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11 Tips To Improve Sleep

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In today’s hectic environment, getting a night of good and healthy sleep isn’t easy. But, getting restorative sleep is essential to keep the body active and healthy throughout the day.

Additionally, poor sleep may negatively impact the overall hormone production, metabolic activities, and other necessary processes required to regulate the human body.

Hence, opting for valuable tips and methods to enhance sleep quality is essential.  You may consider multiple ways to get better sleep at night.

But, you may not know whether the tricks will work for you or not. Hence, this article will list multiple proven methods practical to improve an individual’s sleep quality.

Tips to improve sleep

Tips To Sleep Better

  1. Expose Yourself To Bright Light During Daytime

    Every individual has an in-built clock called[1] the circadian rhythm. It is a natural time-keeper of the body that regulates the sleep cycle of an individual.

    Generally, the circadian rhythm prompts the brain, body, and responsible hormones to keep the body awake during the day and promote quality sleep during the night.

    You may enhance the sleep quality and duration by increasing the bright light exposure during the day. It is believed that sunlight improves circadian rhythm health.

    Moreover, bright light enhances the energy during the day that keeps an individual active and makes them sleep quicker.

    Several studies have proven that people getting sufficient sunlight may improve insomnia conditions.[2] It may also reduce the time it takes for an individual to fall asleep.

    Another study shows that exposure to bright outside light improves the quality of sleep[3].

  1. Create A Sleep Schedule

    Creating a routine[4] or sleep schedule could improve a person’s sleeping habits. It is believed that adults must get at least eight hours of sleep per day to maintain a healthy level of energy.

    Insufficient sleep is defined as less than 7 hours for the average adult[5]. Getting less than the given hours may negatively impact an individual’s cognitive function.

    Getting more than the required amount may help reduce the sleep debt that has accumulated, but having a consistent routine and minimal variation in sleep schedule is ideal.

    Hence, you must consider following a sleep schedule to improve your sleep quality. You may start a healthy routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time of the day.

    Following these times consistently will lead to noticeable changes over time. Moreover, if you don’t fall asleep within 20-30 minutes of lying down, you should not try to force yourself to fall asleep.

    Get up and do some relaxing activities like reading books, listening to music, etc., until you feel tired and can most likely fall asleep.

  1. Create A Soothing Environment Before Sleep

    Your surroundings may determine your sleep quality. The surrounding[4]environment plays a significant role in enhancing an individual’s sleep quality.

    You may choose the atmosphere based on your preferences. Several people prefer to sleep while listening[5] to slow songs, though there is a lot of variation in what people find relaxing.

    On the other hand, some people have habits of sleeping in a calm, quiet, and dark environment.

    You may also choose a comfortable or preferable mattress to fall asleep more quickly. In short, you must do things that may help you avoid staying awake at night.

  1. Avoiding Naps During The Day

    You may not be able to fall asleep easily if you take frequent naps during the day. Taking long naps or sleeping during the daytime may hinder your nighttime sleep.

    Generally, daytime sleep interferes with or confuses the body clock resulting in struggling to sleep at night. Studies suggest that you may consider taking short naps of 30 minutes during the daytime to provide optimum rest.

    But, people who sleep more than an hour or late during the day may struggle to sleep at night.  On the other hand, if you work at night, you may consider taking long naps in the late hours to fulfill the day’s sleep quota.

  1. Don’t Consume Caffeine During Night

    Caffeine is believed to boost energy and enhance an individual’s focus and sports performance. Hence, consuming caffeine at night may not allow you to sleep smoothly.[6]

    Several studies have suggested that caffeine consumption stimulates the nervous system, which may reduce the relaxing feeling essential for a good sleep.

    Moreover, people consuming caffeine 7-8 hours before bedtime may find themselves struggling to fall asleep. Generally, caffeine takes up to a few hours to pass through the bloodstream, resulting in prolonged focus and active feeling.[7]

    If you have a habit of drinking any beverage during the day, you must prefer consuming decaffeinated coffee for a smooth night’s sleep.

  1. Prefer Light Meals At Night

    Eating low-calorie meals are advised to get a comfortable sleep at night. People who consume heavier meals at night may find it difficult to sleep properly due to prolonged digestion.[8]

    Moreover, meals including higher fat, carbohydrates, spices, etc., may make you struggle to get a sound sleep. The heavy meal may cause several stomach problems like indigestion, heartburn, etc.

    You may consider eating a heavier meal before mid-afternoon to fulfill your daily calorie needs. Hence, you should consume minimum food at night depending on the requirements.

    Additionally, heavier meals help to avoid late-night snacking, which could be a significant cause of sleeplessness.

  1. Add Exercise To Your Daily Routine

    Higher physical activity in the day may help to get better sleep at night. Multiple studies[9] have proved that regular exercise in the morning may help an individual get sound sleep.

    Performing several aerobic exercises in the morning allows your body to get a deep sleep essential for the overall functioning of the body.

    Moreover, physical activity may help to get longer sleep than before. It is believed that regular exercises may make you feel exhausted,[10] resulting in better sleep.

    But, you must avoid exercising before your sleep hours as it may interfere with your sleep routine. Several scientific studies and evidence have shown that exercise could be a significant way to treat insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.

  1. Avoid Alcohol Consumption

    Alcohol consumption is never a healthy habit in any circumstance. Similarly, alcohol could be a potential[11] disturbance to a healthy sleep routine.

    It is believed that alcohol consumption at night may reduce the production of melatonin which plays a significant role in maintaining the circadian rhythm.

    Moreover, it may suppress the human growth hormone (HGH) level, which may have a role in regulating the circadian rhythm.

    Some studies believe that alcohol could cause several sleeping issues like sleep apnea, disturbed sleeping patterns, snoring, etc.

