12 Tips to Sleep Better at Night

Over 35% of Americans 20 years or older report 7 hours or less of sleep at night every 24 hours. If you fall into this category, maintaining energy throughout the day is a constant battle. Moreover, poor quantity and quality of sleep might severely impact hormones, exercise performance, and cognitive function. It also causes health problems and weight gain.

But don't lose hope yet! Here are some proven tips to help you sleep better at night. So put on some cozy PJs and dive into everything you need to know about getting healthy sleep habits – now all you have to do is go to sleep!!

Creating a Sleep-Inducing Bedroom

Creating a sleep-inducing bedroom is essential for getting a good night's rest. Investing in a high-performance mattress and pillow can provide comfort and support, while blocking out artificial light with blackout curtains or an eye mask can help reduce noise from outside sources. Keeping the bedroom temperature cool at around 65 degrees is optimal for sleep, and introducing pleasant aromas such as lavender essential oils creates a soothing atmosphere. Natural aromas can provide a fresh smell that helps ease you into your sleep cycle.

In addition to creating a conducive sleep environment, it's important to limit activities in the bedroom to just sleeping and sex. This means avoiding activities like watching TV or working on your laptop in bed.

Optimizing Your Sleep Schedule

Getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, it cannot be easy to maintain a healthy sleep schedule in today's busy world. It is essential to have a consistent sleep schedule to optimize your sleep schedule - set a fixed wake-up time and stick to it.

Plan your daily schedule around your wake-up time, and use that time to determine when to go to bed. Be careful with naps, as napping too late in the day or for too long can disrupt your sleep schedule. Gradually adjust your sleep schedule with a maximum difference of 1-2 hours per night so that your body can get used to the changes and make following the new schedule more sustainable.

Crafting a Bedtime Routine

Creating a pre-bed sleep routine is important in getting a good night's sleep. It helps signal to your mind and body that it's time to rest and can help you fall asleep quickly and effortlessly. To create a successful pre-bed routine, start by winding down for at least 30 minutes before bed with activities such as listening to soothing music, low-impact stretching, quiet reading, or relaxation breathing exercises. Lower the lights to help transition to bedtime and promote the production of melatonin. Disconnect from devices like tablets, cell phones, and laptops for at least 30 minutes before bed.

Curtail Exposure to Blue Light

Light is a cue that influences the circadian rhythm, which helps the brain and body judge when it is nighttime. Blue light from electronics like smartphones and computers can affect your circadian rhythm and lower your melatonin levels. Reducing blue light exposure in the evening can help improve your sleep quality and overall physical health.

You can wear special glasses to screen your eyes from blue light and its negative effects. It is also possible to decrease exposure by downloading a blue-light-blocking program for your computer. To further limit your exposure, you can download a blue-light-blocking app for your smartphone.

Avoid Coffee after 4pm

Caffeine has many positive effects, including a boost in alertness and focus, but drinking it too close to bedtime might prevent you from winding down naturally and cause you to stay up too late. Since the effects of caffeine on the blood might last for 6-8 hours, it's best to avoid drinking too much coffee after 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

Opt for decaffeinated coffee if you crave coffee late in the day. Everyone's body is different, so knowing how caffeine affects you is essential. If you feel jittery or have interrupted sleep after consuming caffeine late in the day, try reducing your intake or switching to decaf options.

Try Eating Nutritious Foods

Eating healthy food makes you more likely to get a good night's rest. For example, bananas have tryptophan, which the brain turns into melatonin and serotonin. Carbohydrates also affect insulin levels, which regulate the body's sleep-wake clock. Eating two kiwis an hour before bed can improve sleep, while Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, often lacking in people who have a poor sleep. Air-popped popcorn with little oil is a healthy snack that gives you minerals, carbs, and antioxidants called polyphenols.

Avoid Late-Night Eating

You risk disrupting your body's natural production of hormones like growth hormone and melatonin if you eat late at night. It's best not to eat a big meal two to three hours before bed because it can mess up your sleep patterns. While some research suggests that eating a high-carb dinner four hours before bed can aid in falling asleep, others suggest that eating fewer carbohydrates can increase sleep quality. This indicates that carbs aren't always necessary for good sleep. If you need to eat something before bed, opt for a light snack such as an apple with cheese or whole-wheat crackers instead of a heavy meal.

Exercise during the Day

Having a regular exercise routine can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. It can help improve the quality and duration of sleep by increasing serotonin production and decreasing cortisol levels. Working out early in the morning is better than working out later in the day for better quality sleep, but exercise at any time during the day can help promote a good night's rest. Maintaining a moderate-intensity exercise routine is vital; do not overdo it, as this could lead to fatigue or injury.

Meditate before Bed

Meditation can help you get ready for a good night's sleep. There is consensus among sleep specialists that it can enhance the quality of your night's rest. Mindful meditation can help to calm the mind before bed, allowing you to relax both the body and mind. Traditional meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, quiet reading, low-impact stretching, soothing music, and lowering bright lights are all ways to help with meditation.

Take a Melatonin Supplement

The body naturally produces melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep, to help you wind down and get some shut-eye. People can take it as a supplement to help them sleep faster and better. Melatonin supplements are easy to find in stores or online, and you can take them 30 to 60 minutes before bed. Studies have shown that taking melatonin has no withdrawal effects and can help adjust to a new time zone. Start with a low dose of 1-5 mg around 30-60 minutes before bedtime, and slowly increase as needed. But it's best to speak to a healthcare provider first.

White Noise Machines

White noise machines are a great way to help people fall asleep. They create a constant ambient sound that can be soothing, allowing the user to drift off into a peaceful sleep. A sound machine, fan, or laptop can create different types of white noise. Machines and apps allow users to choose different sounds to fall asleep to, such as rain, ocean waves, or even white noise.

Unwind in a Hot Tub or Shower

A hot bath or shower can be therapeutic when trying to wind down for the night. Not only does it help the body relax, but it also helps regulate temperature, which is important for quality sleep. Evidence shows that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime improves sleep quality and promotes deep sleep. Soaking your feet in warm water before bed can help you unwind and rest better. Doing this 1-2 hours before bed for at least 10 minutes can help improve temperature regulation before bed.

Final Thoughts

It's essential to figure out why it's happening. Some common causes for these late-night awakenings include stress and hormonal fluxes, as well as more severe medical conditions and sleep disorders such as hyperthyroidism, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, acid reflux, and heartburn. If these sleep tips do not help you sleep better at night, it may be necessary o consult a doctor if you still have difficulty sleeping.

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