50 sleeping Tips for a Better Night Sleep
Deadlines. Responsibilities. Social life. Life Goals. These are the driving forces of a large part of the population around the world. We hardly take time to rest and, even when we do, it isn’t resting. We are either on our phones or thinking about what we didn’t do and what we need to do. In short, we are an anxious population, a worrying lot and, it is no surprise that the number of depression cases reported is on a steep incline.
Do you know what else suffers in the process, sleep? Sleep is the only way we can rest but because of the bustling life, extreme worrying and our inability to stay at the moment, falling asleep is harder. Worse, we aren’t getting enough sleep; voluntarily or involuntarily.
Unfortunately, we all know that we can’t function without enough Zzzz hours. Your hormones will go haywire, your brain and physical performance will tank making you moody, angry, sad and if it continues, you will add on some weight. In short, lack of sleep is bad for you.
How can you go about it and regain a standard sleeping regime? How can you end the endless tossing and turning that sends you to your working desk? Here are 50 sleeping tips for a better night sleep:
- Exercise regularly
Weight loss is a great motivation besides exercising. However, that isn’t all you get when you work out. Regular exercise improves your ability to sleep, and it reduces your symptoms of insomnia. You will also get to fall asleep faster, your anxiety will go down, and you will sleep more.
You should be careful though; exercising can make sleeping harder if you work out just before bed. This happens because exercising has stimulatory effects and falling asleep when you have adrenaline pumping through your system is hard.
- Lower your blue light exposure in the evening
Simply put, limit usage of smartphones and computers in the evening. However, since we are always trying to finish work or we are catching up with friends on social media, we can’t avoid using these tech devices. The problem is that blue light tricks your body to think that it is day time.
Instead, you can download apps that block blue light from these devices. You may also get glasses that block blue light or turn off the TV and bright lights two hours before going to bed.
- Increase your exposure to bright light during the day
Your sleep-wake pattern is called a circadian rhythm. This is simply an internal mechanism that controls your waking and sleeping hours. The circadian rhythm controls hormones which affect your brain and your body as well as other hormones. The rhythm tells your body when it’s time to sleep or wake up.
Bright light keeps this rhythm healthy by improving daytime energy levels and determining the duration and quality of nighttime sleep.
Exposure to bright light during the day reduces the time it takes significantly the time it takes for someone suffering from depression to fall asleep.
If you can’t get daily exposure to the sun, you should consider getting artificial bright lights.
- Go to bed and wake up at consistent hours
This has to do with your circadian rhythm as well. As the name suggests, it is a rhythm and all beats (hours and hormones) have to be in sync for effective performance. Irregular sleep patterns alter your circadian rhythm by affecting the levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep pattern. By being consistent, you increase your chances of falling asleep. High melatonin levels at night will send signals to your brain letting it know that it is time to sleep.
- Power naps
If you take power naps at irregular hours or nap for too long, you will throw your sleep cycle off balance, and you won’t sleep too well. Again, this affects your circadian rhythm or your internal clock.
- Reduce external distractors
Noise and bright lights affect your ability to sleep. You can eye masks, and earplugs especially if you are a light sleeper and if you don’t live alone.
- Right temperature
If the room feels too warm or too cold, you won’t be able to fall asleep. You can remedy the temperature issue by keeping the room temperature cool. You sleep better in a cool room of about 70 degrees F or 20 degrees Celsius.
- Avoid consumption of caffeine late in the afternoon.
Let lunch time be your last call for caffeine. By midafternoon, you should have had your final dose of caffeine – tea or coffee. While caffeine is an incredible beverage/ stimulant that increases your productivity especially in the afternoon, intake of caffeine in the afternoon overstimulates your nervous system, and your body won’t be able to relax at night.
So, to improve your quality of sleep, don’t take caffeine 6-8 hours before your bedtime as that is the amount of time caffeine stays in your body. If you must have coffee, go for decaf.
- Put down that glass of wine
Even though you may feel groggy after downing a few glasses of wine, or any other alcoholic drink, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, causes snoring, and it may also cause sleep apnea. These affect the quality of your sleep. Alcohol lowers melatonin levels and also night time growth hormone levels.
- Avoid eating late in the evening
You should limit your last bites of sugar and spicy food to two hours before sleeping time. Sugar will make you energetic, and you don’t need energy at night while spices may trigger digestive issues and heartburns.
Also, large meals just before your bedtime will most likely lead to poor sleep because the food disrupts your hormones.
- Reduce your fluid intake before bed
Excessive urination at night also called nocturia would affect your daytime energy and lower the quality of sleep. Though hydration is important, you should reduce your fluids intake at least two hours before bedtime, especially if you are extremely sensitive.
- Leave the bed and the bedroom to sex and sleep (and when you are sick)
The main reason why you aren’t sleeping too well is that you take work and social media to bed. Make your bed your holy/ safe space where you don’t have to worry about your life and society. If you aren’t ready to sleep, and you are not in the move, head out to the living room or some other room and do something – it could be as simple as listening to music or finishing up that DIY project you learn from Pinterest. No snacking, binge-watching TV or shopping online when on the bed. Your work emails can wait for when you wake up.
- Beddings and mattress
To sleep easy, your bedding should be clean, warm and snuggly but not too warm. You should avoid using too many blankets. If your mattress sags, place a board under it. Your pillow should be clean as well. Make sure you replace pillows every three years.
Shoulder pain, back pain and stiffness of the back and neck will affect the quality of your sleep. So, you should sleep on a comfortable mattress.
- Put the alarm clock out of view
Apart from emitting disruptive lights, also, the alarm clock gives your mind one more thing to worry about.
