The Ultimate Guide on How to Sleep Better: 25 Things You Need to Follow
I'm sure a lot of you are thinking about the ways on how to sleep better for more energy and concentration. I do as well, which is why I did my research and utilized practical tips, which I would love to share with you. So without further ado, I show you EVERYTHING you need to know how to sleep better to get you the good night's rest you deserve!
20 Ways You Should be Followed before Bedtime
Here are the proven means and pieces of advice you've got to try if you have trouble sleeping!
1. Eat and Drink Better
The things you eat before going to bed are what can make or break your sleep! Just like your weight, the amount of fat, calories, or ingredients found in your food can make you feel groggy when you wake up or have you awake for hours. That's why it's recommended for people to eat at a particular time before sleeping (we'll be getting to that in the next section) and to eat right!
While you shouldn't eat a huge meal before you go to bed, there are certain light snacks and food that help you sleep quicker.
Here is the list of food you can have before sleeping:
These are what you must avoid before sleeping:
2. Sleeping After Eating?
You now know what to eat before sleeping, but how about the time you should sleep after munching on your snacks or main meal? Like what I said, you shouldn't be eating too close to bedtime as this aggravates your stomach!
As much as possible, eat at least three to four hours before bedtime. This allows time for your stomach to digest food while you are active. If you need to eat, only opt for a small snack an hour or two before you sleep.
3. Exercising Before Sleeping
Exercising before sleeping can get you tired, but it may end up energizing you more or burning you out, causing pain in the morning. So I wouldn't go for vigorous exercise here, but an exercise that helps you wind down, such as yoga or walking. Light bodyweight exercises like squats or stretching can help with your oxygen and blood circulation too, which promotes better sleep. Test out different exercises every night to see which one works for you the best.
4. Hot Water Baths
To sleep, your body temperature will need to drop for you to sleep slightly. And with a hot soak, you won't only feel relaxed, but once you step out, you cool down fast and mimic your body's natural drop in temperature your brain would do as both mind and body get ready to sleep. Studies have shown that a warm bath before sleeping can help people fall asleep fast and with the quality sleep needed.
5. NO Smoking!
Smoking contains nicotine, which has a host of side effects when taking too much. One of them is lack of sleep! So if you are smoking or taking any vices such as drugs or alcohol (as an attempt to sleep), stop it immediately and start your journey to quitting it permanently. While alcohol can help you sleep, it leaves you groggy and with migraines in the morning. Also, the side effects of taking these vices are dire.
If you have difficulty sleeping and none of the tips I mentioned can't be of much use, then it might be an underlying condition that needs to be treated immediately, may it be a physical or mental condition. Visit your doctor to see if he will provide any medication. Supplements and vitamins will work as well, as you can find melatonin supplements that help get you to sleep in less than an hour.
7. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils contain the scents that help promote relaxation, which results in better and quicker sleep. I would recommend you to try lavender, cedarwood, orange, or valerian oil, all of which help reduce stress and anxiety to allow a nice and deep sleep.
You can allow these scents to waft in the air by using an oil diffuser, a scented candle, or to spritz a bit on your pillow (not overpower). You can also spritz some on yourself or use it as a bath
8. Plan the Next Day
While planning the next day doesn't help you get tired or sleepy (well, that depends!), it can have you get something to look forward to once you get up. Planning your day can help put your mind at ease, so you already know what to do once you get up rather than scramble or think about it the whole night. So while you are taking a break from work or having dinner, plan your next day. Even just a rough idea will do.
9. Do Some Yoga
Yoga can do wonders for your body. Not only does it help you relax, but you are also able to help with your blood and oxygen circulation from the stretches and deep breathing exercises. It reduces your stress and prepares your body for a good night's sleep. Plus, it's a relaxing way to burn a few calories before sleeping without even trying.
Even just five to ten minutes of nightly yoga will have your body feel great. Increase the time as you advance, as well as the complexity of moves (though focus on relaxing ones and not poses that put too much strain or pressure on your body).
