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Getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. I never used to have trouble sleeping up until the past 2 years. So I’ve been researching everything I can about ways to fall asleep easier and also prevent waking up in the middle of the night. What I found was 7 great solutions for how to sleep better and these made a huge improvement in my sleep! Now, I rarely have trouble falling asleep and very seldom wake up in the middle of the night. Before, I was having all kinds of trouble falling asleep and waking up several times early in the morning around 2 am and 4 am! Horrible!
I hope you find all of these solutions for how to sleep better helpful and that you see an improvement too!
Why It’s Important to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting good sleep not only makes you feel better, it is incredibly important for your health! Improving your sleep can help everything from improving your mood to preventing cancer.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep, have trouble falling asleep, and/or wake up several times during the night.
If you’re sleep is disrupted, so is your circadian rhythm, which means your body is probably not producing a good amount of melatonin. Melatonin is extremely important for health! It is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It helps fight free radicals in the body, has very powerful anti-cancer effects, and is essential for maintaining a strong immune system.
When you don’t get enough sleep it can cause:
- Stress on the body
- Premature aging
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Impair memory
- Accelerated tumor growth
Prolonged sleep difficulties can also cause depression and mood disorders, heart disease, constipation, and increase the risk of cancer. This study found that those with prolonged sleep disturbances and poor quality of sleep had 3 times the risk of dying from any cause.
When you get good quality sleep, at least 8 hours a night, it has been found to help you live longer, reduce inflammation, boost your mood, lower stress, and prevent cancer!
So make sure you try some of these simple solutions below for how to sleep better, because they really do work and can make a huge improvement! They can help you fall asleep quicker and help you sleep through the night without waking up too much.
7 Great Solutions for How to Sleep Better
1. Take a Bath about 1 hr Before Bed
Not only, is a bath before bed time relaxing, but it helps increase your body temperature and as you get out, your body temperature decreases, which signals to your body that it’s time for sleep. If you don’t have a bath tub, you could also take a shower or go in a sauna to get a similar effect.
For even more benefits, you can add a cup of Epsom salt to your bath and a few drops of lavender essential oil. The Epsom salts help increase your body’s magnesium levels which promotes sleep. Several studies have found that using lavender essential oil improved sleep in the majority of patients. In the studies, the lavender essential oil was used topically and the inhalation of the aroma was beneficial as well.
2. Take my magic mixture of coconut oil, honey, and sea salt right before bed
Last summer I was having a lot of trouble sleeping and researched what I could do to improve it. I found that many saw benefits from taking these 3 ingredients separately right before bed, coconut oil, sea salt, and honey. So, I thought why not combine all of them for the even better results. I combined them and the results were amazing! I stopped waking up in the middle of the night, it was like a miracle. So many have commented on the post too staying that it’s helped them and some people have even mentioned that it works better than the prescription medication they were taking. Read more about why it works and how to make the mixture in my post here.
This is seriously my number one go to remedy and solution for how to sleep better. It has helped me so many times!
3. Turn Down the Lights Hours Before Bed and Sleep in Complete Darkness
A few hours before you go to bed, turn down your lights. When you have bright lights on right before bed, your brain interprets it as being day time. Also, try not to use your computer, TV, or phone or …at least, install software on them. This reduces any significant amount of blue light emitted. When you’re exposed to blue light right before bed time, this disrupts your internal clock and decreases the amount of melatonin and serotonin your body produces. Adequate levels of melatonin are essential for sleep as it regulates your circadian rhythm. Melatonin helps improve your quality of sleep, triggers you to feel tired at bed time, and can help prevent insomnia.
I usually like to look at my computer and phone at night, so instead of completely stopping myself from using them, I use these free software programs you can easily download that remove the blue light being emitted. I use the software f.lux for my computer and the app called Twilight on my phone.
Also, make sure your bedroom is completely dark when you’re sleeping. Turn off all lights including nightlights, alarm clock lights, and use shades that block all light.
4. Exercise for 30 minutes Every Day
Exercising for just 30 minutes each day can help improve your sleep right away. One study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 83% of those that exercised daily reported that they slept better compared to days when they didn’t exercise.
Many recommend exercising in the morning or afternoon and trying to avoid exercising right before bed. There’s some mixed results when exercise is done right before bed time. Some studies note that regardless of the time of day, exercise improved sleep and other studies found that exercising right before bed did not improve sleep. So if possible, it would probably be best to exercise in the morning or afternoon.
This is another one of the best solutions for how to sleep better, but it’s an easy one to put off because you don’t want to exercise right before bed. Try to make it a daily habit. I’ve been going for a walk down my street every night right before dinner. It’s nice to get the fresh air too now that it’s warm outside.
5. Relax Before Bed
Doing some relaxation techniques a little before bedtime can help you relax and improve your sleep. They’ve been found especially helpful for those who have trouble falling asleep as they help calm your mind and body.
Try doing anything that helps you relax right before bed time, such as; listening to some relaxing music before bed, giving yourself a massage, doing dry brushing, or deep breathing.
6. Sleep in the Right Temperature- If it’s too warm or too cold it can disrupt your sleep
Many studies have found that the optimal temperature to sleep in is a little on the cool side, between 64 and 68 degrees. They recommend keeping the temperature not lower than 60 degrees and not higher than 70 degrees. Sleep quality and sleep cycles have been strongly associated with the body’s heat distribution system. The slightly cooler temperatures have been found to be the most beneficial for sleep as it has been found that when you are asleep your body’s temperature decreases to it’s lowest levels.
Keeping your bedroom too cold or too warm can make it not only difficult to fall asleep, but also causes you to wake up during the middle of the night resulting in poor quality sleep.
7. Keep Your Bedtime the Same, Even on the Weekends!
By keeping your bedtime about the same time every night, your body will get used to a sleep rhythm. This will make it easier to fall asleep and improve your quality of sleep. Many recommend keeping on a similar schedule even on the weekends, or at least trying to go to bed within an hour of when you go to bed during the week.
Occasionally, I stay out very late on the weekend. Last weekend I went to a special get-together and stayed out until 2am. It took several days for my body to adjust and get back on my regular schedule of going to bed at 10pm. I’m working on trying not to stay up later than 11pm on the weekends.
Is there anything you’ve found helpful for improving your sleep?
actually, eating carbs right before bed is the opposite of what is recommended by my doctor. Carbs turn into sugar in the body, and sugar can actually keep you awake. My doc recommended having some “healthy” fat right before bed, ie, half of an avocado, a piece of turkey, something small and simple. The comment in the above article about eating coconut oil is for that reason, along with balancing electrolites with the salt. My biggest problem is that I watch tv, which takes my mind away from my day, but unfortunately, as soon as I lie down, I then start to go through the day mentally, and think about tomorrow, etc…a busy mind. When I remember to unplug, and have some down time before the actual sleeping, my mind can naturally go through what it needs to do, and then I can forget it and relax. I also note when I am regular with my water consumption and calcium and magnesium, both in a bath with epsom salts and with a supplement, that I sleep better.
I know all the bad press against blue light and screens but I can’t seem to put them down. Would a book and a lamp be any better or is total darkness the way to go? I’ve cut most of my bad sleep habits but can’t shake this one, I’ll end up laying there bored 🙁
You can use orange lights or a Himalayan salt lamp. You can also use apps on your phone and computer so you’re not getting the blue light.
A small amount of simple carbs helps. Rice or spaghetti and butter.
Thanks for sharing! Do you eat them at a particular time? Right before bed?