Are you looking for ways to improve sleep? For many of us, sleep is one of those things that we think we can put off or catch up during the weekend… Unfortunately, our bodies really don’t work that way, even if we really wish they did. When we sleep in, all we really do is confuse our bodies more, making them think we are starting to get on a proper sleep schedule, and then changing things on them again! Not only does getting proper sleep make us feel better, it helps avoid horrible side effects – studies link insufficient sleep to weight gain/retention, depression, and a shorter life span. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to improve sleep that aren’t complicated and easy for you to do at home!
Proper Amount of Sleep
Out of all the ways to improve sleep, this is likely the most common sense and the most unpopular – get on a schedule. Unless you are a child, you need seven to eight hours of sleep nightly (children need more). Not only do we need seven to eight hours of sleep, but our body does better if is on a schedule where it goes to sleep and wakes up about the same time every day, even on weekends. By not getting enough sleep and not being on a schedule, you are setting yourself up for a variety of sleep issues, with the most common being losing weight!
Finding the Right Pillow
To the surprise of many people, replacing your pillow may be one of the best ways to improve sleep. Many of us grew up thinking there is a one size fits all option when it comes to pillows, which is completely untrue! Not sleeping on a proper pillow for your sleep position can lead to back and neck pain, as well as a night of restless tossing and turning. Research has actually shown that the best pillows in many cases are actually water based pillows, and they come in a variety of different options, including down, gel memory foam, memory foam, and fiberfill (we personally use this water based pillow ).
Avoid Blue Light
Did you know your phone or tablet is likely one of the main causes you are having problems falling asleep? Researchers have found that blue light from screens can slow down production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. It is recommended that you stay off all electronics at least a half hour before bed due to blue lights disrupting sleep, or failing that, set them to red-shift at night.
Are you sensitive to caffeine? It is recommended by many doctors that one of the best ways to improve sleep is to limit caffeine four to six hours before bedtime. Remember, caffeine helps make you more alert and can stay in your system hours after you take it, making sleep a bit challenging. Rather than having soda or coffee in the hours before bed, consider switching your current beverage for chamomile tea or even a peppermint tea latte!
To the shock of many people, you actually don’t want to have a warm room at bedtime. Research has shown that most people actually sleep better when it is colder. While you don’t want need to have it arctic, the optimal temperature for bedtime is about 66 degrees.
Out of all the ways to improve sleep, this is likely the most overlooked – making your room quieter. Many of us live in apartment buildings, busy streets, or live in far from quiet homes. If you cannot control the noise around you or in your bedroom, consider getting a white noise machine. These are fairly inexpensive. They work by masking the noise around you and mimic many relaxing noises that are shown in studies to help you sleep.
Sometimes, your body needs a bit of extra help to get on a proper sleep schedule or to relax for bedtime. Research has shown that melatonin supplements before bed can help get sound sleep on a proper schedule. Just make sure you speak with a doctor before you start taking melatonin to make sure it doesn’t conflict with any medication you may currently be taking.
Casey Garvey says
I always have to worst time trying to sleep. Once I do fall asleep I wake up 20times
crystal mccord says
This I needed to read! I have been having trouble sleeping this past month.
Kimberly Flickinger says
Thank you for sharing these tips. I will definitely have to try these as I have been having trouble sleeping.
Colleen Boudreau says
I’m def going to try some of these.
Very nice tips, I follow these consistently.
Very good read.
These do sound like good suggestions. I wonder what a water based pillow is like!
Minta Boggs says
I toss and turn all night and wake up with a stiff neck or back! Of course it may not help having a cup of coffee before bed. lol
Terri Quick says
Thank you for these great tips 🙂
gloria patterson says
I am one of the lucky people sleep is not a problem. I can go to sleep in a blink of the eye and wake up rested. But I will pass this on to my sister that has a real problem with sleep.
Noura A says
Great post, i agree i must caffine x
Thanks for all the tips!