Here are three easy moves to start off with if you plan on doing yoga for better sleep:
- Upside-Down Pose
- Wind Down Twist
- Child's Pose
- Sit facing the wall or our bed's headboard. Your butt should be about six inches away.
- Lie on your back and extend your legs up on the wall or headboard. If it is too much for the hamstring, your butt should be a bit further away from your wall. Scoot closer if otherwise.
- Let the arms rest on the side of your body with the palms facing the ceiling. Breathe gently and deeply, feeling the stretch behind the legs. Stay in this pose for two minutes.
- Sit cross-legged and exhale, placing the right hand on your left knee with your opposite hand behind the tailbone.
- Twist your torso gently to the left.
- Look over your left shoulder, with your gaze slowly following the twist. Now breathe deeply. When you exhale, return to the center and repeat the whole pose with the opposite side. Do this for one minute.
- Sit on your heels comfortably.
- Roll the torso forward so the forehead will rest on your bed.
- Lower your chest to your knees, as close as possible (as long as it is comfortable). Extend your arms in front of you in a relaxed way.
- Hold this pose and breathe deeply. Stay in this pose for two minutes.
10. Spark Your Bedroom
You will need to make sure that your bedroom is safe and comfortable enough for you to sleep. Make sure that you turn down the lights and set the room at optimum temperature for you to stay warm and cozy under the covers. Also, it should be clean and without clutter. After all, doesn't the mess stress you out and make you want to clean it up?
Keep your bedroom neat, tidy, and looking comfortable for the eyes. That way, you are less stressed, and you have more space to do your nightly rituals to relax.
11. What Mattress and Pillows Do You Use?
While you may want the softest bed and pillows, that's certainly not the case! You will need something that isn't hard or stiff, but not too soft. It should be in the middle and helps support your whole body, especially your back and neck. I would recommend you to get beddings made out of memory foam, which are hypoallergenic (so no migraines or colds) and comfortable enough for you to sleep well while your body is well supported (meaning, no more pain!).
You may want to consider changing your mattress or pillows, which should be done at least once every six months.
12. Read A Good Book
Reading a book can help lull you to sleep, but this is depending on what you're reading. If you are reading something filled with horror or suspense, then chances are that you won't be able t sleep as easily, wanting to read more or getting scared or uncomfortable. So I recommend relaxing books that keep you in a positive mood, such as inspirational ones or short stories that won't have you turning pages at night.
Here are some books I would recommend:
13. Set Your Alarm for Going to Bed
While this may not help you sleep better as much as the other tips do, it does give you the reassurance that you will wake up in the morning on time, which lessens the stress and have you sleep peacefully.
As much as possible, set the alarms after eight hours of full sleep, so you won't risk the chance of waking up groggy and without any energy at all. It's important to fix your sleeping schedule and create a consistent one to follow every day.
14. Fix Your Room's Lights
Like what I said, your room should be comfortable for sleeping. While light can have you wake up better, darkness can help secrete melatonin, which is a sleep hormone that encourages you to rest. So as much as possible, keep ALL the lights off. Practice not using a nightlight, as this may be another reason as to why you aren't sleeping as well and quickly as usual.
If you can't sleep without the nightlight or have a partner who needs the light, then opt to use a sleeping mask that covers all forms of light.
15. Do NOT Use Gadgets!
Just like what I mentioned about the lights, the blue screen that comes from your phone or television would keep you up at night. Plus, the stressors coming from watching the news or working on your phone when in bed will have you anxious and up at night the whole time. You can either read a book or listen to relaxing music (which I'll be talking about in the next section). But as much as possible, put your gadgets down and relax, please! It's for your sake because you need the rest of whatever is happening at work or school.
16. Try Sleeping Naked
You might be surprised to hear that sleeping nude can help you sleep quickly and with quality. That's because you regulate your temperature when you have no clothes on. When you do this, use blankets and comfortable bedding to keep you warm, staying a bit on the cool side.
