Many people underestimate how much sleep our bodies actually need. Lack of sleep can contribute to low energy, weight gain, and a host of health problems.
Get Better Sleep
If you’re sleep-deprived, making some changes at bedtime and throughout the day can help you fall asleep more quickly, toss and turn less, and improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Try these 25 tricks to get better sleep.
1. Go to Bed at the Same Time Each Night
Going to bed around the same time each night helps your body’s circadian rhythm become regulated. Your body will begin to wind down on its own each night and anticipate sleep. After a few weeks, your new bedtime will become habitual.
2. Don’t Use Electronic Devices
Blue light exposure from electronic devices can stimulate your brain and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try curbing screen time – including watching TV – 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime.
3. Avoid Caffeine After Noon
While expert opinions seem to vary about the exact time of day you should stop drinking coffee, a good rule of thumb is to abstain at least six hours before bedtime. While you may not actively feel the effects of caffeine, it is a stimulant and can affect your quality of sleep and increase anxiety.
4. Regulate the Temperature
Keeping your room too warm or too cool may have you waking during the night and can be more complicated if you and your partner prefer different sleeping temperatures.
Many people get warm as they sleep. Try setting the thermostat a few degrees cooler throughout the night or using lighter blankets if you often wake up warm.
5. Move Your Body
Of course, exercise has a myriad of health benefits, but it also helps contribute to better sleep. Strive to move your body daily to help regulate energy levels and help you fall asleep faster.
In addition, consistent physical activity can help with anxiety, which can contribute to insomnia.
6. Plan Accordingly
According to the CDC, adults ages 18-60 require seven or more hours of sleep per night. Adults ages 61-64 require 7-9 hours. And adults ages 65 and older require 7-8 hours.
Choose your bedtime according to these guidelines to ensure you’re giving yourself enough time each night to reach the recommended sleep amount for your age.
7. Keep the Bedroom for Sleeping
Creating the optimal environment at bedtime will help you sleep better and experience fewer sleep disruptions throughout the night. Avoid using your bedroom for other tasks like work, laundry, or exercising so your body understands when you’re in your bedroom it is time to sleep.
8. Have a Drink
It’s recommended to avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed, but certain types of beverages can help your body relax and prepare for sleep. Try warm milk, chamomile tea, or your favorite decaffeinated flavor of herbal tea.
Tart cherry juice is also thought to help combat insomnia as it contains melatonin.
9. Skip the Naps
Napping throughout the day can lead to grogginess and throw off your body’s natural sleep rhythm. Late afternoon and evening naps can make it especially difficult to fall asleep at night. If you can’t make it through the day without a nap, stick to late morning or early afternoon.
10. Wake at the Same Time
Waking at the same time each day allows your body to adapt and form a consistent sleep schedule where eventually, you may even begin waking up before your alarm clock. Sleeping in late on your days off or weekends can throw off your body’s biological clock and make it difficult to wake early again on the weekdays.
11. Skip the Snacks
Too much snacking or eating a large meal before bed can put your digestive system into overdrive. Late-night eating may cause sleep disruptions, especially if you suffer from acid reflux or indigestion.
12. See Your Doctor
Getting an annual routine physical to rule out any health concerns. Share any sleep problems you may have with your doctor to rule out any serious issues.
Your doctor can also evaluate the potential need for prescription sleep medication or a sleep study.
13. Swap Out Your Pillow
Nothing can interrupt a peaceful night’s sleep more quickly than a stiff neck. Try replacing your pillow every few years so your neck and head have adequate support and your spine is not strained.
14. Reduce Fluid Intake
Water intake is important, but drinking too many fluids too close to bedtime can have you waking to use the bathroom throughout the night, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
15. Read a Book
Reading a book – an actual book, not a book on an electronic device – can help your mind unwind and prepare for sleep. Creating a nighttime habit of reading will also help you avoid electronics before bed.
16. Create a Bedtime Routine
Similar to children, we can signal to our bodies it is time to prepare for sleep by creating a nighttime routine. Bedtime rituals like brushing your teeth, flossing, washing your face, reading, etc., can also give your body time to wind down before sleeping.
17. Take a Bath
There are few things more relaxing than soaking in a nice warm tub. Light some candles, bring your book and enjoy some peace before beginning your bedtime rituals.
18. Upgrade Your Mattress
Not only can back pain disrupt your sleep, but it can also put a damper on your day. Depending on the age and quality of your current mattress, it may be time to upgrade.
While this may be a rather pricey solution, doing your research can ensure you get the best mattress for your particular needs, and good sleep is priceless!
19. Get New Curtains
Your curtains or blinds may be letting too much light into the room as you’re trying to sleep. Opt for heavyweight blinds or blackout curtains to keep your room as dark as possible.
20. Take a Supplement
Try taking an over-the-counter sleep aid or a natural supplement like melatonin. Avoid taking a sleep aid that is paired with a pain reliever unless you also need to manage pain.
21. Try Tapping or Meditation
Tapping or meditating can help you relax, clear your mind, and reduce anxiety – all things that can keep you from a solid night’s sleep.
22. Clear Your Mind
It’s difficult to sleep when your mind is racing. Try doing a brain dump, making a to-do list, or journaling before bed to rid your mind of unwanted thoughts.
23. Hide Your Alarm Clock
If you have difficulty falling asleep, looking at your clock can make you anxious as you watch the time tick later and later. Try turning your clock the other way, so it’s not facing you. You won’t be able to see the time, but the alarm will still wake you up.
24. Say Your Prayers
If you’re a praying person, pray. Many people feel calm and peace when they pray; if this is you, take a few minutes to pray when you lie down at night.
25. Make Some Noise
Having white noise can help you sleep and drown out other distracting noises. Experiment using a fan, humidifier, or sound machine to find the perfect noise to lull you into slumber.
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Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.