15 Science-Backed Tips For Better Sleep

Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Sleep

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // December 29, 2023


Whether we’re just too busy to spend enough time in bed or stress causes us to toss and turn all night, it can be tough getting a good night’s sleep!

According to the CDC, about 1 in 3 adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day. And nearly 40% of adults report falling asleep during the day without meaning to at least once a month.

This can have serious consequences for our health. Not getting the right amount of sleep has been linked to everything from a weakened immune system to chronic disease and obesity.

So, how do you get a better night’s sleep?

Here, we’ll break down the best (and most realistic) tips for improving your sleep and getting your overall health back on track.

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    Why Sleep Is Important For Your Overall Health

    Most people know that getting a good night’s sleep is important for their overall health, but many don’t know why. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of sleep and how lack of sleep affects your overall health.

    Sleep is important for your overall health for a variety of reasons. First, sleep is when your body rests and repairs itself. This is important for both your physical and mental health.

    Physical Health

    When you sleep, your body is able to repair any damage that has been done during the day. This includes damage from physical activity, stress, and environmental factors. 

    Sleeping also helps to boost your immune system, which can help you fight off illnesses and infections.

    Mental Health

    Sleep is also important for your mental health. Getting enough sleep can help you to reduce stress and anxiety, and it can also help you to focus better during the day. 

    Sleep can also improve your mood and help you to regulate your emotions.

    Overall, getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can have a negative impact on your overall health.

    Benefits of Getting Better Sleep

    Most people don’t get enough sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder. That’s a lot of people who are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night!

    There are many benefits of getting better sleep, including:

    • Improved mood
    • Increased productivity
    • Better memory
    • Improved heart health
    • Maintaining a healthy weight

    Following a regular sleep schedule will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. This is the 24-hour internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to sleep and wake up. When you follow a regular sleep schedule, your circadian rhythm will adjust and you’ll start to feel sleepy at the same time each night.

    There are many benefits to getting enough sleep. So, if you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours per night, make some changes to your routine and start reaping the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

    My Experience With Improving My Sleep

    I always felt like I must be genetically gifted when it comes to sleep. I slept like a rock up until I was 50. And then that thing called peri-menopause kicked in.

    Fluctuating hormones, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety – I was not exempt. I had to rethink my routine. 

    For a few years the hormone stuff was real and any of you in that stage of life just know it will mellow out once you hit that day called menopause. However, I have learned that at this stage of my life, my sleep habits matter.  

    15 Tips To Get Better Sleep

    For a few years, the hormone stuff was real and any of you in that stage of life just know it will mellow out once you hit that menopause. However, I have learned that at this stage of my life, my sleep habits matter.  

    Try A Breathing Technique

    When it comes to sleep, your body needs to relax. Not being able to turn your mind off is a common reason people have a hard time getting a good night’s rest.

    One incredible way to help you mind relax is to use breathing exercises. They will help calm your body, and mind! 

    Try doing one of these soothing breathing exercises that can relax your body and empty your mind.
    I personally do Wim Hof breathing to help me calm down during the day and it translates to a better night sleep for me and the many people who comment on his videos.

    Watch Caffeine Intake

    Most people are aware that caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda can affect their sleep. However, many don’t realize that other seemingly innocuous things like chocolate, some teas, and even some medications can also contain caffeine and other stimulants. 

    These can cause insomnia and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

    Caffeine affects everyone a little differently, and for some, it can be the hidden culprit behind their insomnia or middle-of-the-night tossing and turning. It never affected me until I turned 50. Now I’m very careful not to have any coffee past 3pm or it may affect my sleep. 

    Coffee and tea are great in moderation, but try to cut yourself off early afternoon if you find that caffeine is keeping you awake. 

    woman in blazer holding coffee and phone

    Avoiding stimulants late in the day is a good way to improve your sleep habits. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 pm, maybe even earlier if you’re particularly sensitive.

    You should also avoid eating chocolate or drinking caffeinated tea in the evening. Switch to herbal tea in the evening if you miss having a warm beverage after dinner.

    If you take medication for another condition, check the label to see if it has any stimulants. If it does, talk to your doctor about taking it earlier in the day.

    Get A White Noise Machine

    If random nighttime noises (or your partner’s snoring) keep you awake at night, try a white noise machine. 

    The beauty of a white noise machine is that it emits a low volume, constant, soothing noise, as opposed to random noise from outside or inside that can rouse light sleepers. I started using a white noise machine for my kids when they were little and then starting using one for myself. It blocks out any outside noises and helps me stay asleep.