Keep your arms and head out of the blanket unless it's very cold. You may want to keep one extra blanket nearby, just in case. And if you don't want to sleep nude, loose cotton pajamas can work as well.
17. Change the Tunes
While many people sleep without music or any noise, there are certain things people want to hear when sleeping. Go for soothing tracks, such as nature sounds (waterfall or rain), or white noise. You can also try ASMR, which are whispers that help ease anxiety to allow you better sleep. For me, classical music works wonders. Instrumentals without the upbeat or high pitches, too.
Avoid listening to anything upbeat, such as the television, radio, or pop and rock songs.
18. The Right Sleeping Position
This is one of the most important things you must follow, because if you do not sleep in the proper position, chances are that you may end up not being able to sleep as quickly. Also, the wrong sleeping position would have you waking up in discomfort, may it be in the morning or middle of the night.
This is why I urge you to sleep on your side or back, with pillows propped on the neck for support and comfort. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. While it is comfortable, it obstructs your lungs from the pressure you put into it, causing pain, difficulty breathing, and waking up in odd hours.
19. Avoid Sleeping With a Furball
Do you have a pet? Whether dog or cat, the fur may aggravate your allergies, which results in you having discomfort and difficulty getting to sleep. Plus, the constant movements your pet would do in bed results in you not being able to rest as peacefully as you expect. So as much as possible, keep your pet sleeping on the floor or outside, with a cage or comfy dog bed.
Not only will this help with your allergies, but you won't need to worry about sprawling all over the bed in your preferred position.
20. Sleeping With a Partner?
If you are sleeping with your parent, partner, or sibling, then it may be tough getting some good sleep. That's why it's best to talk about it with your sleeping buddy. Lay down some rules and enough space for both of you to breathe. Know both of your problems and how to remedy it. For example, if your partner snores or talks in their sleep, then invest in earplugs and have them checked for sleep apnea. If they are kickers, give them more space for them to wiggle in.
5 Things to Do Once You Get Out of Bed
Now that you know what to do for better sleep, what can you do upon waking up to get more energy and motivation? Try these five tips!
1. Set Your Alarm for Waking Up
You'll need to set your alarm before sleeping. But once you hear your alarm sound in the morning, do NOT hit that snooze button! Immediately get up, stop the alarm, and head on with your daily activities. By doing this, you are now ready for the day. Even forcing yourself up will help practice your body, letting it know what time it needs to wake up. That way, you get to sleep earlier and wake up when you are supposed to.
Set your alarm at one particular time every morning to have your body used to it.
2. Get Some Sun!
The problem with sleeping is that people have too much light, which has them stay awake. Melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep, secretes more when it's dark and less under light. So through the sun, you are more alert and less sleepy! So if you want to stay awake and feel even more energized, then get a good amount of natural light. The light shining on your face won't only wake you up, but you'll feel more active and open for the day ahead.
Opt to work and exercise in the morning or afternoon, when the sun is shining bright. This is where all the motivation comes.
3. Wash Yourself
Nothing wakes a person up better than a splash of water in the face. While it doesn't matter what time you shower or wash, it does wake you up in the morning. It helps you meditate and think before you start your day. Plus, it decreases inflammation and stress. Through showering in the morning, not only will it perk you up, but it will also have you look and feel clean. So the moment you get up (if you don't exercise), shower. Or at least wash your face to get those sleepy eyes to open up properly!
4. Move Around
Exercise certainly does wake you up in the morning because it gets your blood pumping that burn that keeps you happy for hours! But did you know that exercising after you wake up can also help you sleep better come night time? This is because of you being able to reduce the number of diseases which affect your sleeping. Also, exercise will help you get energized during the day and wind you down once you are ready to sleep at night.
Even just a quick run, a home workout, or a ten-minute walk, once you get up, will do wonders!
