Due to our busy lives, sleep is often something we don’t get enough. Between hectic schedules, a busy family life, and poor sleeping patterns, most adults are always tired and exhausted – here are 21 tips for better sleep for you to try.
Here’s the truth: I wasn’t always a good sleeper. When I was living and working in New York City, I would take over-the-counter ZZZ Quil (basically the sleep-inducing part of cold medicine without the cold medicine) every single night to help me fall asleep.
Between the chronic stress and worry about work to the noisy city streets to the alcohol-induced slumbers, my sleep wasn’t anywhere near restorative. Today, with some significant lifestyle shifts and the creation of healthy self-care practices, I fall asleep within seconds and sleep throughout the entire night on most nights. And yes, I am a light sleeper! That’s no longer an excuse for me.
So, if you’re looking to get a better night’s sleep, discover the below 21 tips and adjustments you can make to improve your sleep as early as tonight.
The importance of good sleep
Sleep is an essential part of our lives, and only 21% of adults are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night, according to The Good Body. Not only is getting enough sleep a part of self-care, ensuring you receive adequate sleep is critical for your performance, happiness, and overall wellbeing.
Not to mention, the quality of your sleep is an essential factor. Sleeping eight hours uninterrupted versus waking up multiple times throughout the night will undoubtedly impact on how you feel.
Taking steps to not only improve the length – but also the quality – of your sleep will help to ensure you receive a good night’s rest. Through realistic and straightforward environmental and behavioral changes, you’ll be well on your way to sleeping through the night.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, rather the below tips on how to sleep through the night come from my personal and professional coaching experience. Please seek a doctor’s advice when necessary.
Like I mentioned above, there are both environmental and behavioral changes you make to get a more restful night’s sleep.
Environmental means optimizing your environment (like your bedroom) for the best quality sleep possible. Some standard adjustments in your environment include:
- Adding in a sound machine (this is my personal favorite)
- Adjusting lighting to be warmer instead of cooler
- Setting your room to an optimal sleeping temperature (around 60-67°F)
Behavioral means adjusting the current behaviors and patterns around sleep to be more optimized for improved rest. Check out the below behavioral changes to improve sleep:
- Moving your evening workouts to the morning
- Adding in sleep-friendly supplements like magnesium or organic hemp oil
- Using relaxation techniques and breathing exercises
21 tips for great sleep
Are you ready? Below you’ll find my 21 tried and true tips to get a blissful night’s sleep.
1. Ditch the electronics
I know, I know. Ridding your bedroom of brain-stimulating TVs, tablets, and phones can improve your sleep immensely. Yes, that means you can’t fall asleep while watching TV and, yes, that might feel difficult for a week or two. Setting healthy boundaries and reducing screen time will help you catch more ZZZ’s in no time.
2. Learn to relax your mind
Sure, meditation sounds intimidating, but it’s not! If you follow some simple meditation tips, you’ll learn to decompress, relax your mind, and encourage sleep.
3. Create a to-do list in the evening
At times it can be hard to turn off your brain when you lay down to sleep. Creating a to-do list at night can help get your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. That way, you’ll be less prone to lying awake plagued by everything you need to get finished in the upcoming days.
4. Move your evening workouts
Part of the beauty of working out is how energized and alive you feel after finishing! This burst of energy and endorphins can cause some disruptions to your sleep patterns. Instead, try to move your workouts to first thing in the morning and see how you feel!
5. Avoid large meals before bed
Did you know that eating a large or spicy meal for dinner can impact your sleep? It’s true!
The energy and effort required to digest the meal can keep you up at night. I suggest eating a smaller dinner earlier in the evening, and if that isn’t possible, at least use some digestive enzymes (I love this brand) to help your body break down the meal with less effort.
6. Take sleep-supporting supplements
In addition to encouraging a good night’s rest, magnesium is known to help promote regular bowel movements and help with anxiety.
7. Use an organic CBD oil
Now that hemp is legal in all 50 states, using an organic cbd oil at night is an excellent idea for those struggling with sleep. I love and use Soul Addict not only because of the quality and purity of the product but because of the love and passion Laura, the owner has for creating her products with love.
8. Invest in a sound machine
I literally cannot go to sleep at night without turning on my sound machine (here’s what we use). We used to live in a busy city filled with noise pollution, and now, our home is so quiet that I need a little something to take the edge off. Plus, the sound machine keeps the dogs from barking at every little thing they hear!
The Dohm is my sound machine of choice because it uses a small motor to create the sound instead of artificial noise that can sometimes be disruptive.
9. Discover the power of eye masks
Light pollution is a real issue, especially if you live in a bright and busy city. Using an eye mask can help to block out unnecessary lights and let your brain know that it’s time to sleep and stay asleep. I prefer to use this eye mask because the contoured shape ensures the cover isn’t pressing against my eyelids (which drives me insane!).
10. Turn down the temperature
Ideally, the temperature in your room should be between 60-67°F, according to Sleep.org. Try turning your thermostat down a few degrees, cracking a window, or investing in a fan to help get your sleeping quarters to a cooler and more sleep-friendly temperature.
11. Get a better mattres and pillow
Are you constantly waking up with a stiff neck or body aches?
Maybe it’s your body signaling that it’s time to invest in a better quality mattress or pillow. We love our Sleep Number bed and honestly believe it was worth every last penny. As far as pillows go, consider if you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper and then do your research accordingly. There are different pillows for every other kind of sleeper!
12. Limit your caffeine intake
A good rule of thumb is to cut your caffeine intake off at noon each day to allow your body ample time to metabolize the burst of energy. I don’t drink any caffeine, and since cutting it out completely, my sleep has improved.
When it comes to the amount of caffeine you’re drinking, aim to keep it under 300mg to support a better night’s sleep.