    Additionally, alcohol consumption at night may interfere[12] with the relaxing feeling essential for healthy sleep.

  1. Reduce Blue Light Exposure

    You might have heard people saying not to use or reduce the usage of electronic[13] devices like smartphones, laptops, etc., during the night.

    The reason is that electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, etc., emit blue light that may hinder your sleep pattern.  Exposure to blue light at night is harmful as it may trick your brain.

    Due to bright light exposure in the evening, your body may consider it as day, hence, affecting your circadian rhythm.

    Moreover, the negative[14] effect may cause low melatonin secretion resulting in prolonged awakening and uncomfortable sleep.

    If you want to use these electronic devices for personal and official use at night, you may consider using blue light restricting eyeglasses or applying blue light blocking filters on these devices.

  1. Relax Your Mind

    Relaxing your mind is one of the essential things to do before sleep. Releasing stress and other unwanted thoughts may help you sleep quicker.

    Hence, several people prefer doing many pre-sleep relaxing activities to calm their brains before bedtime. Generally, you may consider a head or oil massage to relax your brain.

    But, some people also consider reading books, listening to slow music, hot shower, etc., to prepare themselves for a sound sleep.

    Several experts believe that relaxation techniques[15] could be a helpful method to lower stress and treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

  1. Melatonin Supplements Could Be Useful

    You might know that melatonin is beneficial[16] for improving sleep quality. The hormone is responsible for commanding the brain to relax and fall asleep.

    Hence, increasing the melatonin concentration may help to enhance sleep quality. It is believed that people struggling with insomnia may cure themselves by consuming melatonin supplements as it increases the hormone concentration instantly.

    It could be a helpful supplement to restoring the circadian rhythm ASAP in struggling conditions. But, you should start melatonin supplements in small doses to check your tolerance level.

    It would be advisable to talk with your doctor before trying melatonin. Though it works for people with insomnia, this effect may not be as great in patients with minor sleep issues. However, to date, consumers have reported no evidence of side effects.

Conclusion

The tips and tricks to sleep faster aren’t limited to the above-listed methods. Several other suitable techniques may help enhance sleep duration and quality.

But, all the tips mentioned above have helped get better sleep for several people worldwide. Hence, you may consider trying these tips to observe the changes. 

Sources/References

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Christine Blume, Corrado Garbazza, Manuel Spitschan, et al. Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. Somnologie (Berl). 2019; 23(3): 147–156. Published online 2019 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s11818-019-00215-x
  2. Joshua J. Gooley, Kyle Chamberlain, Kurt A. Smith, et al. Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans. Logo of jcem J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar; 96(3): E463–E472. Published online 2010 Dec 30. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2098.
  3. R Lok, T Woelders, M C M Gordijn, et. al. Bright Light During Wakefulness Improves Sleep Quality in Healthy Men: A Forced Desynchrony Study Under Dim and Bright Light (III). J Biol Rhythms. 2022 Aug;37(4):429-441. doi: 10.1177/07487304221096910. Epub 2022 Jun 22.
  4. A Good Night’s Sleep. Date of publication: November 03, 2020. Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep
  5. Dayna A. Johnson, Martha E. Billings, Lauren Hale, et al. Environmental Determinants of Insufficient Sleep and Sleep Disorders: Implications for Population Health. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2018 Jun; 5(2): 61–69. Published online 2018 May 5. doi: 10.1007/s40471-018-0139-y
  6. Tabitha Trahan, Simon J. Durrant, Daniel Müllensiefen, et al. The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports. PLoS One. 2018; 13(11): e0206531. Published online 2018 Nov 14. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206531
  7. Frances O’Callaghan, Olav Muurlink, Natasha Reid, et al. Effects of caffeine on sleep quality and daytime functioning. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2018; 11: 263–271. Published online 2018 Dec 7. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S156404
  8. Christopher Drake, Timothy Roehrs, John Shambroom, et al. Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Nov 15; 9(11): 1195–1200. Published online 2013 Nov 15. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.3170
  9. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Anja Mikic, Cara E Pietrolungo. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Adv Nutr. 2016 Sep; 7(5): 938–949. Published online 2016 Sep 7. doi: 10.3945/an.116.012336
  10. Brett A. Dolezal, Eric V. Neufeld, David M. Boland, et al. Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review. Adv Prev Med. 2017; 2017: 1364387. Published online 2017 Mar 26. doi: 10.1155/2017/1364387
  11. Christopher E. Kline. The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2014 Nov-Dec; 8(6): 375–379. doi: 10.1177/1559827614544437
  12. Michael D. Stein, Peter D. Friedmann. Disturbed Sleep and Its Relationship to Alcohol Use. Subst Abus. 2005 Mar; 26(1): 1–13. doi: 10.1300/j465v26n01_01
  13. J. Todd Arnedt, Deirdre A. Conroy, Kirk J. Brower. TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SLEEP DISTURBANCES DURING ALCOHOL RECOVERY. J Addict Dis. 2007; 26(4): 41–54. doi: 10.1300/J069v26n04_06
  14. Ari Shechter, Elijah Wookhyun Kim, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, et al. Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial. J Psychiatr Res. 2018 Jan; 96: 196–202. Published online 2017 Oct 21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015
  15. Gianluca Tosini, Ian Ferguson, Kazuo Tsubota. Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Mol Vis. 2016; 22: 61–72. Published online 2016 Jan 24.
  16. Insomnia: Relaxation techniques and sleeping habits. Date of publication: March 9, 2017. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279320/
  17. Rebecca B Costello, Cynthia V Lentino, Courtney C Boyd, et al. The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature. Nutr J. 2014; 13: 106. Published online 2014 Nov 7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-106

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