Getting to sleep can be a challenge for a lot of people. When we’re right there in the moment, it just seems like we’re having a bad night. Some nights, it seems sleep comes easy.
Other times, not so much. While getting to sleep may be a matter of chance in some cases, repeated issues are signs that there’s something deeper going on. The quality of your sleep, in most cases, is directly related to the things you’re doing in your daily life or the way your body is functioning.
We’re going to explore a few ways that you can improve your sleep in this article, hopefully helping you improve your sleep quality.
Let’s get started:
1. Make Your Bed Each Morning
This one is fundamental, but it does actually have an impact on how well you sleep. It doesn’t have to be each morning or at any time in particular, but sleeping in a made bed will help you in the long term.
It’s a matter of the order of the sheets and blankets. Laying down in a tangled mess of blankets and just figuring it out from there will leave you in uneven positions throughout the night. If you’re entirely under a flat blanket or sheet as you sleep, you’ll be much more consistent.
2. Associate the Bedroom with Sleep and Sex Only
A big part of the modern difficulty with sleep is the fact that many of us are using our phones and computers in bed before we try to wind down. This harms us in a couple of ways.
First, the light from these screens tricks our brains into thinking that our bodies should be awake. You might have experienced a night when you looked at your phone long enough to feel wired and not tired at all. Second, those devices, especially computers, create different pockets of heat in the bed that can affect the natural process of sleep.
Finally, and most importantly, doing these activities in bed tells your body that the bed isn’t just a place for sleep. If you can associate your bedroom with sleep and sex only, you’ll be much better off when it comes time to wind down. Try and take care of everything else in your living room or elsewhere, and your brain will start to relax when you get into bed.
3. Don’t Use Screens for About An Hour Before Bed
The less artificial light you pump into your head before you go to bed, the better. Ideally, you can take an hour or so before you actually go to bed to relax or take care of things around the house. Sitting on your phone or computer can absolutely put your body into a different, more awake state than it would normally be in.
Do your best to find relaxing things to do that don’t involve screens for the time before you get to bed. You’ll find that your body enters its natural circadian rhythm and starts to get tired more easily than before.
4. Avoid Caffeine Past 2 PM
Another big component of modern society that gives people restless nights is coffee. Coffee is a great way to get perked up, and there are even some health benefits, but many people are affected by caffeine for hours upon hours after they consume it.
This is especially true if you don’t typically drink coffee. Avoid coffee or any other product with caffeine after mid-afternoon. Generally, give yourself about 6 hours for your body to process the caffeine before you have to hit the sack.
5. Avoid Sugary Products in The Afternoon
That bowl of ice cream or dessert after dinner might be what’s keeping you up at night. The same goes for little pre-bedtime snacks and candies. They may seem small, but those products contain grams of sugar that run through your body and produce a lot of energy.
While it’s nice to wind down with a good treat, that treat could be impacting the quality of your sleep significantly.
6. Get Regular Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to expend energy and help your body relax and wind down for sleep. If you get some cardio in before or just after dinner, your body will feel expended and you’ll have an easier time sleeping.
Sleep is also improved when you’re generally healthier, so doing things that are good for your body will come around to help you sleep.
7. Strength Training
Whether it’s pushups in the evening or a full-blown workout routine, getting strength training into your daily life will improve your sleep. Physical exercise produces endorphins which relax us, making us feel more calm and comfortable throughout the day. That helps us wind down, but so does the fact that strength training expends energy and exhausts us.
8. Get in The Sun
Evolutionarily, the sun is our body’s clock for sleep. As the sun rises, so does our body, and vice versa.
Much of our modern days are spent entirely inside or with no reference to the daylight our where the sun is sitting in the sky. So, even if you do have to be inside for most of the day, try your best to be near a window.
In reality, though, you should be getting outside for a significant chunk of time. Getting outdoors has shown to improve insomnia in some studies. If you can’t get outside, there are options for lights you can purchase that provide similar effects.
9. Cut Out the Naps
Naps are often the most amazing things after a hard morning or a difficult night. That said, a nap throws a wrench right into your sleep situation and leaves you irregular.
If you do need to take naps, try to take naps at regular times and for fixed amounts of time, if at all.
Once you cut the naps and start experiencing better sleep, your need for nap time won’t be as strong and you’ll find that your overnight sleep provides you with the rest that you need.
10. Get Into a Schedule
We’ve mentioned the circadian rhythm a few times in this article. This rhythm operates in part from our biology, and in part from the way that we behave. One way we can tweak our behavior to improve our circadian rhythm is to get to bed and wake up at regular times.
If you can get down around the same time every night and sleep for the same amount of time, your body will adjust to that process. You’ll be set like a clock and you’ll get right down.
11. Improve Your Diet
This is a vague one, but it’s absolutely something that has an impact on your sleep. Try to avoid eating sugary and processed foods. Instead, opt for natural foods and things that grow from the earth.
If you look into your fridge and see nothing that will go bad in the next few weeks, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Explore some fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and see how it impacts your sleep.
12. Try Sleep Gummies
Give yourself a little help sleeping by trying out amazing sleep gummies that taste great and help you go to bed. There are a lot of products out there that are designed specifically to help you sleep well.
13. Try Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is our body’s natural sleep hormone. It’s possible to buy melatonin supplements almost anywhere that over-the-counter medication is sold.
These pills are extremely effective at getting you to sleep and will help you set your circadian rhythm back into a healthy position.
14. Avoid Alcohol
Many of us enjoy a glass of wine or beer after or during dinner. In some cases, we enjoy a good deal more than a glass or two.
It’s best not to make a habit out of drinking in the evening, though. Drinking can contribute to symptoms like snoring, sleep apnea, and unhealthy sleep patterns that disrupt the restfulness of your night.
Alcohol can also decrease your body’s natural sleep hormone production, causing you to wake up at strange times throughout the night, for example.
15. Invest in A New Bed
Beds play a big part in the quality of our sleep. It’s possible to tune your bed to the positions that you sleep, your weight, and much more.
If you’re setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep with beds and pillows, you’ll have a better chance of establishing a healthy sleep life in the long run. A bad bed can contribute to long term issues like back and neck problems.
Those problems can be avoided if you select a new bad that’s equipped to support you night after night. You’ll find that the improvement from a new bed helps significantly with your energy throughout the day.
Hopefully, some of the ideas above can help you improve your sleep quality. There’s a lot more to learn if you want to, though. We’re here to help.
Explore our site for more ideas and insights into improving your general sense of health and wellbeing.
*Photos by Vlada Karpovich