    I like the Dohm Sound Machine because it provides several different options for noise style and volume. There are also apps you can add to your phone like White Noise Lite, which will do the trick!

    Skip Alcohol

    Ever notice when you have a cocktail or two that you keep waking up during the night? It’s not a coincidence.

    Many people with insomnia use a glass of wine to try and induce sleep, but studies show that alcohol consumed within an hour of bedtime appears to disrupt the second half of sleep—you will wake up and have a more difficult time getting back to sleep. 

    It’s believed that alcohol’s impact on your sleep is thought to get worse if you regularly have a drink before going to bed. If you want quality sleep, skip the adult beverages. 

    I sound like a broken record, but age 50 is when this became a factor for me too.  

    Try Natural Sleep Supplements and Remedies

    Natural sleep supplements can help to improve the quality and quantity of our sleep. They can also help to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the duration of our sleep.

    Some of the most popular natural sleep supplements are melatonin, valerian root, and magnesium.

    There are many natural sleep aids like magnesium supplements that tell your body it’s time for sleep:

    Melatonin

    Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in our brains. It is responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycles.

    Valerian Root

    Valerian root is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies. It is known for its calming and relaxing effects. 

    Magnesium Glycinate has been very helpful for me. I take it right before bed.  

    wood diffuser next to bed

    Lavender

    Lavender naturally calms the mind and body. You can get an aromatherapy diffuser to slowly dispense lavender fragrance throughout the night.

    Another option is to mix a few drops of lavender with coconut oil and apply it to your body before sleep.

    Calming Evening Drink

    I drink Organifi GOLD every night as part of my calming, healthy bedtime routine. It helps me relax while giving me all the nutrition and supplements I need!  

    Tart Cherry

    There is research that suggests Tart cherry is also said to help your body create its own natural melatonin.

    There are many more alternatives to sleeping pills that can be effective at helping you fall and stay asleep. Contact a chiropractor or homeopathic nutritionist to see what your body requires and will help.

    Create Calming Bedtime Rituals

    Developing calming bedtime routines can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. 

    If you read every night before you drift off to dreamland, you will begin to get tired when you pick up that book. Maybe you have a face washing regimen or you listen to peaceful music.

    Creating a consistent bedtime routine with some gentle habits that tell your body to slow down and prepare to sleep should lead to good-quality sleep.

    Monitor Your Digital Usage

    Sleep experts will tell you that most people sleep better in total darkness. Try to keep iPhones from beeping or lighting up your bedroom, and shut down your laptop so it isn’t glowing in your room and emitting light. 

    I also take off my apple watch – no electronics near me.

    Studies show that exposure to blue light, like the kind from electronic devices, decreases your melatonin production; the hormone responsible for signaling to your body it’s time for bed.

    There are a few things you can do to monitor your daily routine for digital usage and get better sleep:

    First, keep track of how much time you’re spending on your phone or computer. If you’re spending more than two hours a day on your devices, that’s too much. Try to cut back to one hour or less.

    Second, pay attention to how you’re using your devices. If you’re using them for work or school, that’s fine. But if you’re using them for entertainment or leisure activities, that’s not so good. Too much screen time can lead to sleep problems.

    Lastly, make sure you’re not using your devices right before bed. The light from screens can keep your brain active and make it harder to fall asleep. So put away your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

    By monitoring your digital usage, you can help make sure you get the sleep you need.

    Don’t Toss and Turn For Hours

    If you’re finding yourself tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t let yourself lie there awake for too long. You don’t want to start viewing your bed as “that place where I don’t sleep.” 

    Plus, getting up can make you feel sleepy enough to fall asleep again. 

    Put on a light that isn’t glaring and read a magazine or a book. Have a warm glass of milk. Signal to your body that the bed is where you sleep, not where you lie awake and fret about sleeping.

    woman relaxing in bathtub with eyes closed

    Take a Hot Bath or Shower

    A peaceful way to end your day, stepping out of a warm shower or bath into a naturally cooler bedroom causes a drop in your body temperature. This drop in temperature is shown to naturally trigger feelings of sleepiness because it slows down metabolic functions. 

    So next time you need to unwind and induce sleep a little quicker, take a warm shower or bath! 

    Bonus points if you can add some Epsom salts to your bath…they can help relax your muscles and your mind.

