How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

by | Dec 13, 2021 | Personal Development

When was the last time you got a really good night of sleep? The kind where you fall asleep quickly, dream pleasantly, and wake up to your first alarm, ready to jump out of bed and take on the day? If you’re like most Americans, it’s probably been a while. According to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic bad sleep.  

Sleep is vital to a healthy life, and when your body is deprived of quality sleep, your health takes a huge hit. Not only will you go through your day tired and irritable, but poor sleep can weaken your immune system and contribute to weight gain and hormone imbalance. And that’s not even mentioning it’s link to Alzheimer’s! If you feel like you could benefit from better sleep, we have a few ideas to get you there.

Set the Tone 

There are so many factors that set the stage for your night of sleep. Just a few simple tweaks can be the difference between sweet dreams and restless insomnia.  

Your bedroom is the gateway to good rest and should be reserved for sleep and sleep only. Having a dedicated sleep space is imperative for your body to feel totally relaxed. Your room should include: 

  • A comfortable mattress/pillow/blanket combination.  
  • Low-light options (like lamps) for when you’re getting ready for bed. 
  • Cooler temperatures—somewhere around 70° F.  
  • No screens 

Yes, you read that right. No screens. If you have trouble falling asleep, it could have a lot to do with your blue light consumption (more on that later). Keeping your TV out of your room is a helpful way to improve your sleep, too. 

Then, give yourself a dedicated bedtime routine to get your body ready for sleep. Humans are creatures of habit, so doing the same action every day before going to bed is a great way to tell your body that sleep time is coming. Routines don’t need to be complicated to be a relaxing addition to your night.  

Things to include in your bedtime routine: 

What’s included in your routine is less important than keeping it relaxing and   consistent.

Watch What You Consume 

What you eat and drink before bed are big indicators in how well you’ll sleep. If you drink another cup of coffee just a few hours before you’d like to be asleep, it shouldn’t be a surprise when you’re staring at your ceiling for hours. 

The time leading up to bedtime are important for tapering what you consume. 

  • 4-6 hours before: stop caffeine intake. 
  • 2-3 hours before: stop heavy food intake (light snacks after dinner are okay). 
  • 1-2 hours before: stop all liquid intake. 
  • 30 minutes before: stop blue light intake. 

Blue light consumption might seem out of place on this list, but it’s a really important factor. Blue light (meaning screens) can trick your brain into thinking it’s still the middle of the day. Wearing blue light blocking glasses can help, but putting your phone away during your nighttime routine is just as easy and far more effective.  

Supplements 

Taking supplements to aid with sleep is another way to make sleep easier on your brain. While there are plenty that support general heath and thus help sleep, there are a few that target sleep specifically. 

Melatonin is one of the best for both chronic and occasional sleeplessness, as it works quickly and is non-addictive. Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in our bodies to encourage sleep, but lots of our daily habits can stop the production of it.  (Like the previously mentioned staring at your phone late into the evening). By just taking a few milligrams before bed, you can encourage your body to rest.  

If you’re running low on it, a magnesium supplement can help encourage sleep, too. Magnesium is involved in over 600 reactions within our body, so when you are lacking it, everything slows down. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet can help you to sleep longer and have better quality sleep. 

Lavender is a powerful natural supplement containing linalyl acetate and linalool, which are both easily and quickly absorbed into your blood stream. Both of these compounds have mild sedentary and pain-relieving properties, and thus help your body relax before bed.

Sweet Dreams

Sleep makes such a radical difference in our lives, so taking some time to figure out how to improve yours. You will be better prepared to show up ready and rested: for your work, your family, and yourself. 

Need tips for lowering your anxiety before bed? Read our blog, “Three Ways to Lower Your Anxiety”.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.