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17 Things You Can Do To Help You Sleep Better

Are you waking up rejuvenated, refreshed and ready for the day? Try these things to sleep better tonight and feel better when you wake up.

Are you ready to wake up in the morning refreshed? If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, you’re certainly not alone. 30% of adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Inadequate sleep can hinder your health, how you feel and productivity throughout the day. Click through to download the guide for better sleep and sleep better tonight.

If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, you’re certainly not alone.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 30% of adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

Inadequate sleep can hinder your health, weight loss goals and productivity, so it’s definitely something to work on.

Did you know?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chronic diseases were responsible for five of the six leading causes of death in the United States in 2006. Of the leading causes of death in the United States nearly 80 percent could have been prevented if a healthy lifestyle was followed.

And, yes, consistently getting enough sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle.

So, what exactly is sleep deprivation?

According to the American Sleep Association, sleep deprivation is defined as obtaining inadequate total sleep. When someone is in a chronic sleep-restricted state they’ll notice the affects throughout the day, go to sleep, and repeat.

What are possible effects of sleep deprivation?

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Accidents from lack of attention
  • Moodiness
  • Hunger
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Adversely affects the brain and cognitive functioning
  • Deficits in working memory and attention
  • Decreased productivity
  • Deficits in cognitive functioning

The good news is you can break the chronic sleep deprivation cycle.

If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes. It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust.

First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed. For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00. This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30.

Try a couple of strategies at a time and note which ones seem helpful.

Note: If these simple solutions don’t work for you, be sure to check with your doctor to see if they can find the root cause. A functional medical practitioner or naturopathic doctor may be able to find a good natural solution for you.

Here is a list of 17 things you can do to establish healthy sleep habits:

  1. Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)
  2. Don’t consume chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
  3. Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
  4. Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
  5. Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
  6. Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers
  7. Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
  8. Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
  9. Use soothing essential oils in a bath and/or diffuser
  10. Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
  11. Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation
  12. White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan
  13. Relax and read before bed
  14. Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress
  15. Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details so you can relax)
  16. Keep a consistent sleep schedule
  17. Reduce fluid intake before bedtime
  18. Bonus tip, complete a sleep journal (provided in the download) for 7 days

The magic number of sleep hours varies a bit for each of us, but you know when you’re sleep deprived. If we go too long in “sleep deficit” mode many aspects of our lives may suffer.

The National Sleep Foundation provides the following guidelines, including a minimum and maximum range, as a “rule of thumb” to consider with regards to how much sleep you need.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued  for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation .

Recommendations for daily sleep durations:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Getting enough sleep can help create a resistance to stress related illnesses and immune function, helps you start the day feeling refreshed and invigorated, and helps reduce the feelings of stress.

Getting enough sleep helps your body perform and enables you to maximize your workout. Track how many hours of sleep you get each night for 5-7 days along with details of how you felt when you woke up, energy level throughout the day, etc.

Sufficient sleep is important for your health, well-being and happiness. When you sleep better, you feel better. The sleep journal will help you track your sleep, allowing you to see habits and trends that are helping you sleep or that can be improved.

How To Use the Sleep Journal

The sleep journal only takes a few minutes each day to complete.

  • Download and make enough copies to complete the AM and PM journal for 7 days.
  • Review your completed journal to see if there are any patterns or practices that are helping or hindering your sleep. Is your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep? Or are there too many distractions? Did your nap interfere with a good night’s sleep?
  • Make incremental changes. Changing one habit at a time can set you on the path to healthy sleep.

The Center for Disease Control reported that chronic diseases were responsible for five of the six leading causes of death in the United States in 2006. Of the leading causes of death in the United States nearly 80 percent could have been prevented if a healthy lifestyle was followed.

The choices you make each and every day to support your health and wellness rests in your hands.

Resources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Sleep Foundation, American Sleep Association

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56 Comments

  1. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been sleeping like crap and I’m so ready to implement ALL of these tips!

  2. These are some really helpful tips. When I wake up in the middle of the night, for me that is it and it sucks! I usually drink a hot cup of milk and sometimes work.

