10 Tips to Get More Sleep Each Night
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Do you struggle with sleeping? Do you tend to wake up in the middle of the night?
Are you having a hard time falling asleep? It can be so frustrating - I know because when I don't get a good night's sleep, I feel like a zombie the next day, and then I get anxious about not being able to sleep again.
If you struggle with insomnia, it will definitely take a lot of trial and error to get rid of it.
I've been looking into tips for better sleep, and I picked the top 12 to share with you. Hopefully, we can all get more sleep and feel refreshed when we wake up in the morning.
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10 tips for better sleep
Tip 1: Don't lie awake for more than 20 minutes
When you go to sleep, don't lie awake for more than 20 minutes. Here's the thing: if you can't fall asleep in under 20 minutes, you need to distract yourself and try some relaxing activities.
So, you're wondering "How can I sleep better at night naturally?"
You can leave the bed and do some light yoga or make some caffeine-free tea.
If you're nice and comfy in bed, though, you can listen to soft, classical music or read a good book. Try a lighthearted TV show that gives you a sense of comfort - skip violent series which can make you agitated instead of relaxed.
The more you lie in bed not sleeping, the less sleepy you feel because your brain starts fussing about not being able to fall asleep.
Tip 2: Skip the caffeine and nicotine at least 3 hours before bedtime
I'm sure you've heard drinking coffee or other drinks with caffeine makes you hyper and energetic and prevents you from falling asleep.
The problem with caffeine is that it makes it really hard to fall asleep, so you want to avoid drinking coffee in the evening. Apparently, caffeine has a big role in messing with your body clock. It delays your body clock and thus reduces the number of hours you sleep.
It even messes up the deep sleep, so you wake up feeling poorly rested instead of refreshed.
Nicotine is another culprit because it is a stimulant. This means that smoking before bed can actually disrupt your sleep. Try to avoid smoking before bed for at least a couple of hours to ensure your body is ready to rest.
Tip 3: Have a regular bedtime
If you choose 11 pm, then make sure to go to bed at 11 pm every night. I know that it's tempting to stay up late, especially if you're not feeling sleepy.
But, having a regular bedtime trains your mind and body to crave sleep at around the same time each night. Therefore, you need to set a bedtime routine for yourself to ensure you get the same number of hours of sleep each night.
Did you know that having a regular bedtime improves cognitive function and memory?
If you go to bed at the same time, you form a consistent sleep routine, and it will be easier to fall asleep.
Consider getting yourself a silk sleep mask because it can block out any light, and darkness helps you sleep better.
Tip 4: Skip the afternoon nap
If you have a habit of napping in the afternoon, try skipping your nap. This way, you feel more tired when it's time to go to bed at night.
However, if the nap is necessary (especially on weekends), keep it short - 20 to 30 minutes maximum.
Having a nap can make you feel more alert, but when you already struggle with sleeping at night, you want to avoid resting too much during the day, or else you just won't be able to fall asleep.
Tip 5: Create a calm ambiance
If your bedroom is way too cluttered and there is too much light, you will have trouble sleeping.
When you want to sleep longer uninterrupted, you need to create a calm, relaxing environment around you.
One of the best ways to make your room calm is to use a white noise machine.
These machines can cost between 30 - 100 dollars but they will emit a very relaxing white noise that induces sleepiness.
A white noise machine is great for adults, kids, and babies alike so it can help you get your whole family to sleep.
Also, make sure to close the blinds and curtains to avoid light.
Tip 6: Use wireless sleep headphones & headbands to block out noise
Something I recently discovered is sleep headphones which refer to sleep headbands.
These are like those winter headbands but the headphones are integrated inside the material so you can sleep without hurting your ears when you're laying on them.
The headphones connect via Bluetooth so you can listen to uninterrupted music or ASMR playlists.
Tip 7: Reduce exposure to screens before bed
This tip is always somewhere at the top of every how to sleep better list but it's true - reduce your exposure to blue light, phone screens, TV's and you'll fall asleep faster.
The blue light from screens has a negative effect on your brain. It tricks it into thinking it's still daytime so it doesn't want to go to sleep.
Have you noticed you keep scrolling through Instagram and time flies by but you're not tired yet?
The blue light is probably the culprit. But, if scrolling through social media is comforting or necessary, I recommend using blue light glasses to block out the harmful light.
Tip 8: Set the room temperature to 70°F (20°C)
Your body doesn't need high temperatures to sleep and rest. During hot summer nights, you probably have a harder time sleeping. That's because you rest better in cooler temps.
Keep the temperature in the bedroom at around 70 F or 20 C. With a good blanket, you can be comfy and cozy without having hot flashes during the night.
If your body temp and the room temp increases, you start to feel less sleepy, more wakeful, and quite restless.
Oh and keep an eye out for the humidity levels too, you don't want to sleep in overly humid rooms or bedrooms that lack humidity.
Tip 9: Skip late-night meals
You should have dinner 3 or 4 hours before going to bed so your digestive system has time to process the food.
If you have high-carb snacks or meals late in the evening you will have a hard time going to sleep.
The problem is that having large meals close to bedtime can disrupt the body's release of melatonin. It also disrupts hormones and makes you feel too full to rest properly.
My tip is to eat about 3 or 4 hours prior to sleeping.
Tip 10: Get a good mattress
Sleeping on a bad mattress not only causes back and neck pain, but also leads to a poor night's sleep.
Tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress disrupts your sleep cycle and keeps waking you up throughout the night and this is a serious problem!
Get a good, comfortable mattress with plenty of back support and some orthopedic pillows too!
A cervical memory foam pillow can help you sleep better, especially if you experience neck and shoulder pain. It has helped me wake up less often during the night.
I hope some of these tips are applicable in your case and you can finally start getting those 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night!