11 Proven Tips for Better Sleep at Night

Tips for Better Sleep at Night

A good night’s sleep is essential for our daily lives. When we don't get enough quality sleep, there are a number of negative side effects. We are more irritable and easily stressed out when problems or issues arise. We're less alert which can be dangerous when driving, working or doing anything that requires focus and our full attention.

If you want to have a better night’s sleep every single night, there are many ways you can do that. There are things you can do to ensure quality sleep for your mind and body in order for both of them to get the rest they need. Check out these incredibly helpful tips for better sleep hygiene!

Increase your physical activity earlier in the day

A consistent daily exercise routine will help alleviate the pent-up energy that builds up throughout the day and prevents you from sleeping well.

Being more active throughout the day is a great way to fight this issue. Try incorporating some activity into your schedule, such as hitting the gym in the morning or taking an afternoon walk.

The most effective way to relieve stress is through regular physical activity, but be mindful of working out too close to your bedtime so you aren't too energised from exercise before bed.

Develop a pre-sleep routine

As soon as your head reaches your pillow in the evening for bedtime, it helps to already be relaxed and ready for a great night's sleep. To do this prepare for sleep by following the same daily relaxing ritual pre-bedtime. Listen to relaxing music, have a hot shower or bath, relax with scented essential oils, or use an oil diffuser in the bedroom one hour before bed.

The perfect way to relax varies from person to person. Some people find the calm they need in drawing, writing, reading, aromatherapy like our sleep roller blend or skincare. Whatever it is that relaxes you, develop a proven daily bedtime routine to help get the best sleep each night.

Keep caffeine to a minimum

Caffeine is a stimulant that acts as an energiser which leads to poor sleep. Because of this, it's best to avoid drinking any before sleeping. Studies have shown that caffeine's effects can be felt up to six hours after consumption. If your goal is to sleep by 10 pm, drink no coffee or soft drinks past 3-4 pm every day.

Drinking caffeinated drinks can interfere with your sleep cycle, which is something you are trying to avoid at night. If you crave the flavour of coffee in the evening time, try your favourite drinks with a switch to decaf. 

Friends drinking coffee

Aim for a consistent sleep period

It may be difficult to imagine, but following the same sleeping times, every night leads to better sleep quality. Our bodies need to become trained in falling asleep at the same time each morning and evening. And by doing so, you’ll also get the amount of rest that you need to take on your day-to-day tasks.

An example of a sleep routine would be to go to bed at 11 pm and wake at 7 am every day. A sleep period of the recommended 8 hours of sleep is perfect. Follow this 8-hour sleep schedule for a few days and you will see how refreshed you feel during the day. This routine does not require much effort to stick to - it becomes a habit quickly and you'll develop your own internal body clock, so start now!

Eventually, you'll start feeling tired and waking up naturally at regular times when you follow a consistent bedtime routine.

 Don't have any power naps

It is difficult to stay alert all day when you are not getting good sleep at night. You may think that the best way to get through it would be to power nap during the day but studies have shown this can actually make chronic insomnia worse, leading you into a vicious cycle of being nocturnal.

Create a cycle that allows you to avoid naps, especially those in the late afternoon. Giving yourself a few days will means that when you go to bed at night, sleep will come easier than normal because your body isn’t getting unused rest during the day.

Reduce Blue Light Exposure Before Bed

To mentally prepare for bed, it is crucial you unplug from any electronic devices at least 60 minutes before you are ready to sleep. Reduce bright lights, turn off your TV, lock your phone and shut down your computer for the night. Don't be tempted to watch just a few YouTube videos or scroll through your Facebook feed before trying to go to sleep —this can increase brain stimulation and you'll find it difficult to sleep.

In the worst-case scenario, if you are in an environment where it is not possible to escape your devices, invest in blue light screen protectors or blue light glasses. These counter the blue light emitted by our phones and other screens which cause our brains to over-stimulate.

Technology with Blue Light

Don't eat a lot before bed

Eating a large meal too close to bedtime can have an adverse effect on sleep and your health. It will impede the natural production of melatonin, which is necessary to feel tired and ready to sleep.

It's okay to consume a light snack before bed, but you should choose high protein and low carbs if possible.

Keep your bedroom cool and dark

Certain physical things help you sleep. When it gets dark, your pineal gland produces a hormone called melatonin. It helps you sleep. But when light is in the way, then it interferes with the cycle of sleeping and waking up.

It has been shown that being in a room that is fully lit has detrimental effects on the production of melatonin. This leads to decreased sleep quality and alertness during the day, as well as a higher likelihood for conditions such as depression, anxiety, and obesity. Creating an environment with a blacked-out bedroom can lead to restorative sleep

Create a supportive sleeping environment

In order to get a good night’s sleep, you need the bedroom environment to be comfortable and clean. Keep the bedroom temperature cool but not too cold so it’s more conducive for sleeping.

To avoid waking up in the middle of the night with sweat dripping off your face, wear loose cotton pyjamas or a nighttime undershirt and sleep in an adequately cooled environment.

Go to bed only when you're tired

To train yourself to fall asleep when tired, sleep at the time you feel sleepy rather than going to bed wide awake. You will find that you can more easily drift off and get better quality of rest.

Avoid undertaking tasks that require high levels of concentration before you go to bed. If possible, get them out of the way or delegate tasks in order to prevent a restless night

Drowsiness or sleepiness is a tell-tale sign that it's time to start getting ready for bed. When you're feeling like this, it's best to soon prepare to settle in for the night by going into your bedroom.

Sleep in a good body position

One common cause of day-after fatigue is pillows that don't provide the right support. Choose a pillow that is neither too high nor too thin, just big enough to comfortably hold your neck in place while you sleep on your back.

  • Tip: When watching TV before bed, maintain good posture. Don't crane your neck to look at the screen.

If you want to sleep more soundly and get better rest, there are a few things that can be done. First of all, the bedroom should be set up correctly with a comfortable mattress and pillows for optimal support. When it comes time to go to bed at night, try not to work or do anything too mentally taxing beforehand. For those who have trouble sleeping when they’re feeling drowsy before bedtime, avoid heavy meals or drinks in order to prevent indigestion throughout the evening as well as light snacks high in protein and low in carbs if possible. If 15 minutes after laying down on your bed still proves difficult, consider trying relaxation exercises such as deep breathing techniques or guided meditation apps which may help soothe anxiety.

You should always aim to fall asleep within 15 minutes of resting on the bed. If you lie there focused on other things, tossing and turning it will be hard to get great sleep and recovery your body needs. Getting enough sleep every night is important for your mood, productivity, and stress levels. What are some of your best sleep tips for achieving a good night’s sleep?

About the author

Shannon Willoughby is the founder of Aromarrr NZ, holds a commercial pilots license and is a former World Champion NZ Black Fern (women's rugby). Suffering a stroke at the age of only 32, Shannon beat the odds and not only returned to rugby but received her aviation medical back after being told she would never fly again. After the stroke, Shannon turned to aromatherapy to help sleep which led her to discover the amazing results of aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils. Shannon has since been certified in using essential oils for natural living. A 2017 IWF Global Women Athlete's Business Network member, Shannon was one of only 25 female athletes selected worldwide.
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