  3. I have to say, I do not wake up feeling energized at all. I have two little ones that wake up at different hours of the night, so it’s rough at times. I think I need a diffuser that constantly burns calming oils.

  4. Gemille Sleweon says:

    I’m 21 and in college and i find it hard to get a lot of sleep with work and school. Regardless of how i manage my time, I always end up having to sacrifice a few hours of sleep to get things done.

  5. Elizabeth O says:

    This is such a great thought out list of ways to help sleep. I like the idea of switching off tech a hour before sleep.

  6. As someone who suffers from a couple of (oh so fun) sleep disorders, I really appreciate this post. You’ve listed some really great tips here that are sure to help your average person. My case is extraordinary so not so much myself haha, but definitely others out there! 🙂 Reading is a lovely way to wind down and is definitely preferable to the TV at night time. 🙂 x

  7. I really appreciate you sharing that it can take a couple weeks for your body to “accept” a changing sleeping pattern. I notice a huge difference in my mood and even personality when I don’t get enough sleep so these tips were super helpful.

  8. I so desperately need to follow your suggestions! I’m so bad with my sleep schedule, and I know it does take a toll. I think I’ll try to follow at least 2 or 3 of these suggestions and see what happens!

  9. Ok…. really? no chocolate within 7-8 of bedtime??? hahaha I am with you on 16 of them but no way on the chocolate. You’d have to eat it as soon as you got up I guess.
    🙂 gwingal

  10. something that’s really helped me is to not hang out or watch tv in my bed so when I do go to bed at night my body has been sleep trained to know its time for my body to go to rest – I don’t know if that makes sense but it works for me!

  11. I needed this post, I have such a hard time going to sleep and getting a full night’s rest.
    Nailil

  12. After having a baby a good night’s sleep has been a distant memory. Now that my child is older I do not have to wake up often at night to feed or change him. However I still do tend to linger around the house and catch up on chores or just some me-time. This is a reminder of how much I could do to get better rest and sleep.

  13. This is a great list! There are some things here I’m not thinking about everyday. Finishing dinner well before bedtime is not something we do here but should!

  14. Krystle Cook says:

    This is some really great advice for what to do to get that better sleep! I find myself not sleeping as well if I consume something sweet later at night.

  15. My sleep isn’t fun right now. Being 7 months pregnant with #8 doesn’t help, but I am going to take some of this advice and hope it helps me!

  16. This is exactly what I needed! I have been lacking sleep since I had my first son, but I know there are things I can be doing to do better with it too.

  17. Kim Croisant says:

    Great tips here. So glad coffee doesn’t keep me up. Every now and then I like to have a mid-afternoon cup. After 3 years of perimenopause, I’m finally sleeping well. Now, it’s my husband who can’t sleep. I’m showing him this list!!

  18. I sometimes underestimate the importance of sleep, but even after just one night of bad sleep I have a difficult time functioning properly. I love these suggestions, like the chamomile tea, white noise, and avoiding caffeine. Great things to remember!

  19. I have so much trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I’m so glad I came across your tips! 🙂

  20. I don’t get a lot of sleep at any given time, but I’m definitely going to try a couple of your ideas to see if they’ll help. Thanks and I’ve pinned this for future reference.

  21. I needed to read this yesterday! thank you for your tips. I will be trying them tonight!

  22. I do not sleep well at all because of chronic pain. But after seeing your list, I realize that all of the coffee I drink could be a major part of that too. I’m going to print this list out and try your suggestins.

  23. I wish I knew the scientific connection between lack of sleep and huger because I eat like a pig whenever I don’t get enough sleep and I become irritable too. I now know how important it is for me to get in at least 6 hours of sleep. You have shared great tips and I will get this journal

  24. I am definitely guilty of the no electronics rule. I’m always working on my blog until it’s time to turn off the lights. I should really get into the habit of reading quietly before bed.

  25. shandy kaye says:

    Great tips! Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being.

  26. These are great tips to help get better sleep…. I’m going to try your tip about drinking the Chamomile tea!

  27. I can tell you from experience this used to be a huge problem for me… I was working a lot and started to realize my body was just not happy at all… I was sad and depressive all the time, started to even gain weight… Not a good place at all!

