Do you feel tired, lethargic, or even irritable? Like most of us, you’re probably not getting enough quality downtime. From mail-order mattresses to wearable sleep trackers, supplements to adult bedtime stories, there’s a ton of tools out there to help you get some shut-eye. And frankly, it can get a little overwhelming! Sleep is essential, and we all do it. But we all could probably sleep better. Because the truth is, getting a good night’s rest can be a challenge for anyone, especially in stressful times.
The good news is: learning how to sleep better doesn’t have to be so hard. We’ve put together these simple, concrete tips and tricks you can try today without any fancy apps or costly tech. Be sure to check out number six if you really wanna snooze!
7 Tips to Sleep Better Tonight
Each of the sleep habits we’re suggesting should help you sleep better. We do suggest, however, that you consult with a healthcare provider to rule out a medical problem if you’re dealing with chronic insomnia. Barring that, put on your PJs and read on for some all-natural sleep aid suggestions that’ll have you sleeping better in no time!
1. STICK TO A SCHEDULE. When it comes to rest, our bodies crave regular sleep/wake scheduling. You’ve probably heard that going to bed and waking up at the same time, every day, will help you sleep better before. It’s true. You can tell yourself you’ll sleep in on Sunday, but if you’re burning the candle at both ends, playing “catch up” with your sleep cycle sadly won’t do the trick. Even naps lasting longer than 30 minutes can knock you out of sync.
But, there’s more to this tip than simply creating a bedtime and setting your morning alarm. In order to truly capitalize on your daily routine, you also need to get natural light exposure, during daytime hours. In fact, studies show that getting outside will help you fall asleep 83% faster. Why? Because, in combination, all of these tips work together to reset your body’s internal clock—a.k.a. your circadian rhythm—which gets you hardwired (internally) to sleep all night and work or play all day.
2. BREAK A SWEAT. Getting regular exercise is scientifically proven to help you sleep better. Studies show that even mild exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. And it even reduces anxiety levels — bonus! Just be cautious about when you sneak in those sweat sessions. While daytime exercise is tied to sleeping better, evening workouts could impact your ability to nod off easily. Evening exertions can flood your body with adrenaline, making you more alert, and unable to sleep better. So don’t sweat it too late. Instead, start your day with a morning walk, run or jog, for a one-two punch of daylight hours and early exercise.
3. SIP WISELY. Can’t live without that morning cup of coffee? All about that lunchtime Coca-Cola? That’s your dentist’s problem—the Sandman doesn’t mind! But you do need to sip smarter when it comes to caffeine because it stays in your system longer than you might imagine. In fact, studies show that drinking caffeine as long as six hours before bedtime can still hamper your ability to fall asleep. So, relegate caffeinated beverages to earlier hours. And, while you’re at it, limit (or avoid altogether) that daily nightcap. Even if drinking helps you fall asleep faster, consuming alcohol in the evening can throw off your circadian rhythms too, reducing your overall sleep quality. And one last note on beverages—try to cut off all fluids one or two hours before bedtime. Otherwise, a full bladder might contribute to nighttime wakefulness and interrupted sleep.
4. RETHINK YOUR BEDTIME SNACKS. There’s no evidence to suggest that certain foods help you sleep better. Once again, what matters here is timing. Aim to have your last big meal at least four hours before bed, so digestion won’t interfere with your ability to fall or stay asleep. Snacks are ok if you get hungry later in the evening, but be sure to keep them light and avoid sweet treats like chocolate, which can actually contain caffeine.
5. TURN NIGHTTIME INTO “ME-TIME”. If you want to fall asleep faster, you need to relax before hitting the hay. The first step? Cut off your blue light exposure in the evening. Blue light—the kind that comes from your phones and laptops—throws off your circadian rhythms, interfering with sleep quality. You could grab a pair of blue light glasses, or switch your screen filters in the evening. But an even better option would be to stay away from devices for the hour or two before going to bed. Need to fill that time? Create a relaxing evening ritual. Some people pour a steamy bath and just soak. Others prefer to sit and read a book while enjoying their daily dose of CBD. The details are less important than the end game: winding down and banning stress or outside influences.
6. TRY A NATURAL SUPPLEMENT. Several over-the-counter supplements can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. Melatonin is always a popular choice because it’s already naturally produced in your body. This supplement is especially useful if your sleep cycle is thrown off by time changes due to travel. Many people also find they sleep better with the help of Aroma Therapy, using lavender-infused products such as body lotions, bath salts, or pillow sprays. We’re pretty excited about the research on CBD oil products and improved sleep quality. Feel free to add any of our Tanasi hemp-extract products to your evening routine and let us know how it helps your sleep!
7. BE BETTER IN BED. You may think (or know) you’re good in bed. But do you know if your bed is good for sleep? Here’s what your bedroom needs to help you sleep better: darkness. Invest in decent curtains to blackout as much moonlight as possible and banish external light sources like clocks, cable boxes and, of course, smartphones. You also need quiet, so if street noise is a problem in your room, consider using a white noise app or machine. Even an old-school box fan will do in a pinch. Finally, consider the temperature. A room that’s too hot can interfere with your sleep. So turn down your thermostat a degree or two before bed, get cozy under the covers, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby before you can count to three sheep!