When’s the last time you woke up refreshed, rejuvenated and excited about your day? How often do you find yourself up late, unable to sleep, because you can’t seem to stop thinking? Or can you remember going to bed without the stresses of the next day causing your mental stress or anxiety?

It’s not all in your head. Studies show that women experience insomnia more than men … and that more than 70% of women report having trouble sleeping. If you’re nodding your head in agreement as you read this, you’re probably one of them and you’re likely not getting adequate rest. 

We’re all busy (sometimes to our own detriment) and many of us juggle many different responsibilities at once. And since a good night’s sleep can fall low on the to-do list, the easy solution is to grab a sleep aid and hope for the best. But before you head to the store, let’s look at a few simple lifestyle adjustments that could be just what the dream fairy ordered.


In order to find a solution to your sleep problem, it’s important to know the actual cause. Start keeping a sleep diary. Track key information like the time you actually go to bed, the time you wake up and how many times you wake up during the night. Also, notate if you slept well or if you felt like you were tossing and turning all night. Fitness trackers like a FitBit have an inbuilt sleep tracker that can also tell you more about the quality of your sleep to help you see where you could be having problems.

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Our bodies conform to our habits. When you make it a habit to drink water, guess what? You start to crave it. The same goes for sleeping. If you create a nighttime ritual that signals the body that it’s time to wind down, with enough consistency, your body will fall in line. 

We’re women. We like to go with the flow. We tend to binge watch tv late at night, talk to our girlfriends until the wee hours of the morning or try to finish that last chapter before turning in… but these habits aren’t good for routine. And since almost a third of middle-aged women are getting less than 7 hours’ sleep a night, most of us could benefit from a nighttime ritual.

Keep it simple, so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. 

  • Set a bedtime.
  • About an hour before your bedtime do something relaxing (light a candle, drink a glass of wine, turn on soothing music, take a warm bath or shower, or read a book).
  • At your bedtime, shut off all distractions and attempt to go to sleep – initially you may find yourself laying there staring at the ceiling, but remember the goal is to create a ritual that your body adapts too.
  • Bonus tip: sprinkle drops of lavender essential oil on your pillows and put clean sheets on your bed more often.

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Sleep problems aren’t always caused by stressors in your life. Sometimes it’s your environment that keeping you from getting the rest you need. You make not even realize how the room and bed you sleep in can have a negative effect on your sleep quality.

  • Make sure that your bedroom is a comfortable temperature.
  • Eliminate excess light with blackout curtains.
  • Assess your bed to see if it’s causing your broken sleep – a worn out mattress can cause all sorts of issues, including insomnia.
  • If you find that it’s time to replace your existing mattress, make sure that you get one that gives you the best support and a comfortable night’s sleep. Take a look at this site for adjustable bed options which can definitely help if you find it hard to get comfortable on a standard mattress.
  • Make sure that your bedding is soft and comfortable and isn’t too hot or too cold. Neither night sweats or shivers will help you rest easy at night. 

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aunt ruby

How much attention do you give your monthly cycle? It’s an often overlooked contributor to lack of sleep in women. Most women get the least amount of sleep just before their monthly menstruation cycle. It can have to do with the minor lowering of your body temperature that happens after ovulation and a drop in hormone levels right before your period. It’s also important to know that if you suffer from PMS or PMDD that you may experience sleep issues brought on by those conditions. On the days just before your cycle is projected to start, take it easy, keep your to-do list light and intentionally set aside time for rest and relaxation. Unplug from your devices and take warm baths each evening to help you wind down.