5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep

Bedtime Routine

Getting a good night’s sleep can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach. People of all ages across the globe suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia.

Insomnia is a condition that interrupts your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you are suffering from this sleep disturbance, you may be hesitant to turn to harsh medications to help you fall asleep. Here are 5 ways that you can help improve your sleep naturally.

Eliminate Caffeine

Vremi Blade Coffee Grinder

The morning cup of coffee seems to be a staple beverage for many people. However, caffeine is not just in coffee. Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, the tea, and even some of the foods you eat. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only. Prevention Magazine tells us that ingesting caffeine, even 6 hours before bedtime, can disrupt sleep.

Exercise

walking low impact exercise

Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night.

While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime. This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and improved sleep is one of them.

Meditate

Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.

Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.  

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a practice to help you sleep better at night. It has to do with environmental cues. Alaska sleep notes that these environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping.

  • Use the bedroom for sex and sleep only
  • No electronics
  • Keep the room dark and quiet
  • Keep your room cool
  • Have a good mattress
  • Set your alarm clock away from your bed

Have a Morning Routine

Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Verywell, we need this to sleep well at night.  There are two really important elements to this step.

  1. Stop hitting the snooze and train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until 7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
  2. NO NAPS. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good nights sleep.

Now you have an arsenal of information that should help you fall asleep faster at night. Remember, finding what works well for you may take some playing around. So, if you don’t get it right the first night or two don’t give up.

These sleep strategies are proven to work. They just take time. Give them a few weeks and you should be sleeping soundly.

7 Comments

  1. I intend to get back to meditating, and hopefully, that will help. In fact, I have a blog post (or two) planned about it. Those are all good suggestions, though. I limit my caffeine to before 1pm and when, possible, before noon.

  2. Meditating definitely helps me relax into sleep. As does never using the snooze! Thanks for all the tips 🙂

  3. Thank you for these great tips. My husband use to work nights so we have the darkening shades and curtains. It definitely does help and it keeps the room cooler. Thank you for the other suggestions. 🙂

  4. Great post! I did shift work for over 30 years so was sleep deprived most of my working life. Took a couple of years after retirement to recover but now I enjoy sleeping. I credited a lot to my aerobic excise class 3 times a week. I do get an occasional night of sleeplessness. I just accept it and try not to stress it.

    • Thanks Lily! Shift work is rough. There are very few people who can adjust their bodies to take on such a schedule. My husband has been back on night shift for a little over a year and he’s still not comfortable. Exercise definitely helps with sleep more than people realize.

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