5. Have a Good Meal
Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day! When you wake up, it's what would get you up in the morning because who doesn't want to enjoy a hearty meal after a good night's sleep? While it shouldn't be the heaviest of the day or a huge meal, you can opt for the following which helps in your overall health or weight loss:
Bonus Tip: How to Count Sheep
Counting sheep is one of the oldest tricks in the book to sleep quickly! But how can you do it properly? Follow these steps
- Once you have prepared you and the bedroom for sleeping, get in bed and close your eyes. The room should be in complete darkness and silence. You can opt to wear a sleep mask and earplugs.
- Start to visualize fields with a very long fence, where the sheep would graze, and the grass is green.
- Now, picture the herd of sheep in the field, which will be the ones you'll be counting. Start to count them slowly. You can count them while they graze the brass or as they jump over the fences.
- As you count the sheep, take deep breaths, connecting your breath as you count sheep. Inhale and exhale through your nose as you count.
- Continue to count sheep until you slowly start to drift off, going into dreamland.
Four Common Sleeping Disorders
Feel like you have a sleeping disorder or issue when sleeping? Here are the four common ones people experience and how to remedy them!
- Waking Up With Your Heart Racing?
- Waking Up With Migraines
- Neck Pain From Sleeping Wrong
- Tired Legs When Waking Up
If you wake up in the morning or middle of the night with youth east racing and feeling anxious, then it might be due to any of these reasons:
Here are three main things to remedy this:
If you start waking up with migraines or headaches, then it will take a toll on your health, feelings, and work! It may be due to:
To stop waking up with a migraine, you can try following these tips:
If you have a neck pain that won't die down even after you wake up or before going to sleep, then it's because you are sleeping wrong! Your neck needs to be propped up and aligned with your head to prevent stiff neck when you wake up.
To remedy your stiff or painful neck, then the first thing you should do is to follow the right sleeping position, focusing more so on the alignment of your neck. It should be propped on a pillow with the same level as your head.
If you already have a stiff neck from sleeping wrong, you can follow these quick remedies:
For those who feel like they have heavy, stiff, or slightly aching legs, then it may be due to a few problems, such as:
What you can do to help remedy tired legs is through:
Pro-Tips from Awesome Bloggers
Once you have all the information you need from here, care to check out these fantastic bloggers and their advice (plus more details) on sleep?
National Sleep Foundation has got the best and simple tips to sleep better, like avoiding naps in the afternoon and practicing relaxing bedtime rituals. If you want to sleep healthily and without any use of medicine or extreme measures, then you've got to check out their blog post on it.
Did you know that leg pillows can be a huge help for back pain? WebMD offers the unique and effective advice for even better sleep, focusing more on how to prevent any illnesses or pain when you get up. If you wake up with pain, then read their blog!
A light therapy box can help you sleep better? That's what the Help Guide says, and it's helped me loads! Not only do their blogs help you sleep quickly and efficiently, but they also show you some effective tips on staying awake and energized once you get out of bed!
"It's time to go to rehab" doesn't mean you've got to go to a center to get your extra sleep! If you feel groggy and vague in the morning, then The Better Sleep Council gives you tips on how to sneak in more sleep and become sharper on their blog!
Mayo Clinic delivers all the pieces of advice and list of medical information one needs when you aren't feeling well. And the same goes for sleep. They prove that sleep isn't just about the time you get to bed, but other external factors that go along with it. Check it all out on their blog post here.
When you want to sleep better, you may need the right supplements and vitamins to lull you to dreamland. That's what Healthline says, and it's proven right! So if you're looking for the list of supplements and vitamins you need for a good night's rest, check it all up on their blog.
Tips and information for men who want to stay healthy as they age including more healthy sleeping habits for men.
Frequently Asked Questions on Sleeping Properly
1. Can I Nap After Eating?
Yes, there is no problem with napping after eating, though it isn't something you should do a lot. It would also depend on how long you nap for. As much as possible, stick to about 20 minutes at most when you'd like to nap after a huge meal.
Eating huge meals makes you feel sleepy, which is most likely why you ask this question. So to avoid taking long naps (that affect your sleeping pattern), eat light meals to balance your sugar levels and to prevent the crash. It keeps you alert this way!