    Jot Down Your Worries and Plans Before Bed

    Oftentimes we wake up in the middle of the night worrying about all the things we have to do the next day or everything we didn’t accomplish today. 

    It can actually be beneficial to designate a “worry and planning” time earlier in the day to get out your subconscious fears, concerns, and to-dos on a regular basis. 

    Get a journal or notebook and free-write after you get home from work, for example, to release your fears and worries and get them down on paper so they don’t haunt your dreams!

    Meditate

    Even five minutes of meditation before bed can be incredibly helpful in inducing sleep and relieving stress. It’s an incredibly powerful relaxation technique. Sit calmly in your room with the lights low and breathe in and out calmly for at least five minutes. 

    Sometimes it’s hard for us to fall asleep because we haven’t slowed down all day and then hop into bed expecting our brains to calm down instantly! 

    But if we give ourselves a few moments reprieve from the daily hustle and bustle, it can signal to our bodies that it’s time to rest.

    Exercise During the Daytime

    Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night, but not necessarily if you’re hitting the gym late at night. Late night workouts can actually impact the quality of your sleep.

    When we exercise, our body temperature rises. This increase in body temperature can affect our circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

    That’s why it’s often recommended to exercise earlier in the day. By exercising in the morning or afternoon, you’ll avoid the peak of your body temperature and be more likely to sleep better at night.

    Try to schedule your workouts in the morning or early afternoon so you get the benefits of exercise all day long but the adrenaline of your workout doesn’t keep you up all night.

    Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

    Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine can be key to getting better sleep. By taking some time before bed to wind down and relax, you can set the stage for a more restful night’s sleep. There are a few different things you can do to help you relax before bedtime.

    One option is to take a warm bath or shower. The heat can help to loosen your muscles and relax your body. Add some soothing aromatherapy or add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathtub or shower to help further promote relaxation.

    Another option is to read a book or magazine before bed. Choose something that you enjoy and that won’t overly stimulate your mind. Maybe try reading by dim lighting to help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down for the night.

    woman in cozy sweater and blanket reading book

    You could also try some simple stretches or relaxation exercises before bed. There are many resources available online or in books that can guide you through some relaxation techniques. Taking just a few minutes to do some deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can help to ease your mind and body into a more relaxed state.

    Whatever method you choose, the important thing is to make it part of your nightly routine. By taking some time each evening to relax, you can help ensure a more restful night’s sleep.

    Understand Your Sleep Cycle

    Do you always feel tired? Is falling asleep a problem? Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep? 

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are a common problem and there are many different types.

    Some of the most common are insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.

    Sleep is important for your health. Getting enough sleep can help you stay healthy and avoid diseases. Sleep also helps you concentrate and learn new information. 

    Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep a day. However, some people may need more or less sleep. How much sleep you need depends on your age, health, and lifestyle.

    Sleep quality is more important than quantity. It is better to get four hours of restful sleep than to sleep for eight hours but be constantly interrupted by noise or light. A good night’s sleep is restful and includes all stages of sleep.

    There are many things that can disrupt your sleep. Stress, medications, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all common culprits. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid these substances close to bedtime. Some medical conditions can also cause sleep problems.

    Create A Comfortable Sleeping Environment

    Most people don’t think about how important their sleeping environment is. We spend a third of our lives asleep, so it’s important to create a space that promotes relaxation and good sleep. You’ll be surprised how much even small changes can help.

    Here are some tips to create a comfortable sleeping environment:

    • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light, and earplugs or a sound machine to block out noise. No more bright light!
    • Use comfortable sheets and pillows. Consider investing in a good mattress that will support your back and keep you comfortable all night long.
    • Keep electronics out of the bedroom. The blue light from screens can interfere with sleep, so it’s best to keep TVs, laptops, and phones out of the bedroom. If you must use electronics in the bedroom, use them sparingly and avoid using them for at least an hour before bed.

    Creating a comfortable sleeping environment is important for getting a good night’s sleep. By following these tips, you can create a space that promotes relaxation and deep, restful sleep.

    See a Physician or Chiropractor if You Are Still Tired

    If you repeatedly feel tired after a night’s rest, it’s possible that you could be deficient in certain vitamins, your body not properly absorbing certain nutrients or you could be suffering from sleep apnea. This is a condition where you stop breathing several times during the night.

    See your doctor or chiropractor to find out what additional treatments they can offer you.

    Start using these simple and effective tips to get better sleep starting today! Good sleep has a huge impact on our overall physical and mental health. It’s never too late to start improving it!



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