10 Sleep Tricks and Tips to Getting a Better Night’s Sleep.
About 1 in 3 adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, you know the impact a poor sleep schedule can have on the rest of your life.
Are you struggling with sleep and need to find some easy ways to make your sleep not only more regular, but better in quality?
If so, you’re in the right place. Learn about 10 sleep tricks that can help you below.
- Limit Naps During the Day
If you’re taking a lot of naps throughout the week or take long naps every day, it will eventually start to interfere with your nighttime rest. People that work at night may find that napping late in the day before work will help with your overall sleep, but other people should avoid naps that are too close to bedtime. If you do choose to nap, be sure to limit it to only 30 minutes or less.
- Be More Active with Exercise
If you’re regularly active, you’re more likely to get better sleep. You shouldn’t be too active close to bedtime, however, because this may keep you up later than you’d like.
When you’re active throughout the day, you will be more tired at night and more awake during your waking hours. This is good for people that want to keep a regular schedule.
If you’re doing more vigorous exercise, you’re more likely to have positive sleep benefits. Even light exercise, however, will be good for your sleep quality.
Remember that it may take a few months of regular activity before you start to get the sleep benefits, so keep it up! Be patient with your body and focus on continuing to do healthy activities during the day to create a habit.
- Don’t Focus on Worries and Woes
It can be hard for everyone to shut off their brains when it’s time for bed. If you’re worried about something or have anxiety, you may not be able to calm down enough to get the rest you need.
This is one of those sleep hacks that may sound difficult, but there are some simple things you can do to redirect your attention.
It may be helpful to write down whatever is bothering you and set it to the side of your bed to look at tomorrow. You also could benefit from practicing other stress management techniques, like being more organized before going to bed, setting priorities for the next day, or even meditating.
- Practice Deep Breathing
If you try deep breathing exercises, you can lower your heart rate, lower your stress levels, and lower your blood pressure all at once.
To practice deep breathing, do the following:
- Lay down on your bed and close your eyes
- Place a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach
- Breathe in through your nose slowly and feel your stomach rise (your chest should hardly move)
- Breathe out through your mouth slowly and push as much air out as possible by focusing on your stomach
- Continue to do this until you start to feel relaxed
- There are other deep breathing exercises that can help you get a better sleep.
- Set a Sleep Schedule
Every adult should get somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. We all have different requirements to function at optimal levels during the day, so you may want to experiment a little bit to achieve this goal.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even the weekends!) to set a sleep schedule. If you must stray from your schedule, keep it within an hour to reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
If you find you’re unable to fall asleep, you can get up and do something relaxing for a little while. Listen to music, read a book, or watch a short episode of TV. Go back to bed when you’re starting to get tired and repeat this as needed.
- Make Your Bedroom Cozy
Make sure your room is comfortable for you to sleep in and that you’re not having trouble sleeping because of your bed or pillows.
You also want to make sure that you don’t let in too much light, sound, or other environmental factors that could be distracting.
Wear the right clothing to bed as well. This may include something like a comfortable pair of soft shorts, sleep socks, and a lightweight tank top.
It may be worth it to invest in things that will make your room cozier, like a humidifier, white noise machine, or earplugs.
- Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink
You shouldn’t go to bed when you’re hungry or when you’re overly full. Don’t eat a large meal within a few hours of bedtime because you may be too uncomfortable to fall asleep.
Try to avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol as well. The effects of these substances will take a while to wear off and can mess with the quality of sleep you get.
Another thing to try and avoid is a lot of liquids before bed. You’ll have to get up in the night to head to be the bathroom.
Lastly, carbs and sugar can trigger you to feel more awake during the night. Things like sweets, baked goods, white bread, or pasta eaten during the day may pull you out of your restorative stages of sleep at night.
- Control Light Exposure
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It is controlled by the amount of light we are exposed to, so your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark to make you sleepy and less when it’s light to make you more awake.
Modern life, however, can alter the way our bodies produce melatonin because of screens and electronics.
To control your excess light exposure, consider avoiding:
- Bright screens within a few hours of bedtime
- Late-night television sessions
- Backlit devices (laptops, tablets, or smartphones)
- Other sources of excess light, such as bright lamps
You should try to keep your room dark at night to ensure you aren’t getting light pollution in your bedroom. You may also want to consider installing a light dimmer or softer bulbs in your lights for nighttime use.
- Control Your Bedroom Temperature
You may not realize it, but the temperature of your body and of your room can impact the quality of sleep you get every night. You’ve probably been somewhere when it’s too hot to fall asleep in the summer or too cold to fall asleep in the winter.
Aim to set your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit at night for the best sleep. A programmable thermostat could be a good solution for you if you want to have the temperature a little higher during the day.
- Learn How to Get Back to Sleep
If you’re sleeping and wake up, you may find it very hard to get back to sleep (even if you’re tired). The reasons for this can vary from person to person, but if you’re having trouble, these tips may help.
When struggling to sleep, you may start to stress about the fact that you’re not asleep. This only encourages your body to stay awake!
Focus on your breath and try to pay attention to the way your body feels. This will help you from getting distracted and will make it easier to fall back asleep.
The goal when you’re trying to fall asleep is to relax. You can’t sleep without getting relaxed first.
Try progressive muscle relaxation or meditation (both of which can be done while you’re laying down) to relax a little bit easier.
When Should You Contact Your Doctor?
Everyone will have a sleepless night at some point, but if it happens to you often, you need to contact your doctor. You may have an underlying condition that is causing you to have sleep problems and identifying and treating the condition could help.
A common issue people have is sleep apnea. This is when you have inconsistent breathing or interrupted breathing when you sleep. About 22 million people in the United States have this condition.
You also may be dealing with a sleep movement disorder or a problem with your circadian rhythm. Regardless, if you are struggling with sleep, you need to consult a healthcare professional.
Use These Sleep Tricks and Sleep Well Tonight
If you want to sleep better at night, try to use some of these sleep tricks to make it happen. You may want to use a few to make sure that you’re able to get the rest you deserve.
Do you want to get more tips for sleeping in relation to bodybuilding or other advice? If so, check out the rest of our website for extra information that may help you.