Sleeping Tips: 10 Ways To Sleep Better
Getting good sleep is essential to the quality of our lives..
Our bodies need high quality sleep to be able to perform properly. Some reports estimating young adults using 3X the amount of prescription sleep aids.
It appears as though sleeping is becoming more and more of a problem in the modern way of life.
Also one of, if not the largest sleep study ever carried out with over one million people involved.
Found that quality sleep is what matters, not necessarily quantity.
Getting better sleep is important..
You’re still not convinced. Here are just some of the potential benefits of better quality sleep:
- 50% increase in insight into complex problems
- Optimal insulin secretion
- Increased athletic performance
- Healthier skin and an overall more youthful appearance
- 20% increased ability to learn new motor skills
With that in mind…
Here Are 10 Tips To Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep
Sleeping Tip 1:Caffeine
Lets get the obvious out of the way…
We all know caffeine keeps you up…
Caffeine can actually have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep regardless of when you drink it.
A study discovered that caffeine could throw off the timing of your body clock.
Another study show that even if you take caffeine up to six hours before you hit the pillow, it can still have a negative impact on your sleep quality.
Reducing peoples sleep time by one hour. It’s always worth noting that these affects can be more powerful in older adults.
The best thing to do here is to simply restrict when you drink caffeine to the first half of your day.
Sleeping Tip 2:Exercise
Exercise can be an excellent way to improve sleep.
The study “Association between objectively-measured physical activity and
sleep, NHANES 2005–2006″…
Took a sample of over 2,600 men and women between the ages of 18 and 85. It was found that 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise a week, had a 65% improvement in sleep quality.
Another study focusing on the elderly discovered that exercise reduced the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by almost 50%. On top of this it also led to 41 minutes more sleep at night.
It is important to note that you do not want to exercise within a couple of hours before bedtime as this can actually keep you awake for longer.
Basically doing exercise in the morning or early afternoon is one of the ways to sleep better.
Sleeping Tip 3:Comfortable Bedding
This one sounds obvious but I think its very effective and it can be easy to gloss over.
If you have old bedding or bedding that is of a low quality, it can have quite an impact on your sleep. It can actually also lead to lower back pain.
A lot of this comes down to personal preference but if you have had the same mattress, sheets or pillows for a long time, it could be time for a replacement.
A study was carried out which focused on the benefits of sleeping on a new mattress for 4 weeks.
The results were that:
- Shoulder pain was reduced by 60%
- Back pain reduced by 57%
- Sleep quality improved by 60%
- Back Stiffness decreased by 59%
The general guideline talked about a lot recommends replacing your mattress once every 5 to eight years.
As soon as I discovered this I suddenly realized why people say they always sleep better in hotels.
Sleeping Tip 4:Lavender
If you want some extra help relaxing lavender could be what you are looking
A study was carried out a the University of Southhampton in Britain.
The study used 10 people. Five slept in a room where lavender oil was circulated through the air throughout the night.
The other five slept in a room where a placebo almond oil did the same. After one week the two groups switched rooms and were asked to talk about the condition of their sleep in each room.
On average the participants rated the sleep quality as being 20% better in the room with lavender oil.
To use lavender essential oil, all you have to do is place a few drops on a tissue and place it underneath your pillows.
I think this is one of the easiest ways to get better sleep.
Sleeping Tip 5:The Bedroom Is Only For Two Things
I’m sure you’ve heard this one but its essential for sleeping better in my opinion.
Your bed should only be used for two things.
Sleep and sex.
It’s not exactly clear why this is so important but it is something everyone seems to agree on.
A lot of the explanation for this seems to come down to the idea that you want your brain to associate your bed with being a place of rest.
This means that doing work, talking on the phone and browsing the internet etc should be avoided.
For me personally I can say that this one is particularly challenging to keep up. Mainly because I was very partial to do work on my laptop lying on my bed.
However I have felt the benefits of getting work done elsewhere. This definitely helped me have better sleep.
Sleeping Tip 6:Room Temperature
The temperature of your room could be another thing that is preventing you from getting quality sleep.
When you are in bed trying to fall asleep one of the things your body will do is decrease your internal temperature to bring on sleep. The whole idea behind changing the temperature in your bedroom is to aid this process.
