We all want it, we all need it, and yet sometimes it is difficult to come by. Sleep. We need sleep in order to stay healthy and active. If you are having trouble getting to sleep at night then you have come to the right place. We have a long list of tips for how to get better sleep! All so you can start falling asleep and staying asleep easier. Give them all a try to discover what will help you to get your best sleep possible.
19 Top Tips For Better Sleep:
With a few simple adjustments you can help alleviate insomnia and start getting better sleep. Below we offer 19 simple ways to help improve you quality of sleep in a variety of ways. Try a couple or just one to see if a few minor tweaks are all you need to get the rest you need.
1) Create Your Ideal Sleep Space
Your bedroom should be a haven for sleep; an escape from the outside world! A place for peace, relaxation, and premium comfort. All so you can get your best sleep possible. This means removing any distractions, discomforts, or anything that stresses you out. This can include, outside light or noises, your workspace or to do lists, as well as any uncomfortable bedding.
Instead, create a space with a mattress and bedding that you love. As well as comforting sounds, sights, and smells. Create a bedroom that looks and feels inviting and relaxing. A space that welcomes you home after a hard day and encourages relaxation.
2) Learn Breathing Exercises
A great way to fall asleep a bit easier at night is by learning and practicing deep breathing exercises. We often hold a lot of stress and tension in our breathing. In fact, tight small breaths can even cause our bodies to increase stress and anxiety.
Deep, slow, intentional breathing can help to relax your mind and body. You will be surprised at how much tension you might be holding in your chest until you let it go and start breathing freely. It really makes a huge difference in your ability to relax and fall asleep.
3) Create Bed Time Rituals
When it comes to getting truly great sleep, our minds and bodies love repetition. When you do the same things when preparing for sleep, it sends signals to our minds to start settling down and releasing hormones like melatonin in order to induce sleep. When you create rituals that you do before bed, it can help you to inform your circadian rhythm and make it much easier and faster to calm down and fall asleep.
These rituals do not need to be anything out of the ordinary, it could be using the same hand lotion in bed, or a quick relaxing yoga routine that you do each night before brushing your teeth. Perhaps even putting on the same podcast each night while you begin to go to sleep. These familiar sights, actions, scents, etc. all can inform your body that we are preparing for bed! Time to go to sleep. Which can slow your body and mind in order to get to sleep faster.
4) Avoid Blue Light
Blue light is a certain type of light wave that mimics the light we receive from the sun. This particular kind of light sends signals to our brains that it is daytime. (Even if it is actually midnight and we are just watching TV.) These signals are translated and tells our brain to stay awake! Our bodies are built to take signals from our environment in order to regulate our sleep schedule.
When we are inputting a lot of blue light in the evenings, it becomes much more difficult for us to fall asleep. Blue light is often emitted by screens like smartphones, tablets, and televisions. The best option is to avoid these all together at night. Although you can also invest in blue light blocking glasses to wear when using tech in the evenings.
5) Turn Off Screens & Electronics
Blue light is not the only reason to turn off your screens and electronics at night. Electronics like tablets, smart phones, and TVs really make it very difficult to fall asleep for several reasons. The most important being that they are incredibly stimulating. The bright light, the endless stream of entertainment, it is all very addictive to our brains and keeps it very active. This makes it very difficult to put down in order to allow your brain to slow and fall asleep.
This can often lead to late nights where you are endlessly scrolling through videos or staying up all night watching your favorite TV show. While we recommend not bringing any screens into the bedroom at all, we understand that this is very difficult. Which is why, if you have to have your screens in bed with you, that you set a timer in order to turn it off. This will help you to regulate your use and get to sleep.
6) Listen To an Audiobook or Podcast
Do you remember the days when you were listening to a lecture in class and found yourself consistently falling asleep? (Just us?) Well, you can create a similar atmosphere at night before bed. When you remove all other stimulus like your smartphones or television and forced to only have one thing to focus on like an audiobook. It becomes much easier to find yourself getting sleepy.
The lack of stimulating visuals while still giving something for your busy mind to focus on can create the right environment for you to fall asleep to. Just make sure it is not too captivating of a story that you will be wide awake. We are personally fond of “Nothing Much Happens” because it is a soothing and relaxing story that is told twice and designed to soothe you to sleep without getting you invested into a full book or conversation.
7) Practice Meditation
Meditation combines a few different features that can help you get in the headspace for sleep. The first is deep and controlled breathing, while controlled focus and not allowing monkey mind to take over also helps when it comes to falling asleep.
I personally cannot count the number of times I have let anxious thoughts take control and force me to stay awake. Practicing meditation can help you to control those intrusive thoughts when you need to in order to find peace and rest.
8) Enjoy Dreaming
Dreams can be a really great way to enjoy your sleep. If you struggle with nightmares, there are a lot of different things you can do to take control back over your dreams and start to enjoy them again. Dream journals, therapy, and lucid dreaming are just a few methods on how you can begin to take back control over your dreams and begin to enjoy them again.
If you do not struggle with nightmares but you just want to enjoy dreaming more often, a dream journal is a great way to do just that! Start by writing down the dreams you remember having in the mornings and journaling dreams you would like to have in the evenings. You may be surprised by how much documenting your dreams can increase the amount of dreams you begin to remember.
9) Calm Your Nervous System
A very common reason for being unable to sleep is that you are unable to calm your body and your mind. If you often struggle with anxiety then you probably know how to feels to have your nervous system on overdrive.
Finding ways to calm your parasympathetic nervous system can be a fantastic way to calm your body and mind in order to get some rest. Some good activities for this include splashing your face with cold water, taking a dip in an ice bath, making low humming noises, and taking probiotics just to name a few. All of these activities are viewed as ways to activate your vagus nerve. Which will help to calm your nervous system so you can calm down and get some rest.
