The quality of your sleep has a direct effect on your physical and mental health. When you don’t sleep properly, it can take a toll on every aspect of your life, including your health, safety, productivity and emotional balance. On the other hand, good sleep will make you stay healthier, feel better and be more productive. It’s unfortunate that many people around the world are struggling with poor sleep every night.
If you fall into that group, don’t give up on yourself just yet because we’re here to help you. We understand that every person is different, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Because of this, we’ve compiled 16 different techniques below that can help improve the quality of your sleep. So, take your time and experiment with different methods until you find what works for you. Continue reading below to learn more:
1. Stick To A Consistent Sleeping Schedule
Your body has a natural regulatory system known as the circadian rhythm. This 24-hour internal clock signals your body to stay sleepy at night and remain awake during the day. Many people find it hard nowadays to maintain a consistent sleep pattern because of their busy schedules. However, you shouldn’t make this a habit as it greatly interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm.
If you want to enjoy better quality sleep, stick to a regular and consistent sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. If you can’t do it on your own, set an alarm clock to make things easier for you.
Also, make sure you observe the 7 to 9 hours of sleep duration that’s recommended by doctors for optimal sleep. If for some reason you’re unable to get enough sleep during the week, don’t sleep the entire day on weekends to pay for the debt. It’s much better to take short naps (not more than 30 minutes) earlier in the day if you feel sleepy so you don’t interfere with your regular sleep schedule.
2. Mind How And When You Exercise
If you haven’t started exercising yet, it’s about time you include it into your daily routine. Having regular physical exercises can help you stay healthy, have a great body and improve your confidence. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, physical exercises can also help to improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
However, be careful about when and how fast you exercise. A very intense exercise routine right before bed isn’t recommended because it will surely lead to poor sleep. Doing moderate intensity exercises in the morning is much better for improving the duration and quality of your sleep.
3. Avoid High Carb Meals Before Going To Bed
Did you know that your eating habits, especially a few hours before going to bed can significantly affect the quality of your sleep? Yes, that’s right. High carb diets may make you fall asleep faster, but when you consume them too close to your bedtime, your stomach is likely to be too full and too uncomfortable. In the end, you may not have that restful sleep you badly need.
Therefore, if you have to eat a high carb meal at night, make sure you do so four hours or more prior to your bedtime to give your body enough digestion time. You should also consider taking a light, healthy snack rich in lean protein or magnesium before bed to help you sleep better and keep your stomach full throughout the night.
You also need to avoid drinking wine or alcohol before going to bed, as this will interfere with your sleep pattern. Consumption of sugary, spicy and acidic foods are also not recommended at night.
4. Turn Off All Electronics
Your bedroom is supposed to be for sex and sleeping only. Unfortunately, many people continue working, chatting with friends on social media or watching movies late at night in their bedrooms. All these activities will only make it harder for you to fall asleep.
So, do the right thing and remove any work material and electronic device (such as smartphones, laptop, television and video games) from your bedroom. We assure you that you’ll be able to sleep much better without all these distractions.
5. Balance Your Intake Of Fluids
Most of us have at some point woken up in the middle of the night to go quench our thirst. There are also those who are woken up by a full bladder because they took too many fluids before bed. We know that leaving your comfortable bed isn’t easy, but holding your urine till morning isn’t going to be fun either. So, to avoid these two scenarios, it’s important that you drink enough fluids to keep your body hydrated throughout the night. However, it shouldn’t be too close to your sleeping time that it disrupts your sleep in the middle of the night.
6. Get Rid Of Distracting Noise From Your Bedroom
Noise such as loud music, barking dogs, and car horns, can all significantly reduce the quality of your night rest. So, make it your responsibility to eliminate any distracting noise from your bedroom so you can sleep better. If you find yourself in an unavoidable noisy environment, using earplugs can help you block out all unwanted noise that may interfere with your sleep.
7. Don’t Force Yourself To Sleep
When you have a busy day tomorrow and have only a few hours left, but you can’t just fall asleep, what do you do? Do you continue turning and tossing while hoping that you’ll fall asleep soon, or do you get up and do something else? Many of us are guilty of committing the first option, which always leads to frustration.
Therefore, if you’re still awake 30 minutes after going to your bed, then it’s advisable to get up and try doing something else. This should be anything relaxing like listening to soothing music, reading a book or doing yoga. Make sure you only go back to bed when you truly feel tired and sleepy. If you do so, you’ll drift off before you know it.
