Last Updated on January 20, 2021
We are constantly bombarded with articles that tell us how important it is to have a balanced diet, to engage in regular physical activity and even how vital it is that we stay hydrated – but are you aware that sleeping properly is just as important as all the other things we mentioned before? A good night’s sleep is essential if you want to function properly, physically, and mentally. Not to mention that better sleep habits promote many different health benefits – you will be better at exercise, your brain will feel sharper than ever, and your appetite will be regulated, resulting in overall better health. But how to sleep better at night? You are not alone in this struggle of finding out how to get better sleep, and to help you out, we compiled a list of ten things you can do to improve your sleeping habits.
Table of Contents
1. Expose yourself to natural light during the day
If you want to sleep better, you need to allow your inner clock to work correctly. Also known as the circadian rhythm, this clock is responsible for telling you when you should be awake and when you should be asleep. The way this clock is regulated is quite primitive, but natural sunlight plays a big role in this process. By exposing yourself to sunlight daily, your circadian rhythm will remain healthy, which will consequently improve the duration and the quality of your sleep.
2. Avoid all screens before bedtime
While exposing yourself to light during the day can have a positive effect on your sleep schedule, doing so during nighttime will do the complete opposite, as it will trick your brain into thinking that the day is still happening. As a result, the production of hormones like melatonin, that play a great role in getting you to relax and eventually fall asleep, can be affected. Long story short, here is our tip to get better sleep: stay away from screens for at least two hours before bedtime, and if you must use these devices, try to find a way to block the blue light from the screen.
3. Avoid caffeine later in the day
90% of the U.S. population claims to consume caffeine daily, and they should, as it carries various health benefits – a single cup of coffee can provide you with the energy and focus you need to carry your activities throughout the day. But if you want to sleep well during the night, you should avoid caffeine later in your day, since it stimulates the nervous system, thus preventing you from entering that much-needed relaxation state that allows you to fall asleep.
4. Don’t take long naps throughout the day
If you ever wondered how to get a better sleep schedule, avoiding naps can be the answer to your question. While a quick power nap during the day can be quite refreshing, taking multiple or longer naps can have the opposite effect, and it might even keep you from sleeping properly at night. If you don’t have the discipline to take a 20-minute nap in the afternoon, it’s better not to take a nap at all.
5. Be consistent
If you are serious about regulating your body’s circadian rhythm, it’s of the essence that you establish a bedtime and a time to wake up and try to stick with it. People with irregular sleeping schedules experience more difficulties when it comes to falling asleep. Still, with a little bit of consistency, your body will get used to going to bed at a certain time, and you will be able to have a good night’s sleep in no time.
6. Try a melatonin supplement
If nothing else works, a melatonin supplement can be one of the things to help you sleep better. While our bodies can produce melatonin by themselves, taking a supplement can help reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, resulting in a deep state of relaxation. And even though it’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor before you start a new treatment, melatonin supplements are natural, so there are barely any risks to your health.
7. Consider other supplements
Aside from melatonin, there are other supplements you might want to try if you are struggling with your sleep. Valerian root is one of the most popular natural sleeping aids, but there is also Glycine, L-theanine, magnesium, ginkgo biloba, and even lavender. You need to find out which one is better for you. Be careful and do not mix any of these supplements – try each one of them at a time.
8. Stay away from alcohol
While having a drink now and then can be quite fun, drinking alcohol every night can compromise your ability to fall asleep and fully disrupt your sleep patterns. Not to mention that alcohol consumption has been linked to an increase in the symptoms of sleep apnea.
9. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary for relaxation
Your bedroom should be the place where you go to unwind and relax after a long day of… well, being alive. But there are some aspects of this room that can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. If you want to ensure a good night’s sleep, be sure to isolate your bedroom as much as you can from any external light and noise. Then, the surrounding environment must be clean and tidy to keep your brain from thinking about house chores. As a finishing touch, you might want to add a little bit of extra comfort, like a new mattress or an amazing better sleep pillow, for instance.
10. Regulate the temperature in your bedroom
Sleep quality can be deeply affected by your body temperature, as well as the temperature of your bedroom – and if you ever had trouble falling asleep because you were feeling too hot or too cold, you know what we are talking about. To make sure that you sleep well, install a climatization system in your bedroom, and regulate the temperature as you see fit. You will surely notice an improvement in the quality of your sleep!