‘There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.’ ~ Woody Allen
How do you feel on a daily basis? Do you think your well-being could be better? Even if you do or you don’t, it probably could be. What if I told you that studies have found a treatment that improves memory, concentration, your immune system, and your lifespan? That sounds like a wonderful, miracle drug doesn’t it? Well, it is not. Instead, it is simply sleeping.
The problem is we usually just don’t get enough it. If the general population got an extra 60-90 minutes of sleep every night, all the things mentioned above would increase and many bad things, such as heart disease, would decrease. I am going to list some tips that can help you get more sleep, sleep better, and most importantly, feel better.
If you feel dreary or tired most days, this could help you. If you can’t sleep well, this could help you. If you are just curious if you can feel better, again, this can probably help you!
This one can work wonders. Exercise can help you sleep because your body will need to re-energize and it also can help your energy levels increase by putting your body in “go” mode. Don’t do it a few hours before bed. It will prevent you from sleeping.
Stay away from it. Having it in the morning or after lunch is fine, but try to stay away from it after 2 pm. The goal is you want to feel sleepy when it is bed time, not still alert before.
You will sleep better when you are not worrying. The most common complaint when people are trying to sleep is they say “I can’t slow down. My mind keeps racing.” Write down your worries an hour or so before bedtime. They will be waiting for you in the morning.
4. Take an Hour to Wind down
Speaking of an hour or so before bedtime, this is what you need to do during that time. This is “the wind down” time. Prep for tomorrow by getting your clothes ready, taking care of your hygiene (brushing teeth, warm bath, etc.) and then actually relax in the bed by reading a book or talking to your partner if you have one. Stay away from the TV or phone. There is more on that later.
The mighty, sleep-inducing amino acid. We will keep it simple. Anything that has it in it will make you sleepy. A few popular ones are anything dairy related, fish related, and nut related. Tryptophan induces serotonin and melatonin in your brain which is the sleep triggers.
6. Stay cool
Cool air and feeling comfy produces melatonin. Your bedroom needs to be between 65-75 degrees for an optimal sleep environment.
7. White Noise
Do the small little things that go squeak in the night wake you up? Look at getting a white noise machine. You can also turn your bathroom fan on if it has one. The sound is very similar.
8. No light
Light makes your brain not produce the recipe for sleep, melatonin, and serotonin. This is why screens like on TV’s, phones, and tablets are bad to read and look at before bed. They are bright and bright light is not what we need.
9. No Pets
Get them out of your bedroom. Pets are known to be more aggressive late at night and very early in the morning. These are the times when you need to sleep. They may seem lovely to fall asleep with, but they do more disturbance than help unless you have no problems sleeping through a storm.
10. Sleep schedule
This is going to be the longest tip because it is the most important. The recommended sleep you should be getting every night is 7-9 hours and most people overestimate their amount of sleep by 30 minutes to an hour, or they just don’t care and assume they are getting enough.
That was me. I thought I was getting 7 hours or so a night and I was thinking “I’m good”. I would go to bed around 11:00 every night and get up at 6:00 for work. What I didn’t consider is usually every night I would wake up at least once due to various reasons (not comfortable, have to pee, hear something, or whatever). When you factor in how long it took me to fall asleep and how many times I woke up during the night, I was probably losing 30 minutes or more sleep which put me below 7 hours.
I experimented and changed it up. I started going to bed at 9:30! I hated it at first just because I’m a night owl, but “wow” at the results! I had so much more energy every day at work and in my life in general that it made me think of the time when I was the kid who needed glasses and didn’t know it. The first time I put those glasses on I thought, “I have been missing out on this all this time!”
That is how I feel about sleep now. Get the right amount and stay on that schedule. If you think you already get 7, then try 8 and see how you feel.
Hopefully, these tips can help you sleep better! With me, I honestly didn’t know it would or could make me feel so much better. The core problem for me was my sleep schedule. I really didn’t have any problems with falling asleep or staying asleep, but if you do there are many more natural tips to help with that also.