10 tips to improve sleep

Are you constantly tossing and turning throughout the night, unable to get a comfortable position or achieve that deep, restful sleep you crave? Perhaps worrying about that presentation tomorrow or what will happen in your life next gets in the way of meeting your nightly zzz's. 

We've all been there! That is why I created a list of tips to improve sleep.

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule

Consistent sleep schedules are recommended for quality sleep. Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time. It can reset your body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. It may even improve cognitive performance and alertness throughout the day.

Keep the same time every day for going to bed and waking up. Maintain a monotonous routine, including meals, exercise, and winding down before bed. Avoid distractions like screens.

Set the alarm for bedtime or schedule recurring notifications to remind yourself to get ready for bed. Also, limit light sources that interfere with restful sleep. This includes dimming lights and using blackout curtains.

Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule and adjusting environmental factors have been proven beneficial. With practice and dedication, you can maintain productivity while getting well-deserved rest. Give it a try!

  1. Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Craft a nightly bedtime routine to help you relax. This could include a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to music. Progression muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and guided imagery can also be beneficial. Additionally, meditate to calm your mind. Avoid screens and dim lights two and three hours before bed, respectively. Consider activities such as stretching or drinking herbal tea or warm milk right before getting into bed. A few minutes of quiet reflection can also help calm your mind.

  1. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable

To get good sleep, you need a comfy bedroom. Keep it cool, quiet, and dark. Pick supportive furniture like a mattress with body contour and good temp control. Blackout curtains or a sleep mask can help block out street lights. The pillow and bedding should be comfy and appropriate for the temperature. Cotton or linen sheets are breathable, and wool or microfiber are better in cold temps. Clutter can increase the stress hormone cortisol, so keep your bedroom clean. All these tips help create an ideal sleep environment and support healthy sleep habits.

  1. Limit daytime naps

Daytime naps can be beneficial. But they should be taken with care. Too much of them can disrupt nighttime sleep in adults of all ages. The Sleep Foundation suggests limiting daytime naps to 30 mins or less. For older adults, even shorter naps are advised. Ten minutes of rest break is usually enough. Avoid late afternoon or evening naps. It messes with your circadian rhythm making it tough to sleep at night.

Credit: verywellhealth.com

  1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime

Obtaining a good night's sleep requires more than merely heading to bed and shutting your eyes. Abstaining from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol prior to bedtime is a main factor. Not only can these stimulants obstruct your natural sleep cycle, but they can also influence the quality of your sleep. Limiting your intake of these stimulants is important if you desire a good night's rest.

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some sodas, can last up to 8 hours after its consumption. Therefore, it's best to avoid having it after 2-3 pm if you want a decent night's sleep. Nicotine, found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, can make it harder for you to remain asleep. Try to refrain from or reduce its use before bedtime.

Alcohol may give you a sleepy feeling at first, but consuming it excessively before bedtime can stop you from feeling rested when morning comes and disrupt your sleep patterns. This will lead to feeling drowsy throughout the day, so try to abstain from alcoholic beverages if possible. Adhering to these simple tips can help guarantee a more calming night and higher quality of sleep overall!

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercise can be a huge help when it comes to getting adequate sleep. Aerobic exercises usually raise your heart rate and body heat, making it harder to fall asleep. To make sure you can still benefit from exercise and get to sleep quickly, complete your workout a few hours before bedtime. Then, your body temperature will have had time to go back to normal.

Yoga and stretching are calming activities that lower your heart rate. They relax the body and reduce stress - two things that are important for better rest. 30 minutes of exercise per day is a good goal. If you need to, do some light stretches or calming breathing exercises in bed.

Exercising regularly has many health benefits, including improved quality and duration of sleep. So don't forget to keep up this habit - even on days when it's hard to find the energy or time! Get moving!

Credit: sleepfoundation.org

  1. Avoid eating heavy meals before bed

For a restful night, avoid heavy meals near bedtime. They can disrupt your body's natural rhythms, cause discomfort, and put extra strain on your digestive system. Eating lighter two to three hours before bed may help avoid snacking late. Additionally, practice mindful eating throughout the day to remain aware of food ingredients that can negatively impact your digestion and sleep quality. To get improved sleep, don't overload on anything that could make it hard to move through each stage of slumber.

  1. Stress and anxiety can interfere with sleep

Stress and anxiety can interfere with achieving the amount of sleep you need. It becomes even more difficult if you’re dealing with long-term worry or fear. Learning how to manage your stress through relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing or mindfulness meditation can help. As an additional step, talking to a therapist can provide guidance and support in finding healthy ways of coping with anxiety.

Finding hobbies that offer a creative outlet for releasing pent-up emotions can be beneficial as well. Hobbies such as drawing, painting, writing, or playing an instrument are great activities to practice when feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Other forms of physical activity such as yoga, tai chi, or going for walks also help reduce tension in the body and clear the mind from stressful thoughts.

Credit: cfah.org

  1. Consider a sleep-inducing environment

Your bedroom environment might be the key to unlocking a sound sleep. Consider creating a sleep-inducing environment by incorporating certain scents and sounds. When it comes to scents, lavender is one of the most popular options for promoting better sleep. This floral aroma has been shown to reduce anxiety levels, allowing your body and mind to relax into a deeper state of restful peace. White noise can also help create an atmosphere for sleeping with its low humming sound that drowns out distracting noises from outside or inside your living space. Both of these elements are easy enough to incorporate into your bedroom, making them ideal choices for improving your quality of sleep.

  1. Talk to a healthcare professional

Talking to a doctor or psychologist is essential for those struggling with sleep issues. Anxiety, stress, depression, and medical conditions can lead to bad sleep. Speaking up about any symptoms during appointments with health care providers is important. These providers may use questionnaires, physical examinations, and possible lab tests to pinpoint the issue. After that, tailored treatments like lifestyle changes and medications can be recommended. Consulting with healthcare providers can help individuals become more in tune with their bodies and achieve better sleep.