    What actually made it for me was working out a bit more and also establishing a bedtime!

  28. These are all great tips, and I needed to read this. I know I haven’t been sleeping enough. Between working a lot and having a baby who still wakes at night it can be hard to feel happy with my sleep

  29. Oh my gosh the “dump Your Brain” advice is priceless! I lay there all night thinking of everything I need to do. Writing it down before bed is brilliant!

    xoxo Christie

  30. Getting a goods night rest is sooo underrated! I wake up at 6am every day and I have a bad habit of not getting to bed until 11 or 12! Which for me is not enough sleep. I feel my best when I get a full 8 hours. I really need to take your advice of winding down at 9:30 so I can at least get in bed by 10 or 10:30!

  31. I’ve been having such a hard time sleeping well. Its been rough. These tips are sooo helpful. I cant wait to try them out.

  32. I’m having troubles with sleeping. I’m aware I need to turn off my laptop and mobile way earlier but never seems to follow that rule. That + bad mattress = bad sleep. Yeah, I know… I’m working on it. These tips will definitely help.

  33. These are really awesome tip Jill! I have struggled with insomnia for a few years now. Recently I started wearing a sleeping mask and I am shocked at the difference it has made!

  34. I need to work on turning off electronic devices before bed. I’m usually sitting in bed scanning facebook or something on my phone, which does not help me decompress at all.

  35. I didn’t realize how important sleep was until I had trouble sleeping at night. It’s really important that you do as much as you can to get that good night’s sleep. This post is very helpful.

  36. I actually use a lot of these methods for better sleep and they all seem to work for me. Chamomile tea is one of my favorite ways to ensure a good night of sleep. I also use a white noise machine most nights as well. I recently found an app calmed “calm” that reads you soothing stories. It puts me right to sleep

  37. Great list/suggestions. I really need to take some of these to heart, for sure! I like the idea of incorporating essential oils in my sleep routine. Thanks for this!

  38. These are some fantastic tips, and I so agree that the effects of sleep deprivation can be really miserable. The tips I’ve found to work best for me in the past are turning off all electronics within plenty of time for bed, and breathing exercises before I fall asleep. I don’t drink coffee in the evenings, but I often have chocolate, and I hadn’t even considered that would be a problem!

  39. These are great ideas to get more sleep. I am definitely one that doesn’t sleep enough… I need to get better about getting into a proper routine.

  40. So much helpful information here! Love the tips you gave to help get better sleep. The download is awesome too.

  41. Sleep is sooooooo important and i definitely don’t get enough of it. I will go through your list and try to implement some of your ideas so i can get more sleep.

  42. I’ve found the caffeine/chocolate avoidance, electronics off 20-30 minutes before bed, and a dark room has helped me most. Great tips!

  43. love this so much! Sleep hygiene is so important. love your tips. And to make sure I’m getting this, we should be eating chocolate for breakfast and in the early afternoon? best day ever! 🙂

  44. Yes to each and every one of these. And I love my sound machine even though I am an adult!

  45. What great tips! I love drinking Chamomile tea before bed, though I then almost always have to wake up at night to go to the bathroom 😉

  46. I Love this.. Such an important consideration, especially around the busier months. I love the idea of a sleep journal, I’ll need to try that!

  47. I definitely need 8-plus hours to function. I love using a diffuser in our room while we sleep! Also having a set routine for nighttime helps!

  48. This past month my husband has been having trouble sleeping and it’s very strange. I am definitely going to go through this list with him and see if we can figure out why it’s been happening.

  49. I am currently in a battle w my husband to turn off the electronics and TV 30 min before bed. Thanks for sharing these other tips too

  50. I actually excel with 5 – 6 hours of a sleep. And I sleep like a ROCK at night. It’s actually hard to keep me up most of the time. Ha! My husband likes to stay up at least til midnight and will always “cutely” wake me up when he’s going to bed, ha! It’s sweet but at the same time I am like – BROOOOO MY REM CYCLE, whattt are you doing?! LOL!

  51. Sleep is SO important. I just got some blue light blocking glasses to help during bedtime, and reading always helps me get to bed quicker. Great tips Jill!

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