My mind is crazy when it’s all quiet. I find a meditation APP helps a lot. It has more to do with the voice than what is being said!
Michelle J. says
Casey Garvey says
I have a horrible time sleeping at night. If I do fall asleep I will be awake in the next couple hours from nightmares or just wake up out of nowhere. It makes for a rough day.
Jen Rodrigues says
Finding the right pillow. I need to find the right one to sleep better. I have a hard time sleeping.
I def need more sleep. Thanks for the info.
Kelly M. says
Blue light filters have been life changing for me and my sleep!
Tina Dykstra says
Will have to try these all out since recently I found out I have sleep apnea.
kathy Persons says
I need to replace my pillow maybe that will help
Teresa Moore says
i usually do not have trouble sleeping except when the time changes or when I am on the computer too long before bedtime. Never thought about my pillow.
ellen beck says
I am a nightowl and have a horrible time keeping to a schedule. These are all great tips. I think the blue light gets me, as oftentimes I will read way too late!
Holly Thomas says
My biggest sleep problem is any kind of noise.
I can use all the tips I can get on improving sleep! Thanks so much!
Sarah L says
I make sure I don’t use electronics for at least an hour before bed. Reading a book is good for me.
Kayla Klontz says
Thanks for the tips, I think I need to try the pillow!
Donna porter says
I have so much trouble going to sleep at night. I will try your tips!
Carmen Rudnick says
I absolutely need more sleep but the cutting caffeine would be so hard for me!
Erin LeFebvre says
Thank you for this.
I will take any and all advise for sleep. I feel like its my biggest issue these days.
Donna Hufman Warrington says
I have had trouble sleeping ever since we moved to the country…I always thought maybe it was too quiet….but, thanks for these wonderful tips….
stella methvin says
I toss and turn but notice I do sleep better when its cool, just can’t afford the low thermostat when its super hot. It would run all the time.
denise low says
Thank you for sharing. I do agree that you need a good pillow.
kayla sheehan says
i have such a hard time finding a good pillow! I’d also sleep better if my one year old would quit waking up so much lol
Jo-Ann Brightman says
I agree with these tips and already use some of them.. I shall have to try some of the others.
These are great tips. I really need to get more sleep. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing your tips as I am always trying to find a way to get better sleep.
Most of us do not get nearly enough sleep. Good tips!
Mallory Bailey says
This was very informative! I can’t wait to implement these tips!
Blue light contributes to so many negative things it’s crazy
Andrea B Cofman says
Love to try your Original Waterbase® Fiberfill Pillow
This is the pillow that proved it takes comfort plus support for the best night’s sleep. That’s why every Mediflow® pillow has 2 layers – on the bottom our proprietary adjustable waterbased that provides responsive support for the neck – on top a soft, plump layer of cloud-like Dacron® fiberfill polyester providing exceptional comfort for the head. Traditional single-layer pillows can only provide comfort or support depending on the filling but never both. What’s more, you can even customize the waterbased when you add water to achieve as much support as you desire!
These are great tips. I has not thought of something as simple as a pillow could improve sleep. That is going to be a good improvement for me and my bed.
Linda Manns Linneman says
I often have a hard time falling asleep. Thank you for sharing these great suggestions. I will give them a try. God Bless
alessandra gulino says
wow this is very useful for me, I will definitely try !!!
Kim Tanti says
I have a hard time sleeping. I now make a salve that you rub on the bottom of your feet and it works. My daughter also got me a couple of sleep aid ointments from Saje. They also work.
Barbara Riffe says
I am awake every hour. I need to try the melatonin . But worry I am not going to be alert enough that I don’t hear the kids if they need me in the middle of the night.
Melissa Storms says
These are great tips, I am on such a terrible sleep schedule right now, I should actually be heading to bed right now.
Kelly Hanley says
Thnaks for the tips!! I really need help getting sleep!