What’s Your Secret to Sleeping Well?

I have a consistent bedtime routine that ensures I fall asleep each night and wake up fairly well-rested:

  • At 10:00 each night, I turn on my heated blanket at the foot of my bed so my cold feet can be toasty warm. It turns off automatically after a few hours.
  • I try to get into bed around 10:30/10:45 and read fiction for 30-45 minutes on my Kindle. This transitions my brain from work mode to dream mode.
  • I turn down the temperature to 69 degrees each night, as I’ve found I sleep better when it’s cold (I’m warm under the covers).
  • For a long time I used a sleep talk app to monitor the weird things I say at night, but it got to the point where it just picked up me snoring, so I stopped using it.
  • Biddy (cat #1) typically wakes me up around 6:30, followed by Walter (cat #2) around 7:00.

Despite that routine, I would say that I’m only sleeping about 85-90% as well as I should. Part of it is the cats, part of it is that I clench my teeth (I’m supposed to wear a nightguard for this, but it just makes me clench more), and part of it is my snoring. I’m a pretty aggressive snorer for the first hour each night.

So after watching a recent episode of Shark Tank, I decided to try to address the snoring and hopefully improve my sleep. This is where it gets a bit weird, folks. Bear with me. 🙂

The Shark Tank pitch was for a product called Somnifix. It’s a disposable adhesive strip that you put over your lips when you go to bed, and it prevents you from opening your mouth. Instead, you’re forced to breathe through your nose.

I was just as apprehensive as I was curious. It seemed pretty brilliant, as it’s not a drastic measure–it’s weird, but it’s not invasive. So I bought a pack and gave it a try for 4 days. Here are my thoughts:

  • I’ll start with the good news: Because I was forced to breathe through my nose, my throat felt amazing when woke up. Usually it’s really dry and/or irritated, but not after a night with the Somnifix.
  • The bad news is that my snoring is apparently based on my nose, not my mouth. I used the Sleep Talk app to record my second night with the Somnifix, and sure enough, the first hour was a full-on snorefest.
  • My subconscious was convinced that I had duct tape over my mouth, resulting in some weird dreams and 4 fitful nights of sleep. Somnifix acknowledges that it’s takes a while to get used to it, and I’m willing to try it a few more times, but I’m on the fence.

I was hoping it would be a magical, revolutionary experience, and it didn’t quite turn out that way. But it was worth a try.

What’s your secret to a great night of sleep? Have you ever tried any devices, apps, special routines, or other bed-related products?