Last Updated on February 19, 2021 by Lori Geurin
Good sleep is vital for staying healthy and being well. But quality sleep doesn’t always come easy. With that in mind, here are 16 tips to help you sleep better at night.
When your alarm goes off in the morning do you wake up feeling well-rested and hit the floor running? Or, do you hit the snooze a few times, drag yourself out of bed, and head straight to the kitchen for a tall mug of coffee? If your sleep schedule is out of sync don’t lose hope. The tips below can help you get to sleep faster and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep.
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Night Owl Or Early Bird?
I’ll admit I’m not a morning person – definitely a night owl. My family knows this well. My husband and kids even bought me a bathrobe for Christmas one year with a coffee mug on it that said, “Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee.” This pretty much sums it up.
But whether you’re a night owl or a morning person, sleep is essential to your health. When you’re sleeping the body repairs itself so you can wake up feeling refreshed.
But when your sleep suffers night after night it makes you more susceptible to illness, disease, and depression. Sleep deprivation is simply bad for your health. But don’t worry because there are things you can do to help yourself sleep better. Below are some all-natural tips to sleep better…without a prescription.
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16 Quick Tips To Help You Sleep Better Tonight
1. Have a regular sleep routine.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Even on the weekends. Creating a regular sleep schedule trains your body’s natural rhythm.
2. Avoid caffeine late in the day.
Although caffeine has many benefits, it stimulates your nervous system and can prevent you from relaxing at night.
One study showed the negative impact caffeine has on sleep when consumed within 6 hours before bed (1). For your best night of sleep, avoid drinking caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda after 3 or 4 pm.
3. Avoid drinking alcohol late in the day.
Drinking alcohol before bed can make if difficult to sleep and even impact your hormones.
Alcohol consumption can interfere with melatonin production, which alters your circadian rhythm (2). Drinking alcohol can also decrease the levels of human growth hormone (HGH) which impacts your ability to sleep.
4. Create a comfortable sleeping environment.
Eliminate light and noise to make your bedroom free of distractions. Choose a comfortable mattress and soft, comfy bedding.
You might enjoy a luxurious comforter set, a set of cooling memory foam pillows, or a duvet set to make your bedroom extra cozy. Indulging in some comfortable items will infuse relaxation and rejuvenation into your space.
And if outside noise (or a snoring partner) is keeping you up at night, you might want to get a white noise maker. This is the one we have. I’m a light sleeper and I love it so much that I even take it with me when I travel.
5. Avoid eating a large meal late in the evening.
Some people find that eating a small number of carbs a few hours before bed helps them fall asleep faster. Yet, it’s interesting to note that one study showed following a low-carb diet can improve sleep too. So do what works best for you.
6. Exercise, but not before bed.
Regular exercise during daylight hours is great for promoting sleep. But avoid working out late in the day to prevent having trouble falling asleep later. Exercise stimulates the body. This boosts your levels of alertness hormones, like adrenaline.
But it doesn’t affect everyone the same so listen to your body and do what works best for you.
7. Daily exposure to sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep.
Daily exposure to natural sunlight has many health benefits. But if this isn’t possible, you can buy artificial bright light bulbs and special bright light devices. A light therapy lamp is one example.
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8. Reduce long naps in the daytime.
While 30-minute or fewer naps can boost your brain function, long naps can make sleeping at night more difficult. So, if this is a problem for you, try cutting back on the long naps and see if it helps.
Power naps rule.
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9. Cut back on blue light exposure in the evening.
Unnatural blue light can upset your circadian rhythm. Blue light-blocking glasses, apps for your computer and smartphones, and turning the TV off a couple of hours before bed can help.
Did you know that you can program your devices to eliminate blue light? Here is how to set your iOS, Android, or Windows10 devices so that the blue light will go off at night. I did this with my cell phone and Chromebook and it works like a charm. Every day. Automatically.
10. Take a melatonin supplement.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that has no withdrawal effects. Taking 1-3 mg about 30 minutes before you go to bed can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality. Check with your doctor first to make sure it’s a good option for you.
There are many brands available but I like this one because it boosts your ability to sleep with a minimum dose.
There’s a lot of misinformation about melatonin with people believing that large doses will help them sleep better. But this is a case where less is more. So, please do your homework and avoid megadoses of melatonin. Because taking too much can have the opposite effect on your sleep.
The next tip may seem like common sense but it bears repeating…
11. Relax before heading to bed.
You can try many techniques to clear your mind, including:
- taking a hot bath
- listening to music
- reading a book
- doing deep breathing exercises
Whatever helps you relax. Do that. Here are 33 Personal Growth Journal Prompts To Improve Your Life.
12. Reserve the bedroom for bedroom activities only.
Sleep and intimacy…you know the ones.
Keep work and paying bills out of the bedroom for less stress and more relaxation.
13. Keep temperatures on the cool side.
People usually sleep better in a cool room with the thermostat set somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But, again, everyone is different. To find your perfect sleeping temperature. Then set it and forget it.
And if you don’t live alone and you find yourselves on opposite ends of the temperature spectrum, don’t stress. If you’re cold-natured, like me, simply wear more layers and add a blanket. And if you’re warm-natured, well, then do the opposite. (Fewer blankets, fewer clothes.)
You got this.
14. Don’t check the alarm clock (or cell phone) to see what time it is.
I used to do this when I was having trouble falling asleep….adding up the amount of sleep I was going to get if I fell asleep right then. But, this is not a good idea and causes more stress, making it even harder to fall asleep.
So resist the urge to check the time and do some deep breathing instead. Clear your mind. Focus on relaxation.
15. Smell some lavender essential oil.
Or apply lavender lotion. Or burn a lavender candle. Lavender helps induce sleep. Simple as that.
16. Drink some chamomile tea.
Or warm milk…Drinking warm liquids tends to make you sleepy.
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Summary – Tips For Better Sleep
I hope you enjoyed these natural sleep strategies and are well on your way to catching all the zzz’s tonight. Just keep in mind that sleep patterns can ebb and flow throughout your lifetime.
Some people are naturally deep sleepers who can sleep anywhere, like my husband. And others (like me and maybe you) are light sleepers who need some extra care and preparation before hitting the hay.
Hopefully, the tips above give you some useful ideas before you drift off to dreamland tonight.
If you have chronic pain, be sure to read How To Sleep Better With Chronic Back Pain.
Do you have trouble sleeping? What helps you fall asleep fast?
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