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5 Tips for Sleeping Better

5 Tips for Sleeping Better

What’s inside this article: A look at the prevalence of sleep disturbances in adults, along with an explanation of why sleep is so important. Finally, five tips for sleeping better that you can easily implement to improve your own sleep quality, and total amount of sleep.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Why is sleep important?

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and getting enough sleep is crucial to your health and well-being. Without enough sleep, your brain can’t function properly.

Inadequate sleep affects:

  • physical health: including increased risk of heart attack, diabetes, obesity, and stroke.
  • mental health: including increased risk of depression and anxiety, and worsens symptoms of other conditions such as bipolar

Plus, chronic sleep disturbances can lead to lower libido, more rapid signs of aging, brain fog, and impaired immune system.

Simply put, our bodies need sleep to function efficiently. The amount of sleep you get affects stress hormones, growth hormones, appetite, blood pressure, breathing, and cardiovascular health. (Source)

Sleep Disturbances

Here are the facts when it comes to sleep disturbances:

  • 27% of adults have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep on most nights.
  • 68% of adults have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least once per week.
  • 35% average less than the minimum requirement of 7 hours per night, meaning they experience chronic sleep deprivation to some degree.

How much sleep do you get per night? Have you ever tracked it?

I used my Fitbit to track my sleep each night, and the results were less than desirable. In fact, only two nights were above the 7 hour mark (see graph below).

So, I knew it was important for me to find ways to increase my total average sleep time, and I’m sharing these tips for sleeping better with you.

Tips for Sleeping Better

Chance are, if you’re reading this, you are tired of being tired, and you’re looking for ways to improve the quality and amount of time you’re sleeping.

These tips will help you fall asleep quicker, and experience better quality sleep overall. You may also want to read these 8 tips for waking up early. These two habits go hand in hand, and you’ll find both waking up and falling asleep easier once you’ve established a good routine that works for you.

1. Enough Daytime Exercise

Getting enough exercise during the day is proven to improve sleep quality, and duration, according to The Sleep Doctor.

Additionally, exercise improves our energy during the day, and also improves focus, concentration, and productivity.

Exercise also boosts brain function by increasing dopamine levels present in the brain and reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

Ideally, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.

2. Comfortable Bedding

You would be surprised what a difference the right bedding can make when it comes to sleep. Sheets and bedding made of synthetic fibers can cause overheating which may lead to restlessness, night waking, or interrupted deep sleep.

Ideally, your bedding should be 100% cotton. Cotton bedding is breathable. It helps you regulate your body temperature, draws heat away from your body, and absorbs excess moisture.

Cotton is also hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, and has antimicrobial properties.

California Design Den has excellent quality 100% organic cotton sheets and they’re very affordable compared to other brands. Trust me, do not underestimate the difference quality cotton bedding can make in overall sleep quality.

Before I purchased these sheets, admittedly, my whole family was sleeping on old, super cheap sheets from Walmart that are a cotton-polyester mix.

I didn’t see the value in spending a lot of money on sheets and I didn’t think it would make a difference. But, after trying cotton sheets, I wish I’d purchased them sooner.

They are soft and make you feel refreshed in a way I didn’t think was possible.

I love California Design Den because the deep pockets fit my thick mattress well, they are under $50 a set, and I know they’re certified 100% organic cotton.

Bonus Tip

Spritz your sheets, or mattress, with an antibacterial linen spray, infused with essential oils, to help have an even more peaceful sleep.

I recommend this antibacterial linen spray recipe. However, if you’ll also be using this spray for your child’s beds, try using just 30 drops of lavender, omitting the other essential oils from the recipe. It may be overpowering.

3. Magnesium Supplements & Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 helps improve sleep by increasing the natural levels of melatonin in the body.

Magnesium helps sleep by boosting the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA which is known for its calming effects on the body.

My supplements of choice:

4. Maintain a Consistent Bed Time

You should aim to go to sleep at the same time every day. Sleep disturbances lead to disruptions in normal circadian rhythm function.

This includes consistent sleep and wake times. Ideally, you should be consistent with these times even on weekends, summer vacation, etc. to help keep your circadian patterns consistent.

You can also improve your bedtime routine by:

  • Avoid caffeine during the last 4-6 hours before bed.
  • Avoid screen time for 1-2 hours before bed – screens emit blue light, making it more difficult to fall asleep.  If screen time is inevitable, try blue light blocking glasses.
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake – alcohol diminishes the brain’s ability to respond to light cues that keep our circadian rhythms in sync. 

5. Include a Wind Down Hour in Your Routine

As part of your regular routine, have a “wind-down hour” to commence your bedtime routine each night. This extra time helps prepare your bodies for sleep.

During the hour before bedtime, you should keep lights dimmed, avoid electronic use at all, and do a relaxing activity.

Relaxing Activity Ideas During Wind Down Hour:

  • Reading
  • Writing in a journal
  • Yoga/stretching
  • Meditation/mindfulness
  • A relaxing hobby like drawing, crotchet, crafting, etc.

Remember

You may think trouble sleeping is just an inconvenient part of adulthood. However, just because a side effect is common doesn’t mean you should have to live with it.

Using these 5 tips for sleeping better can help improve sleep quality and duration. If necessary, speak to your doctor about possible causes and solutions. Sleep is essential.

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