There are many reasons why people have trouble sleeping.
Whether it is anxiety, insomnia, or just a restless mind that won’t shut off before bedtime, many different things can prevent you from getting quality sleep.
There is nothing worse than not getting enough quality sleep at night because you spend all day feeling tired and sluggish.
This listicle will go into detail about the top 9 ways to get better quality sleep and how you can improve your sleep hygiene so you can wake up fresh and ready to take on the day!
- 1 1. Create a sleep-inducing environment
- 2 2. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.
- 3 3. Avoid eating heavy meals right before bedtime, or at least three hours before bedtime
- 4 4. Practice deep breathing exercises for five minutes just before bedtime
- 5 5. Increase bright light exposure during the day
- 6 6. Take a melatonin supplement
- 7 7. Try other supplements or sleep medicine
- 8 8. Stick to a sleep schedule
- 9 9. Add in a morning workout
- 10 Conclusion:
1. Create a sleep-inducing environment
One of the best ways to improve your sleep quality is to create an environment conducive to sleep.
Let’s break down what that looks like and how you can prepare your bedroom to help you achieve better sleep.
Use a High-Performance Pillow
If you are having a hard time trying to fall asleep, the solution may be as simple as improving the quality of your pillow!
If you have a low-quality pillow, it may hold the temperatures released from your head and contribute to your overheating. Your ears are highly sensitive to temperature changes, and you may be trying to sleep with a pillow that has simply absorbed too much heat.
Better Sleep Mattress
If your mattress is old, it may impact your sleep quality because it’s not offering adequate support and comfort that will help reduce muscle pain while you are sleeping.
A high-performance mattress could help put an end to your sleep problems. They promote deep, restful sleep and can reduce the frequency of back pain or stiffness during wakefulness.
A great thing to look into if you are having difficulty falling asleep is a mattress that does not hold as much heat as the typical memory foam mattress would.
There are now smart mattresses that can help regulate your body temperature throughout the night.
A good night’s sleep starts from great bedding!
Bedding can also play a role in creating the perfect sleep environment.
Having breathable and comfortable sheets on your bed will contribute to you having a healthy sleep.
Get a weighted (gravity) blanket for your bed
Weighted blankets are a nice way to make you feel secure and cozy.
If you suffer from anxiety, sleep apnea, insomnia, or have high levels of stress, a weighted blanket may be perfect for you.
A weighted blanket applies pressure on your body, emulating a hug or a comforting act. Having light pressure on your body can help release natural body chemicals such as serotonin to help you fall asleep faster and lead to better sleep quality.
Cultivate peace and quiet
If you are a light sleeper, you will want to ensure that you are in a soundproof environment.
An easy way to achieve this is by purchasing quality soundproofing materials and installing them in your bedroom.
Purchasing quality window coverings, heavy curtains, or, if possible, choose a basement room can be some great ways to soundproof your sleeping environment!
A simple and cheap solution can be purchasing earplugs.
Soothing Music or White Noise
If the peaceful approach is not working for you, you may want to add some relaxation sounds to the background.
These sounds should be constant noises that, over time, will blend into the background and become white-noise.
Natural sounds relax you because they are constant noises of a pleasant pitch.
Your brain interprets them as non-threatening noises, which helps reduce your fight-or-flight response.
Lowering your stress level in this way helps you become more relaxed for sleep. Nature sounds and other background noises also help mask sounds that might keep you awake, like traffic or someone moving around in the apartment above you.
Find an agreeable temperature
One of the most important things to sleeping well is setting your room to a temperature that is agreeable for you.
A good rule of thumb is that the temperature should feel like a slightly warm bath- not too cold and certainly not overheated.
2. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.
If you’re a habitual coffee drinker, then it’s important to stop drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.
This includes energy drinks and sodas that contain caffeine as well. Studies show that consuming these types of drinks too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep quality because they stay active for longer periods than other liquids. They also are known to increase your heart rate, therefore stimulating blood circulation and energy levels.
