Are you one of the 50-70 million people suffering from poor sleep? No matter what keeps you up at night, whether it's stress about work, a snoring partner, or even a pet, chances are we could all benefit from catching a few more Z's.
Pretty much everyone would like to get better sleep, but after being wound up all day at work or chugging caffeine throughout the day, falling, and staying, asleep can be a real challenge!
Check out our list of the top 20 tried-and-true strategies to get better sleep.
1. Find The Thermostat Sweet Spot
You can’t help tossing and turning if it’s too hot in your bedroom. Plus, cooler temperatures help your body to regulate its internal temperature, meaning it’ll be much easier to fall asleep. Aim to keep your thermostat between 60F-73F degrees (16C-23C) for optimal sleep.
2. Turn Off The Lights
To help get your body ready for bed, make sure you switch off as many lights as possible and power down your electronics about half an hour before your bedtime.
You know the importance of blocking out light, but did you know that certain scents can also help you to hit the hay? Use lavender and chamomile essential oils on the inside of your wrists and on your temples to encourage your body to relax. Take a few deep breaths, and you’ll be out in no time.
4. Read A Bestseller
We know it’s tough to resist the pull of Netflix, but aim to dedicate at least 15 minutes in the evening to read a book. While it might not be the time to read the latest Stephen King novel, a self-help book or even a spiritual guidebook can help set your mind at ease.
To maximize the effectiveness of this tip, go old school and read an actual book, not an e-reader.
Because you want to train yourself to remove any and all technology from your bedroom. Even the light e-readers give off can make it more of a challenge to fall asleep. So, hit the used bookstore and go old school!
5. Watch What You Eat
We all love snacking at night, but what you eat before bedtime can sometimes make it tough to fall asleep. Resist the pull of sugary cereals, chocolate, and simple carbs. This skyrockets your blood sugar and can make it tough for your body to regulate its energy levels.
Replace your evening snack with proteins and veggies, like cashews or carrots and hummus.
6. Try A Noise Machine
Even if you don’t live on a busy street, sometimes using a noise machine to cancel out excessive or unexpected sound (or break up the silence) can be a huge help.
When you don’t have to hear that jackhammer or the street traffic noise, you’ll be able to fall asleep much more quickly.
7. Create A Routine
We know it can be tempting to stay out all night, especially on the weekends, but doing so throws off your body’s circadian rhythm, which is what helps you to both fall and stay asleep. If possible, make a serious effort to go to bed and wake up at around the same time seven days of the week.
8. Resist The Afternoon Coffee Break
Saying no to that afternoon cup of joe is tough -- but it will make it much easier to sleep at night. Avoid as much caffeine as you can after 12:00 PM. Instead, go for a brisk, quick walk to get your heart rate going and to clear your mind in the afternoons.
9. Hit The Gym First Thing
Waking up to head to the gym before work certainly takes some getting used to.
But if you struggle to fall asleep at night, it can be a huge help.
First of all, your workout will be much more impactful. This tactic is also used by the military, working out before breakfast burns 20% more body fat than an afternoon gym session. This is because when you work out in the morning, your body continues to burn more calories throughout the day. Plus, when you spike your metabolism early, your body releases endorphins in the morning. This means you’ll be energized all day, instead of awake for hours after your evening workout.
10. Take Stock Of Your Day In A Journal
We all deal with racing thoughts at night. But if you don’t get your ideas down on paper, sometimes anxiety creeps up on you when you’re trying to fall asleep.
End the nightmare by journaling for a few minutes before bed (you can also do this instead of reading, as we suggested in tip 4.) That way, you’ll name your stressors, understand your goals for tomorrow, and remember the highlights of your day.
11. Move Around If Needed
There’s nothing worse than lying down in your bed, desperately willing yourself to fall asleep. And guess what? It doesn’t work. If anything, it will only make it harder. If you’re truly having one of those nights where nothing else works, it’s OK to get up, out of bed, and walk around.
Your body will tire out quickly, and you’ll take your mind off of falling asleep.
12. Get More Magnesium
If you’re struggling to sleep, it could be your body letting you know you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet. Try adding more nuts and seeds to your diets, and eat a banana as an afternoon snack.
13. Try Interval Training
Earlier in this post, we spoke about the importance of working out as early in the day as possible to help train your body to go to sleep faster. The type of workout you do makes a difference, too. For best results, try interval training. Sprint for 1 minute, jog for 2, walk for 1, and repeat the cycle for at least 20 minutes.
14. Head Outside In The Morning
If you can’t make it to the gym in the mornings, at least make sure you spend a few minutes outside every day.
This pumps your body full of Vitamin D, and helps to balance out the cortisol levels. All of this will help make falling asleep a little easier.
15. Take A Bubble Bath
It’s always good to have an excuse to pamper yourself! Pick out your favorite bath balm or essential oil and clean your body of toxins by taking a nice, warm bubble bath.
16. Drink Chamomile Tea
This is probably something your grandmother suggested to you -- and with good reason! Drinking chamomile tea before bed will help you to fall asleep faster by making you feel drowsy. If you don’t like the taste of chamomile, a glass of warm milk will do the trick too.
17. Meditate Before Bed
Especially if you deal with racing thoughts, meditating or trying basic breathing exercises before bed can help you to relax and get both your mind and body ready to fall asleep. Use thebest sleep mask to help you slip into deep meditation with ease. There are countless guided meditations on YouTube you can try, so don’t be afraid to check out several routines to find the most effective one for you.
Think about the positive parts of your day, and what you’re looking forward to about tomorrow.
18. Try Natural Sleep Supplements
If you’re really struggling, we know it can be tempting to talk to your doctor about prescription medication. However, before you do that, make sure to try natural sleep supplements like melatonin, valerian root, or even passion flower tea.
They’ll help to relax you without leaving you feeling groggy the next day.
19. Rethink Your Mattress
If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new mattress, chances are that it’s time for an upgrade. Even the best sleep tips in the world can’t help you if your mattress is as hard as a rock.
If you sleep with a partner, look for a mattress you can both adjust to your comfort levels. Additionally, if possible always buy an organic mattress, which will be free from irritating chemicals and dyes.
20. Sleep With Weighted Blankets
If you’ve never heard of weighted blankets, we understand that the idea can seem pretty weird. However, these special blankets, which usually weigh anywhere from 15-20 pounds, can seriously help to calm your evening anxiety.
Plus, the weight of the mattress offers benefits similar to a soothing massage and helps your body to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Do you struggle to fall asleep? Are you worried about risks from using sleeping pills? Here are the Top 20 ways to fall asleep naturally!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our blog, e-mails, or programs is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that can be provided by your healthcare professionals.