Table of Contents
- Start With a Quality Mattress
- Make Your Bed Comfortable
- Consider Your Sleeping Position
- Start a Sleep Schedule
- Nap With Caution
- Create a Dark Sleeping Environment
- Control Noises
- Adjust the Temperature
- Watch What You Consume
- Get Light During the Day
- Limit Late Night Screen Time
- Restrict Bedroom Activities
- Exercise Regularly
- Control Your Stress
- Be Careful With Sleep Aids
- Don’t Stress if You Can’t Sleep
- Talk to Your Doctor
- Learn How to Sleep Good
Do you regularly get the recommended 7+ hours of sleep that adults need or do you come up short? Is the time you get quality sleep?
If you toss and turn, have trouble falling asleep, or wake up frequently, you’re missing out on the deep sleep you need to feel rested. Sleep deficiency can cause chronic health problems, impair your brain functioning, and impact your performance during the day.
Learning how to sleep good can help you feel better during the day. Making changes to your sleep environment and daytime behaviors can make a big difference in how you sleep.
Keep reading to learn tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Start With a Quality Mattress
Without a comfortable, supportive mattress, you don’t stand much of a chance of getting good rest. The perfect mattress depends on your preferences.
Mattresses range from ultra plush to extra firm. Ultra plush mattresses don’t provide much support, but they feel ultra cushioned. Extra firm mattresses give ample support, but they don’t allow for any give, which can make them too hard to sleep comfortably.
Most people fall somewhere in the middle. Testing out different firmness levels before buying a new mattress can help you choose the best option for you.
A variety of foam mattress options gives you choices that are often more comfortable than traditional innerspring mattresses. Quality foam mattresses ease pressure points, contour to your body, and help keep you cool while you sleep.
If your mattress is old, worn, or uncomfortable, consider upgrading it to a newer, higher quality mattress.
Make Your Bed Comfortable
Do you look forward to crawling into your bed each night? If your bed isn’t comfortable, you might notice sleeping difficulties. Your bedding can impact your comfort even if you have a quality mattress suited to your sleeping type.
Start with your pillows. If they’re too thick or thin, too hard or too soft, you won’t feel comfortable. Test out different pillow firmness levels, thicknesses, and materials to find one that fits your preferences.
Your bedding should also feel soft and cozy based on your personal preferences. Some people like the smooth feel of satin sheets while others prefer the coziness of flannel or another material. The time of year might affect which bedding you prefer.
No matter what bedding material you prefer, invest in a quality set. Cheap bedding can feel scratchy and uncomfortable.
Adding a mattress topper can also help. It can add support or create a cushioning layer on your bed.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
Have you ever wondered what is the healthiest sleeping position? Any position can work for you as long as your spine is aligned and supported, but side sleeping can offer some healthy benefits. It tends to allow the best spine alignment and keep your airways open.
Most people gravitate toward a certain position that feels the most comfortable to them. Even if that’s not side sleeping for you, make sure your bed allows you to sleep in that position comfortably with your spine aligned with your head.
Start a Sleep Schedule
Getting into a predictable routine, especially with bedtime and wake-up time, can help your body get into a good sleep pattern. This can improve the quality of your sleep and make it easier to fall asleep.
Your circadian rhythms happen naturally within your body. Working with your circadian rhythms can help you sleep better. Daylight is an important factor in establishing those circadian rhythms, which is why you sleep better when you’re awake during the day and asleep at night.
Depending on your schedule, you might not be able to follow a traditional schedule of sleeping at night. An example is a third-shift worker. No matter when you sleep, getting into a regular routine can help.
Choose your bedtime to allow for plenty of sleep before you have to wake up for work or other obligations. You might have to make occasional adjustments for special circumstances, but try to keep your bedtime similar every night when possible.
If you’re making a major change in your bedtime, go with a gradual approach. Trying to go to bed several hours earlier suddenly can make it feel impossible to fall asleep, which can leave you frustrated. Move your bedtime a little each day until you get to your ideal bedtime.
Waking up at the same time can also help. That means giving up those extra late weekend mornings in favor of your normal weekday wake-up time. Sleeping in late can throw off your schedule.
If you have trouble getting into that sleep schedule, try some soothing bedtime routines that signal to your brain that it’s sleep time. Quiet activities that don’t stimulate your brain are best. That might include reading a book instead of using an e-reader, taking a bath, or meditating.
Nap With Caution
If naps are part of your daily routine, they could throw off your nighttime sleep. Long naps can make you feel refreshed, but they can also make it difficult to sleep at night. Naps later in the day can also affect your sleep, even if they’re short.
Stick to short naps that are about 15 to 20 minutes long earlier in the afternoon. It’s just enough to make you feel refreshed without getting in too much sleep during the day.
Create a Dark Sleeping Environment
A dark bedroom can cut down on sleep disruptions and make it easier to fall asleep. Replace your window coverings with blackout curtains to stop any light from coming in while you sleep. You can create the same effect with a sleep mask if you prefer that solution.