2. Is it bad for teenagers to sleep from 2 AM to 12NN?
While you'll still be able to get your eight hours of sleep, it still isn't something you should practice. While teenagers may experience erratic sleeping schedules from puberty or school, it will affect their performance with their work.
So if your teen has been sleeping very late and waking up later during the summer (for obvious reasons), I would recommend you to try helping them fix their sleeping schedule before vacation ends. Start adopting a healthier lifestyle and sleep from 10 PM to 7 AM instead. They will thank you later on!
3. Why do I always wake up between midnight and 3 AM?
This is one of the most common symptoms of insomnia. You will need to practice good sleeping habits to get used to a schedule that has you sleep straight and without any issues. You can follow the tips I mentioned move and make sure that the area you are sleeping in is sleep-friendly, comfortable for you!
Also, do NOT attempt taking sleeping pills unless the symptoms start to get so bad or they were prescribed by a doctor. You wouldn't want to become dependent on these types of medicine.
4. How does one become a morning person?
It can be difficult to love the mornings if you're used to erratic sleeping schedules, but the first step here is to try it out and fix your sleeping schedule to get enough sleep. I encourage you to have something to look forward to in the morning and just get up, stretching your body and expose yourself to the sun.
Also, start off slowly. Wake up half an hour before the time you are used to, then begin waking up earlier than that every few weeks (with the right amount of sleep, of course).
5. How does counting shell help you sleep?
Counting sheep is one of the oldest pieces of advice for people to sleep, but this varies. It may not work for some, but it works for others as you focus on one thing rather than the stressors or whatever else is going on. The calming surroundings you think up of and the deep breathing exercises you do when counting helps your mind relax as well, lulling you to sleep. The counting is also known to tire your brain out, which helps you get ready for rest, both mentally and physically. Try it!
6. What's the best sleeping position?
The most recommended and healthiest way to sleep is on your back or side, particularly the right side. This is because it helps your heart supply blood easily. Sleeping on your stomach is a huge no-no, as it puts too much pressure on your lungs, resulting in breathing problems.
When you sleep on your back, have pillows at the right angle to support your neck, not too high or too low, not too hard or too soft. If you sleep on your side, use a pillow that fills the space between your neck and the mattress.
7. Can I drink water before sleeping?
If you're worried about water turning into fat while you sleep, then there's nothing to worry about that. You will only feel a bit bloated, but you won't be gaining any weight or inches from it. The real issue about drinking too much water before bed is that you may wake up in the middle of the night with the sudden urge to pee, breaking your deep sleep (and losing precious minutes!). There is also the chance of accidentally wetting yourself in the bed.
Some people don't like it because it has them feel bloated and uncomfortable while trying to sleep. But if you do not usually wake up wanting to pee after drinking water, then it's perfectly fine.
8. How can you get comfortable to sleep in your bed?
Well, everyone is different, and it depends on your preference! But the best thing to do here is to create a relaxing nightly ritual and making your bedroom solely for sleeping and nothing else. Keep the lights off, and without any noise or stressors around you. Get to your comfortable sleeping position, start taking deep breaths, and think of something happy. And drift off!
Resources and Further Reading
I hope that this article on how to sleep better helped you out! If you want to know more on how to sleep better, you can check these sources out for more information.
- Tired Legs In the Morning by Avogel
- Sleep And Exercise: Vigorous Exercisers Report The Best Sleep, Poll Says by Huffington Post
- How to Sleep Better by WikiHow
- Should You Shower in the Morning or Evening by News Australia
- Getting Better Sleep by Help Guide
- Yoga for Better Sleep by Fitness Magazine
- How to Count Sheep by WikiHow
- 8 Non-Boring Books That'll Help You Fall Asleep by Bustle
- How To Use Essential Oils To Help You Get The Best Sleep Ever by Natural Living Ideas
- The 4 Worst Things to Eat Before Bed by Men's Health