3. Avoid eating heavy meals right before bedtime, or at least three hours before bedtime
Eating right before bed can contribute to decreased sleep quality. In addition, eating can contribute to sleep difficulties because digestion requires energy and produces certain stomach acids that hinder quality sleep.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid eating anything within three hours of bedtime so your digestive system can wind down before you go to sleep.
This gives your body time to process the food without having any additional work in digesting a meal while trying to fall asleep at night.
4. Practice deep breathing exercises for five minutes just before bedtime
Deep breathing is another easy way to improve sleep quality because it calms the mind and relaxes the muscles. Deep breathing also helps change oxygen levels in our blood, making us feel more refreshed when we wake up in the morning by making better use of inhalation and exhalation cycles during sleep.
5. Increase bright light exposure during the day
Taking in natural light throughout the day can help prepare your body for a good night’s rest. Conversely, if you see a lot of bright light during the daytime, it can help reset your body clock, contributing to a healthy sleep cycle.
6. Take a melatonin supplement
Melatonin is the hormone that contributes to a night of good sleep. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and is activated when it becomes dark and nighttime cues are present.
Taking melatonin supplements before bedtime may help people fall asleep more easily, sleep for a longer period without waking up during the night, wake by staying asleep for longer periods, and not feel sleepy throughout the following day.
However, taking too much melatonin can lead to adverse effects such as daytime drowsiness or agitation, so speak with your doctor about how much you should take on average each evening (more than three milligrams).
Another thing to consider is that quality of sleep will vary from person to person because of factors such as individual medication regimens, and person-to-person differences in the circadian rhythm which influences the quality and overall restfulness of sleep.
7. Try other supplements or sleep medicine
If you are not comfortable taking melatonin supplements or simply do not work for you, there are plenty of other supplements that can help improve your sleep quality.
Valerian root can be taken in tea form or as a pill but should not exceed three cups per day because it has been linked to adverse effects such as headaches, dizziness, and irritability. The popularly recommended dosage is between 300-500 mg taken one hour before sleep.
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for brain health and heart function. A magnesium supplement 30-60 minutes before sleep produces increased drowsiness for many problem sleepers. This would be expected, since magnesium is used to treat anxiety in children.
L-theanine is a non-dietary amino acid that many people take as an herbal supplement to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality. It can also help with cognitive function and mood regulation.
A study found that smelling lavender oil is an effective way to improve sleep. The effects tend to be more noticeable in people with mild insomnia, specifically females and younger patients.
Melatonin is an essential hormone in regulating our body’s circadian rhythm or “body clock,” which can help with the same sleep schedule. It helps regulate this process because it controls what time we feel sleepy, making us ready for bedtime at the appropriate time.
8. Stick to a sleep schedule
Building and committing to a sleep schedule is a key element to building yourself a healthy sleep routine.
A proper sleep schedule teaches your body to go to bed at the same time every night.
However, there is more to a sleep schedule than just falling asleep at the same time. You also have to adopt a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
After getting quality sleep, it’s important to get up before ten (10:00 am) to not disturb the natural circadian rhythm or routine that you have built with your body.
This consistent sleep schedule can control when hormones are released or cortisol levels rise.
Hormones regulate how energized we feel during different times of the day, so having them disrupted will make sure they are out of sync for days after waking up too early. This also applies if you wake up late because it throws
9. Add in a morning workout
Exercise is a great way to spike your energy levels and increase your metabolism.
If you start your day off with some morning exercise, your body will expend more energy throughout the day.
If you use your energy up throughout the day, when it is time for you to fall asleep, your energy levels should be lower than they would you skipped your morning exercise, thus leading to better quality sleep.
If you have been struggling to get quality sleep, many areas of your life can be negatively impacted.
Getting a restful sleep can help increase your brain function through cognitive awareness, improve your mood, and even help you maintain healthy body weight.
If you have been struggling to stay asleep for more than a few hours straight, make sure to either see your doctor or try out one of the nine tips mentioned above!