Avoid sleeping with nightlights in the hallway or other areas that might shine into your bedroom unless you need them for safety. Electronics can also have lights on them that glow at night. Move them or cover the lights to darken your room.
Sound levels in your room can impact your sleep. If you live in a busy, noisy neighborhood, those outside noises can interrupt your sleep. Blackout curtains can help dampen noise.
White noise can also help you sleep better. Hearing the hum of a fan or other white noise can create a constant, soothing sound that helps you sleep. It can also help drown out the outside noises.
Adjust the Temperature
The temperature in your bedroom can impact how well you sleep. The recommended temperature range is anywhere from 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, which might be colder than your normal daytime thermostat setting.
Test different temperatures to see how cool you like your room when you sleep. When you find your ideal nighttime temperature, program your thermostat to hit that temperature automatically before your bedtime so the room has time to cool.
You can also keep yourself cooler by choosing lightweight clothes for bed. Cool bedding can also help you feel comfortable.
Watch What You Consume
The things you consume throughout the day, especially closer to bedtime, can interfere with restful sleep.
Caffeine is an obvious sleep disruption when consumed in the afternoon or evening since it stays in your body for hours. Your body eliminates about half of the caffeine after 6 hours, which means there’s still caffeine left that can keep you awake. Coffee and soda come to mind, but many other drinks and foods contain caffeine as well.
Nicotine is another offender since it’s a stimulant. Smoking before bedtime can cause you to feel more alert and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Large meals late at night can disrupt sleep. Consider foods that cause you digestive issues, such as spicy or acidic items, and avoid them near bedtime.
Downing lots of drinks before bedtime can wake you up throughout the night to use the bathroom. Alcohol in any amount at night can affect how well you sleep.
Get Light During the Day
Your light exposure affects your body’s natural melatonin production. When you’re in light conditions, your brain releases less melatonin so you can stay awake and alert. When it’s dark, it releases more to help you sleep.
Being strategic about your light exposure can help improve sleep. Get out into the bright sunlight as soon as you can after you wake up.
Continue soaking up the sunlight as often as possible during the day. If you’re stuck indoors, pull open your window coverings as much as possible to let the light flow into your room.
The sun isn’t the only source of light that can disrupt your sleep. Bright screens and artificial light can trick your mind into lowering melatonin. Lower the lights within 1 to 2 hours of your bedtime to limit the effects.
Limit Late Night Screen Time
Electronic screens are a major offender when it comes to nighttime light. The blue light from screens can stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to sleep. Shut off your devices an hour or two before you head to sleep to help your brain prepare for sleep.
Restrict Bedroom Activities
Your bed might be so comfy that you want to do everything there, from reading and watching TV to finishing up work on your laptop. As tempting as that is, it’s usually best to reserve that space for sleeping and sex. When you keep it to those things, your brain solidifies that association and may make it easier to sleep.
Schedule workouts during the morning or afternoon to improve your sleep. It can help you fall asleep better and increase the amount of deep sleep you get.
Exercising too close to bedtime, especially moderate to vigorous exercising, can interrupt your sleep. Your working kicks your metabolism into gear and boosts your body temperature, which can make sleep difficult. Calming exercises, such as yoga or stretching, might not affect you if you do them at night.
Control Your Stress
Unresolved stress or negative emotions can keep you awake for hours after your bedtime. Those issues often become more apparent when you lie down for the night.
Work on handling your stress during the day to ease the nighttime struggle. Simplifying your daytime schedule can reduce stress and help you avoid overstimulation, which can make it easier to sleep.
Tailoring a stress relief protocol that works for you can help you feel more relaxed overall. Deep breathing, yoga, visualization, and relaxation exercises can help.
It can also be helpful to avoid activities that can increase your stress and worry close to bedtime. Reading the news or going on social media can increase your anxiety if you come across negative stories.
Be Careful With Sleep Aids
If you struggle with insomnia, you might consider using sleep aids. While that seems like an effective strategy, sleep aids don’t work well for everyone. Some can make you feel worse in the morning or cause dependency to fall asleep.
Don’t start using sleep aids on your own. Ask your doctor about sleep aids first to make sure they’re right for you. Your doctor might have other suggestions that you can try before using drugs.
Don’t Stress if You Can’t Sleep
Lying awake when you know you should be asleep can increase your stress. You might start checking the clock constantly and counting down how little time you have left to sleep. You might try harder to fall asleep, only to find it backfiring.
All that worry over not sleeping can keep you awake. The longer you lie there worrying about not sleeping, the harder it is to fall sleep.
If you can’t get to sleep within 20 minutes, or if you wake up during the night and stay awake longer than 20 minutes, try getting up and doing something relaxing. Avoid bright lights and stimulating activities if you get up. Pay close attention to how you feel, and head back to bed as soon as you feel drowsy again.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you still aren’t sleeping well by making changes yourself, consider getting a medical expert’s opinion. Your doctor might be able to pinpoint a medical problem that’s interfering with your sleep and offer additional options for handling your sleep problems.
Learn How to Sleep Good
Following our guide on how to sleep good can help you get the rest you need. Look for the problems in your current sleeping situation and make changes to feel better all day long.
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