Forget Counting Sheep: 9 Tips for Better Sleep

35% of all adults report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, leaving them sleep-deprived and exhausted.

So what can you do to get better sleep so you can start feeling energized and awake? We’ve rounded up some of the best tips to ensure improved sleep is right around the corner.

1. Keep a Consistent Routine

Your body likes predictability and routine, so when it knows what to expect, it naturally gets better sleep.

So whether you like it or not, get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends.

If you follow the same habits and hobbies before bed each night, it will naturally clue your body into getting ready for bed. This will eventually lead to more restful, deeper sleep. 

2. Put Screens Away

Blue light is a huge modern-day culprit that’s messing with our ability to get good sleep. Shut off all screens (looking at your bedroom TV, I see your phone) at least an hour before bed.

If quitting screens before bed is hard for you, getting blue light canceling glasses can help negate some of the effects. Remember, screen time doesn’t let your brain rest, so it’s not a good pre-bed activity anyway.

If you can, you may find that you wake up better to a traditional alarm clock than one on your phone. Your mornings may even be more streamlined and less stressful if you leave your phone on the charger for another hour.

3. Make It Dark

We’re very sensitive to the cycles of natural night and day. Today, street lights, chargers, and other night lights can hit your eye in the middle of the night and wake you up, ruining your sleep.

Instead, get blackout curtains and leave all the lights off in your room. If it emits light, cover it up or get it out. A dark space is vital to a good night’s sleep.

If your extra sensitive to light, or if you have a partner who’s a bit more screen-addicted than you, it’s also not a bad idea to consider a cozy sleep mask. An eye mask guarantees no light triggers your eye and lets you sleep all night long. 

4. Get the Temperature Right

We naturally sleep best at about 65 degrees. If you can keep your bedroom temperature cold, it helps your body regulate for the best sleep possible.

Even dropping the temperature by a few degrees helps your body settle in for the night.

5. Upgrade Your Bedding

Make sure you wash your bedding at least once every other week, if not weekly. Bedsheets are a breeding ground for dust and dirt and sweat and oils, so it’s important to keep your sheets clean.

If it’s been a few years, it’s worth upgrading your bedding. New textures that better match the weather can make falling asleep feel like settling into a cloud.

6. Get a Better Mattress

You need to replace your mattress about every five to ten years, depending on the wear and tear and initial quality. If it’s been a few years, or you feel like you’re sagging in the middle, it may be a good time to reinvest in a new mattress.

Mattresses can be taxing to the environment, both to create and to dispose of. Do what you can to make a sustainable choice with your next purchase and consider a sustainable latex mattress.

7. Try a Sleep Supplement

Melatonin and valerian root are popular common sleep supplements that can help trigger your body to settle in for the night. You may also want to consider these cute and tasty melatonin gummy bears.

So far these natural supplements have been proven safe to help you get better sleep. They’re non-addictive, and they get the job done.

8. Meditate

Meditation has been touted for its ability to settle your mind for centuries. Building a meditation practice can help you keep lingering night thoughts out of your head.

Any amount of meditation is helpful for your sleep since it teaches your brain to rest. A specific sleep meditation practice would be most beneficial.

Many apps offer free sleep meditations, or you can always find good sleep-guided meditations available on YouTube.

If you’re cutting out screens before bed (good for you), you can find guided sleep meditations available on CD too. Or, you can always just meditate unguided. Any of these tactics will help settle your brain and prepare for sleep.

9. Use Your Day

Finally, when you’re looking for better sleep remember that it doesn’t start just before bed. The way you spend your day has a direct impact on how well you sleep.

For starters, make sure you get exposed to bright sunlight shortly after waking. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm to match with the natural day and night cycle.

It’s also important you get exercise throughout the day. Wearing your body out will help you sleep and recharge better. It also gets rid of all your restless energy so there’s less to keep you up at night.

Better Sleep Is Right Around the Corner

Better sleep is achievable for everyone. By keeping a clean, healthy sleep routine, you can feel more energy throughout the day and sleep better at night.

Make sure you keep a consistent schedule and remember getting ready for the night starts the moment you wake up. Get some sunlight and exercise to help your body properly regulate your sleep needs.

Was this helpful? Check out the other articles in our Health section for more great tips!

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