    Also, “better living through chemistry” is a motto to live by in our house. So glad you found something that allows you to shut down and rest!

    All my best,
    Debra

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