You’ve been looking for a good night’s sleep. You know it gives you the energy and mental capacity to tackle your day. Still, sometimes it just seems impossible to fall asleep. You lie there, tossing and turning, waiting for sleep to come. And then there are the times you just don’t even bother. Sound familiar?
Some folks would lead you to believe that better sleep hygiene is some complicated process or impossible. The truth is, it is pretty simple, and there are practical and immediate changes you can make in your routine and habits starting right now. We’ll fill you in on everything from routine enhancements to natural sleep aids like magnesium supplements.
With these 10 simple tips, you’ll be getting a better night’s sleep tonight!
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Before we give you the tips you’re here for, let’s chat briefly about sleep hygiene and why it’s essential.
Sleep hygiene is all the habits that affect your sleep. From your bedtime routine to what you eat and drink, these can impact how well you sleep. So, if you’re sleeping poorly, it’s essential to investigate what may be causing this. Poor sleep hygiene might be a culprit.
There are large and small factors in your daily life that make up your sleep hygiene. We’ll touch on these more as we go through our top 10 tips for getting a better night’s sleep starting tonight.
Ten Tips You Can Use to Get Better Sleep Tonight
1) Keep your room dark: The darker the room is when you go to bed, the easier it will be for your body to produce melatonin and get ready for sleep. Try using blackout curtains or an eye mask if necessary because there’s a lot of ambient light that sneaks in from the street in cities and suburbs. You can pick these up on your way home today and have them ready or in place by the time you go to sleep.
2) Create a relaxing atmosphere: Your brain needs calmness to allow you to drift off to sleep, not chaos. So make sure that any electronics in your bedroom are turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime so they don’t emit light or noise pollution. And make sure there aren’t any other electronics near your bed or in a place where you can see the light from them. This includes alarm clocks! Whoever thought placing bright, glaring lights next to our beds was a good idea certainly didn’t understand proper sleep hygiene!
3) Try herbal supplements: According to the Sleep Foundation, magnesium has been shown to improve sleep quality. If you don’t have any at home, you can find these on the shelf at most health food stores and pharmacies. Otherwise, pop online and order them.
4) Clear your head: Sometimes, that mind of yours can be a busy place. Try to clear your head as much as you can before going to sleep. That might mean writing down what you’re thinking about in a journal or just taking some time for yourself – even if it’s just five minutes – to meditate and be at peace. If you’re feeling some brain fog preventing you from reaching your own personal point of Zen, you should look into supplements for brain fog to help you out with that.
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5) Don’t use your bed as a mental distraction: This can include watching TV or using your phone as an alarm clock. These things stimulate the brain and will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Try keeping all electronics outside of the bedroom, including the television, if possible. If you really want to watch something, get up and go watch it. If you’re worried about not waking up in the morning, opt for an old-school alarm clock.
6) Avoid caffeine: Try not to drink caffeinated beverages after midday so that the effects of the stimulant have worn off before you go to bed at night. Also, be on the lookout for where caffeine or other stimulants might be sneaking into your diet. Coffee, tea and sweet treats like chocolate will all need to be avoided until you can confirm they’re not playing a role in your sleeplessness.
7) Get out for some exercise today: Getting regular exercise can help regulate your sleeping pattern and decrease stress levels throughout the day. If you don’t already have an exercise routine in place, you can still make this happen for yourself today. For example, something as simple as a 30-minute walk in the evening after dinner can help you sleep better later.
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8) Try a white noise app: Right, we know. We just said keep the phones away. But hear us out! Sometimes, it’s not the environment itself that keeps us from sleeping. Still, instead, it’s our awareness of what’s going on around us. In this case, an app that plays white noise may be beneficial for getting to sleep. It also makes it harder for you to hear noises outside your bedroom or home outside of your control.
9) Avoid sleeping pills: If possible, try not to use over-the-counter sleep aids, which can be addictive and have some nasty side effects if taken long-term or in excess. You also never know what’s actually in them. Try an herbal alternative instead, or opt for something totally different, like mood supplements. These will help you be more cognitively aware and engaged during the day, making it easier for you to wind down at night as you’ll actually be tired.
10) Make your bed as inviting as possible: Take some time to make your bed before you go to sleep. You can wash your bed linens, among other things. Maybe changing out your pillow, placing some scented oil on your sheets or just straightening the covers will do the trick. This can help make the transition from wake to sleep smoother and more pleasurable.
You Don’t Have to Try Them All
Above all else, remember that everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for someone else. Be observant of your own reactions and what effects certain things have on you – whether it’s a change in diet, herbal supplement or a new sleep hygiene tip.
In the end, if you’re consistent and stick with something new for a few weeks, you’ll probably continue to see better and better results. Good luck and sweet dreams!