Different studies suggest different room temperatures to aid sleep. Overall it seems that in the range of 60ºF to 67ºF, is where most of these studies suggest is the optimum for aiding sleep.
If you suffer from insomnia this is something I think is really worth incorporating. A variety of studies have concluded that insomniacs have much better sleep in a room in this temperature range.
Don’t Go Too Hot or Too Cold
Try your best to stick within the range provided. Make sure to not go below 54ºF or above 75ºF as this can actually affect your sleep negatively.
What you are aiming for is a sort of neutral ground, where your body does not need to make itself hotter or cooler.
Sleeping Tip 7:Block Out Noise
If you are a light sleeper or live in a loud city (or both) then blocking out noise should prevent you from being woken up repeatedly. So lets talk about how to stop all that noise.
Three easy ways to reduce noise
Using earplugs is an easy way to cancel out some noise. They are also portable and you can fit a pack in your pocket.
This means that if you have any travelling to do, earplugs should help you get some shut eye.
The downside is that if you use earplugs a lot they can be quite irritating on the inside of your ear. For this reason I think sticking with earplugs as a travel option only is best. Using one of the alternatives the rest of the time.
A surprising amount of noise seeps in through gaps underneath doors, the side of the windows etc.
A simple work around for this is to grab some blankets or towels, scrunch them up and then use them to block the areas the noises are coming in.
Finally we have white noise. I’m not exactly sure why this works but it definitely does.
The white noise seems to create some kind buffer that keeps sound from entering the area that it is playing.
You can get apps for white noise right on your phone so I think it’s an all round great solution.
Sleeping Tip 8:Relax All The Muscles In Your Body
This is a little trick I picked up that is more about falling asleep than improving the quality.
No you don’t need to meditate. Although I do recommend it.
This is a really simple exercise that you can do from your bed, to get you into a relaxed state to drift off to sleep easier.
While you are lying down all you have do to is mentally scan down your body slowly.
Start at the top of your head, then down each arm individually, then down the torso and finally each individual leg.
While you do this you want to be actively relaxing your muscles. I find this to be really helpful.As sometimes we can lie in positions that seem relaxed but when you do this exercise you find that there is actually quite a lot of tension in the body.
Doing this has helped me get relaxed a lot and remove some of that tension for a better nights sleep.
Sleeping Tip 9:Darkness
The lighting in the bedroom can have a massive affect on the quality of our sleep and on our overall long term health.
Our body starts to prepare itself for sleep based on how light it is. This happens because when it gets dark our pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin.
This keeps our sleeping and waking up cycle in check.
However if you are in a bright artificially lit environment it messes with this system, leading to lower quality sleep (not to mention making it harder to get to sleep in the first place).
Not only that but it appears to increase the risk of cancer. A 10 year study had a sample group of over 1650 women.
Women within this sample group were exposed to more intense light in their bedroom environment. They had a 22% higher risk of developing brain cancer, compared to the ones that slept in complete darkness.
As I have mentioned in my article on the night time routine that you can read here. You will want to dim the lights to reduce this effect and avoid screens (iphone, computer, tv etc).
Sleeping with a sleep mask is also a great way to do this if you live in a city with lots of artificial light seeping into the bedroom.
Sleeping Tip 10: Daytime Light Exposure
Just like our body prepares itself for sleep when it gets dark. Making sure you have enough exposure to daylight helps you get a better nights sleep as well.
On top of that it can give you more energy during the day.
A study was carried out that found that if the elderly had two hours of bright light during the day, it boosted sleep efficiency by 80% and sleep by 2 hours.
More daytime exposure can even have a great effect on those suffering from insomnia according to a study.
In this study people with insomnia were exposed to bright light during the day. It reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep by a whopping 83% and had a positive affect on sleep duration and quality.
While This List Has A Fair Few Ways To Sleep Better…
Don’t worry you don’t have to do them all. Simply incorporating a few of these sleeping tips should help.
Want More Ways To Get Better Sleep?
To take a look on my article on how to fix your sleep schedule click here.
I think it is essential if you are serious about sorting out your sleep.