5 Ways to Achieve Better Sleep
Don’t fall asleep on your dream of sweet slumber! Here are five simple tips to help you find those coveted 7 to 9 hours of bliss.
1. Nighttime routine
It’s true what they say: “Humans are creatures of habit.” We thrive on a pattern, and bedtime is no different. Setting a relaxing nightly routine not only helps quiet the day’s worries, but it’s also a major *hint hint* for your body to start physical preparation for sleep. As a rule of thumb, your nighttime routine should take at least a half-hour and be performed in the same order (and time) every night. Begin by saying good night to your smartphone. Fill out the middle of your routine with super calming activities like taking a warm bath, reading, stretching, journaling, etc., and finish with lights out and your head on a pillow. There’s no doubt about it, this tip for better sleep is a lifestyle change, but it’s shown to be incredibly effective with individuals saying their sleep improved within less than one week!
If you’re like most of us, turning on the TV or scrolling through your phone is practically a nighttime given, but did you know minimizing your evening tech interaction could be the key to maximizing your best sleep? Electronic devices, along with LED lights and fluorescent light bulbs, emit intense blue light that makes the brain believe it’s daytime. Because the brain thinks it’s time to be awake, it begins suppressing the release of melatonin, increasing alertness, and disrupting the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Cut out bedtime tossing and turning by mitigating the effects of blue light with blue-light-blocking glasses, applying appropriate filters to devices, and being sure to turn off and put away blue light at least one hour before bed.
3. White Noise
Fun fact: we usually aren’t woken up because something is extra loud. Rather, we wake up because there is an inconsistency in the sound we heard while asleep. From your neighbor’s car door shutting to that late night barking dog to simply enjoying a steady background sound, a white noise machine can help mask random nighttime noises, so you can stay fast asleep and snuggled up to a blanket of consistent sound.
One of the best ways to get some excellent rest? Movement! Studies have shown 30 min of exercise a day has helped individuals sleep better that very night. Moderate exercise boosts an individual’s sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, increasing the amount of time spent in deep sleep, and increasing the number of hours slept. Just be sure to keep in mind how exercise affects you. If you leave the gym feeling extra energetic or pair workouts with caffeine, try to get your sweat sessions in early so you have time to unwind before hopping in bed.
5. Sleep Support* Supplements
As mentioned above, your body's natural melatonin is essential when it comes to getting a great night’s rest. This naturally produced hormone works by strengthening the body’s sleep-wake cycle and supports relaxation and rest.* This natural sleep aid is available in various forms and should be taken at least 30 minutes before bed for best results.
If you’re in need of some knockout sleep, give your sleeplessness a one-two punch by combining some or all the above healthy sleep tips.
Before taking any supplements, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider to determine which are right for you.