8. Take A Warm Shower Or Bath Before Going To Bed
Having a warm shower or bath after a long, tiring day not only helps to wash off the dirt and sweat on your body but also helps to prepare you for sleep. It does so by relaxing your body and mind and raising your body temperature. The rise and fall of your body temperature after a warm bath helps to promote drowsiness, which in turn, makes it easier for you to fall into a deep sleep.
9. Avoid Taking Coffee Before Bed
Coffee is a popular beverage that’s loved all over the world. However, drinking coffee at night is not recommended because the caffeine in it can stimulate wakefulness for up to six hours.
Therefore, you should take your coffee only in the early hours of your day if you don’t want to disrupt your normal sleep pattern. If you must drink something, go for a warm cup of tea instead. Tea is rich in compounds that will boost your sleep naturally.
10. Have Regular Sex
The physical part of having sex with your significant other will definitely make you very tired. So, you’re more likely to fall asleep soon after the act. Having regular sex also helps to reduce the stress hormone (cortisol), while at the same time boosting the happy hormone (oxytocin) in your body. This makes you more relaxed and happier, thereby putting you in a sleep mode.
11. Keep Your Pets Out Of Your Bed
We all love our pets for their unconditional loyalty and the good company they provide for us. Because of that love, some people allow their pets to sleep with them on the same bed. While this gesture may sound sweet, it’s not recommended by experts if you want to enjoy uninterrupted night rest. So, prepare a separate, comfy place for your fluffy friend to rest at night.
12. Use Breathing Techniques To Induce Sleep
Practicing breathing techniques before you hit your pillow can also make your body more relaxed and calm, and prepare you for sleep. If you do a quick search online, you’ll see that there are numerous breathing techniques available that you can try. However, we’ll focus on the 4-7-8 technique for the sake of this article. Here are the steps for this breathing technique:
- a) Put the tip of your tongue at the back of your upper front teeth.
- b) Once you do so, exhale through your mouth completely.
- c) Then shut your mouth and try to inhale via your nose at the same time counting mentally from 1 to 4.
- d) Hold your breath after that and start a mental count from 1 to 7.
- e) When you get to 7, open your mouth to exhale and start a mental count from 1 to 8.
- f) Repeat the cycle 3 or more times before sleeping.
You can practice this technique anytime you feel stressed or anxious. Alternatively, you should also consider counting slowly from 100 to 1. This is a very old method that has been used by many people to induce sleep successfully.
13. Read Relaxing Words Before Going To Bed
Did you know that reading relaxing words before going to bed can improve the quality of your sleep? Yes, that’s right. Reading sleep-related words can help you stay calm and relaxed, and make you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.
14. Use CBD Oil TO Improve Your Sleep
Many people already smoke the marijuana plant to get high. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive form of marijuana, which has increased in popularity over the years due to its numerous therapeutic benefits.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, CBD oil is a natural sleep aid that can help you to sleep better. According to the people at Buy It CBD, it does so by easing the symptoms of stress, anxiety and pain, all of which can contribute to poor sleep. When you ingest cannabidiol, it directly interacts with a series of receptors in your brain that controls the sleep and wake cycle in your body. This, in turn, helps your mind to stay calm and relaxed, enabling you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
15. Write It Down
Hectic work schedules, bad relationships, heavy traffic, financial problems are just some of the things that can make you stressed and anxious. Stress if not managed properly, can disrupt your sleep at night if you keep thinking about all the bad things that have happened in your life.
You can clear your mind of all those negative thoughts by journaling your worries every evening and throwing the paper away physically. With time, you’ll find yourself thinking less about all the wrongs in your life and more about the positive things that have happened to you. When you’re full of gratitude and happier at bedtime, you’ll sleep faster and better.
16. Pay Attention To Your Sleeping Position
There are 3 major sleeping positions available – side, back and stomach. Every person has a preferred sleeping position that he or she feels comfortable in. However, know that your sleeping position can affect the quality of your sleep. For instance, sleeping on your back can cause snoring, blocked airways as well as sleep apnea, all of which can interrupt your sleep. Various research studies have, however linked the side sleeping position to high-quality sleep.
17. Know When To Seek Professional Help
If after trying all the above techniques, you’re still struggling to sleep, you should consider seeing a doctor. If there’s an underlying medical problem responsible for your poor sleep, your doctor will be able to identify it and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for you.
The Bottom Line
Not having enough sleep every night can be really frustrating. In the long term, poor sleep can take a toll on every aspect of your life, including your health, work and relationships. The good news is that there are several things you can do to improve your sleep naturally. We hope that the numerous methods we’ve discussed above, we’ll help you to sleep much better. Feel free to try as many methods as you want until you find what works for you. Once you do so, apply them consistently in your daily life to help you achieve long-term success.