10) Don’t Go To Sleep Hungry (Don’t Overeat Either)
Stuffing yourself full of food right before bed can make it difficult to sleep and even cause heartburn. However, going to bed hungry can also be painful and make it hard to get to sleep. We recommend not doing either of these things. Try to create a dinner schedule that leaves you feeling satiated with enough time to digest before jumping into bed.
If you find that you are very hungry and it is about time for bed, try eating a light snack. Avoid foods high in acid if you struggle with heartburn and give yourself at least 30 minutes to an hour before laying down flat in order to ease digestion and avoid heartburn.
11) Block Outside Light
Outside light can really disrupt your sleep. Whether it is caused by lightening, street lights, neighbors lights left on, or simply ambient light. It can really brighten your bedroom and make it hard to get to sleep. We highly recommend investing in blackout curtains. They really help to shut out unwanted light so you can get to sleep at any time of the day or night.
Black out curtains are especially nice for anyone who works the night shift. If you are sleeping during the day and working at night, blackout curtains are a must have. They also make napping during the day much easier. Truly worth the investment for any bedroom, especially because there are so many affordable options out there.
12) Create A Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Every night before bed, we recommend that you have a set routine that you enjoy doing. A nightly routine can consist of your usual face washing and teeth brushing. However, added soothing activities like taking a warm shower or bath, or perhaps practicing meditation can also be great.
Having a set routine will help to reinforce that it is time to go to sleep. We schedule starting your routine around the same time before bed every night. The more consistent you are the more it will help to reinforce your circadian rhythm and help you get to sleep faster once you’re in bed.
13) Stay On Schedule
Having a set bed time shouldn’t just be for kids. We believe that everyone should have a set bed time and try to stick to it as much as possible. Our bodies adore routine, especially when it comes to sleep. The more we are able to stick to a strict sleep schedule, the easier it is for our circadian rhythm to keep up.
When you stick to a strict sleep schedule, your body has a chance to align with your schedule and will help to reinforce this sleep routine. Which means you will be able to go to sleep much easier and faster at night, as well as wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to go in the morning. Which all sounds worth sticking to a schedule to me.
14) Give Yourself Time To Unwind
It takes some time to unwind after a busy hectic day. Your body and mind need that extra time to allow the stress to melt away and for you to become relaxed before you drift off to sleep. This includes turning off your tv and putting down the smartphone or tablet too.
Give yourself time away from any loud or overly stimulating activities. Instead, create a nightly routine like we mentioned earlier. Engage in some relaxing activities like taking a bath or reading a book. This way you are giving your body and mind a chance to slow down a bit and relax before you turn off the lights and expect to pass out immediately. Even if you are exhausted, you still should give yourself some time to unwind before heading off to sleep.
15) Set The Mood For Sleep
Heading off to bed should be a peaceful and relaxing experience. In our opinion it should be worth indulging and enjoying. Which is why we recommend setting the mood for sleep. Turn down the lights, perhaps opting for lamps or candlelight instead of any overhead lighting.
Spray a soothing scented linen spray. Get some pajamas you really feel great in. Put on some soothing music. Turn your bedroom into the soothing spa like vibes of your dreams. Setting the mood for sleep will make going to bed all the more fun and enjoyable.
16) Avoid Caffeine Late In The Day
As most people are already aware, caffeine suppresses your body’s ability to detect that it is tired. This gives you the sensation of feeling alert even if you are actually exhausted. While this can be ideal in the mornings, it is less than helpful if you are trying to go to bed.
Caffeine can stay active in your system for up to 6 hours after you drink it! This could be a serious issue if you like a late-night coffee or even and afternoon pick me up. We recommend that you stop drinking caffeine at least six hours prior to when you would like to go to sleep. This way it will be completely out of your system by the time you want to sleep.
17) Don’t Stress If You Can’t Sleep
One of the worst things you can do if you are having trouble getting to sleep is to stress about it. Let’s say you have a big day tomorrow and you really need your sleep. The more you worry about not getting asleep, the harder it will become to get the rest you need.
Instead, try to take it all in stride and know that if you let go of your stress that your body will get the rest you need. Our first tip is to try and relax your body and mind with deep breathing and meditation. However, every once and a while getting up shaking things off can help you to get back to sleep. Try using our other sleep tips to help you relax and get back to sleep. Whatever you do, don’t stress about it.
18) Keep Your Body Active
When you practice physical activities throughout the day, it becomes much easier to get to sleep at night. Exercise, sports, walking, yoga, anything that gets your body moving will help. With so many office jobs keeping us all physically stagnant, it can leave our bodies feeling restless.
Which is why we recommend that you try to get your heartrate elevated for at least 30 minutes a day. You can do this in anyway that you see fit. Whether you like to go on a run, walk, spin class, boxing, or what have you. Just get your body up and moving. You may be surprised how much this wakes you up and gets you tired in the evenings.
19) Create A Sleepy Time Playlist
Music is such a strong mood influencer. If you are wanting a good way to get in the mood for sleep, we highly recommend creating a night time sleepy playlist. Create a playlist full of music that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Then listen to that playlist as you are setting the mood for sleep before bed. Play it during your nightly rituals and routine as you prepare for sleep. Or create a playlist that you would like to fall asleep to. It is a great way to help yourself relax and fall asleep comfortably.
Tips For How To Get Better Sleep – Final Thoughts:
A lot of our tips and tricks will work for a wide range of people. However, they might not all work or you personally. We recommend trying them all on for size to see what tips help you to get your best sleep possible. If you still struggle to get to sleep at night then you may want to consider talking to a doctor to see if something else could be keeping you up at night. We hope these tips help you to create healthy habits for better sleep.
If you have any questions please reach out to us. We would love to answer your questions and help in any way we can.