13. Use relaxing essential oils
Investing in high quality certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils is an easy and natural way to encourage sleep. I’ve curated a bundle of my favorite top-notch essential oils that you can incorporate into your evening routine.
14. Take a relaxing bath
Winding down your evening with a relaxing detox bath instead of binge-watching Netflix is a great way to encourage sleep and feel more at ease. Check out my guide to creating the perfect detox bath and watch your worries melt away!
15. Drink a mug of sleepy tea
There’s something so cozy about curling up with a mug of tea (bonus points if you take yours into your detox bath!). I love sipping on sleepy tea at night as a part of my nighttime ritual, and I find that the distraction from the tea keeps my mind off of sugar. Check out a few of the organic sleepy tea options I love below:
- Traditional Medicinals Organic Valerian Tea
- Yogi Organic Soothing Carmel Bedtime Tea
- Twinings of London Organic Chamomile, Lemon, and Mint Tea
16. Read a book
Now that you’ve hopefully removed all electronics out of your bedroom, winding down with a good book is a great option to help encourage sleep. I love reading because it gives my mind a chance to forget about my to-do list and slip into sleep after twenty minutes or so.
In search of a good book? Check out my top summer 2019 reads
17. Block out stimulating blue light
The pesky bright blue lights from your TV, computer, and cell phone can make getting quality sleep more complicated than you may realize. Aside from programming your phone and computer to switch to warmer lights, you can also invest in a pair of blue-light blocking glasses (I love these, and they’re cheap!) to wear in the hours leading up to bed.
Is blue light really harmful? It sure is! According to Harvard, exposure to blue lights can throw your circadian rhythm out of whack, leading to messed up sleep cycles.
18. Limit your sugar intake
This tip might make your eyes roll, but limiting your sugar intake as much as possible throughout the day (and the hours leading up to bed) can have an impact on how well you sleep. If you are eating sugar, opt for sweeteners from natural sources like coconut sugar, monk fruit, maple syrup, and honey instead of traditional refined sugar.
19. Learn a few breathing techniques
Tapping on breathing techniques to help you fall asleep won’t cost you a penny, and they’re always available. My favorite breathing exercise to encourage sleep is 4-7-8 Breathing by Dr. Andrew Weil.
20. Declutter your bedroom
Something about cleaning up the clothes, putting unnecessary items away, and organizing your sleeping quarters invites a sense of calm.
21. Focus on reducing stress and anxiety
At the end of the day (pun intended), a lot of sleeping troubles come from overwhelming stress and anxiety. Learning to asses your current mental health status and get the correct support you need to get the sleep you deserve is necessary.
Hopefully, you found a handful of tips above that can help you to handle your stress and anxiety healthily to help improve your sleep.
My five must-haves for better sleep
When it comes to my sleeping self-care routine, these are products I couldn’t sleep without using. I mentioned a few of these products above, but I’m so passionate about their effectiveness and want you to experience their power, too, so I’ve gathered them in one place.
1. Integrative therapeutics tri-magnesium
The magnesium from Integrative Therapeutics is genuinely one of my most coveted supplements. Not only has it helped to improve my sleep, but it also keeps me regular and supports my moods.
Learn more about the positive impact of incorporating magnesium into your has on your sleep.
2. Soul addict organic CBD oil
If you haven’t tried CBD oil infused with powerful compounds, the oil from Soul Addict is a smart place to start. I love Soul Addict because their CBD is organic and infused with love, plus it has helped myself and many friends and family members improve their sleep.
Check out my review on Soul Addict to learn more and save 20% on your first order with code SA_carley20!
3. Dohm sound machine
I mentioned this sound machine above in tip #8, but she deserves some more credit. Unlike most sound machines, the Dohm uses a small motor to create soothing white noise, which I find to be a lot more relaxing than artificial rain sounds or crashing waves.
Plus, the footprint of the Dohm is relatively small, and the design is minimalist, so you can place this sound machine anywhere without it feeling like an eyesore.
4. Parachute Home Sheets
I will preface this suggestion to say that sheets from Parachute are not cheap. Has that stopped me? Nope.
I’ve stopped buying the halfway decent sheets at random stores and invested in two sets of Parachute sheets. Doing this allowed me to clear up some precious linen closet space and ensure I’m always sleeping on these heavenly gifts from above. We love the percale ones!
5. DoTERRA essential oils
Essentials oils from doTERRA have become a staple in our household (my husband keeps a bottle of Serenity on his nightstand).
DoTERRA essential oils are top-notch when it comes to potency and quality, and are some of the best oils on the market. If you’re interested in using essential oils to encourage a better night’s sleep, check out the curated sleep kit I put together with our favorite essential oils.
Are you still having sleeping issues?
If you’ve implemented a handful of the above at-home tips for better sleep remedies and still aren’t catching the ZZZ’s required, you might consider getting some professional support.
- Find a sleep specialist in your area to help diagnose your sleeping issues
- Work with a therapist or counselor to address underlying anxiety and stress
- Enlist the support of a naturopath or acupuncturist in your area
Sleep is essential for quality self care
It’s no secret: we need quality sleep to function.
It’s important to remember that making the necessary adjustments to improve your sleep is a form of self-care. Being aware of what’s working and what’s not, and then taking matters into your own hands shows that you are committed to caring for yourself and feeling your best.
Also, don’t be surprised when even the smallest change can make the most significant impact on the quality of sleep you’re having. Little things can add up to have a substantial impact!
Finding your self-care routine when it comes to improving your sleep might take some time, but remain committed, diligent, and patient to figure out what works (and what doesn’t work) for your own unique needs. I hope you found these tips for better sleep helpful, and remember, you can’t put a price on a better night’s rest!