- Try melatonin supplements
High melatonin levels signal the brain to relax and get ready to sleep. If your brain feels out of sync, then your melatonin levels could be too low. Fortunately, there are many melatonin supplements available for you.
- Try Ginkgo biloba
This natural herb has been shown to aid in sleep. It relaxes and somehow melts the stress away letting you sleep faster and better.
- Valerian Root
Several studies show that this root helps you fall asleep faster and also increases the quality of sleep.
- Essential oils and aromatherapy
Lavender is a powerful relaxer with incredible calming effects. It will improve the quality of sleep. Essential oils help with anxiety and depression. Besides lavender, you can try lemon balm.
- Other supplements
You may want to try supplements such as glycine, magnesium, and L-Theanine. These will help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Take a Relaxing Bath
A relaxing bath just before bedtime increases the quality of sleep and it also helps you sleep better. Just make sure you take a warm bath as that will relax your muscles. Alternatively, you can take a foot bath.
- Clear your mind
With multiple things running through your mind, you won’t be able to fall asleep. It is important to note that over thinking and over analyzing situations gone wrong will not resolve any issues. So, relax instead.
Some of the most effective relaxation techniques include massages, listening to relaxing music, taking a hot bath, visualization, and deep breathing.
- Document your sleep pattern
Perhaps you are unable to sleep, because of an underlying condition. You could be depressed, or you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep by affecting breathing. Your sleep issues may also be caused by your work especially if you work in shifts.
- Try eating sleep superfoods
Some foods will let you sleep faster, as long as you take them a few hours before bedtime. A meal with chicken or even cheese will help you sleep faster because it has proteins and Tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted into serotonin, the other sleep-promoting hormone, besides melatonin.
While you can’t perform cardio exercises before bed, gentle stretching exercises like restorative yoga will put your mind at ease, reduce muscle tension and steady your breath without revving up your heart.
- Read a book
If you like reading, you should consider taking that interesting book with you to bed and no, we don’t mean your Kindle. A real book, one you have to flip the pages will let you fall asleep faster.
- Take some time out
If you keep tossing and turning, get out of bed into another room. You can work on something until you feel tired. Note that this is what you should do only when everything else fails.
- Spend the right amount of time in bed
If you tend to sleep for more than eight hours, then, your sleep habit gets fragmented. By limiting your sleeping time to about 8.5 hours every night, you will establish a healthy sleeping pattern, and you won’t have trouble falling asleep.
- Stop hitting the snooze button
Contrary to what you think, hitting the snooze button robs you hours of sleep instead of adding. This is because it only disrupts your morning hours.
- Get the right size of bed
If you are sharing the bed with your partner, you should consider the size of the bed and the amount of space each of you will get. A couple should sleep on a queen or a king mattress. Otherwise, it will feel as if you are sleeping in a crib.
- Rewind your day
To clear your mind of worry, remember all the mundane details of your day in reverse. You will reach a mental state that is ready to sleep faster.
- Create a sleep paradox
How? Challenge yourself to stay awake. When you do this, your mind automatically rejects this as the brain doesn’t take negativity well. Your brain interprets this as an instruction to fall asleep instead. Your eye muscles will tire too.
- Roll your eyes
Just close your eyes and roll your eyeballs upwards thrice. This triggers the release of melatonin.
- How about humming to yourself
When you breathe gently out of your mouth with your lips together, you can hum to yourself. Just sit in a comfortable position. This is a yoga meditation technique that creates a sense of calm.
Or, just imagine! Visualization meditation helps you by taking you to a place you are content. When exploring your happy place, you will relax and drift off fast.
- Apply pressure
Some of the main pressure points that promote sleep include between your eyebrows where there is a slight indent. Also, you can press between your big toe and your second toe.
- Try cherries
Cherries are rich in melatonin and drinking cherry juice 30 minutes after you wake up and 30 minutes before dinner will improve your sleep.
- Try using sleep gadgets
Technology isn’t all that bad; some apps can help you sleep better as they have features like white noise and other calming medication routines. Just make sure to use a blue light blocker.
- Have sex
Or, pleasure yourself. Nothing puts you to sleep faster than a good orgasm and, chances are, you will sleep deeply.
- Avoid deep conversations
Although conversations create an air of intimacy, when you delve in really deep matters, your brain will go into overdrive, and you won’t be able to sleep fast or well.
- Which is your best sleeping position?
The easiest way for you to fall asleep is by lying down in your favorite position. Whether you lie on your back, tummy or the side (left or right) assume that position.
- Avoid smoking before your bedtime
- Nicotine is a stimulant too.
- Get a light snack
You should eat just before bed, but if you are hungry, then you should eat something. Otherwise, you will just toss and turn. Try an easily digestible vegan protein shake, a banana or some almond milk.
- Avoid strenuous activities just before bed.
- Do a security check of the house to reduce anxiety.
- Put your mobile phone away. Social media wastes your time, and it will also make you anxious.
- Stop sleeping in over the weekend as that disrupts your circadian rhythm
If you are a late sleeper, force yourself to wake up earlier than usual. By your sleeping time, you will be too tired to stay up or toss.
- Get help
Your therapist may recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which will help with your anxiety or depression letting you sleep better.
- Sleep in comfortable clothes
You can’t sleep well when wearing uncomfortable clothes. Even when you get back home from a night out, get rid of the tight clothes. Sleeping naked is better than sleeping in jeans.
- Try using Bach Flower remedies
Flower essences are great healers for anxiety and depression. They are considered natural Prozacs and they go a long way in helping you sleep. They aren’t scented and their work homeopathically hence their use in subtle energy medicine.
These are some of the most effective ways to help you regain control over your sleep pattern. Keep in mind that if the problem persists then, you should see a doctor.