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Good night, sleep tight: how to sleep better

Updated on September 12, 2015
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.

Are you struggling to stay asleep?
Are you struggling to stay asleep? | Source

The value of a good night’s sleep is never appreciated so much as when you’re missing out on it. If you’re struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep, check out these tips for how to sleep better.

Disclaimer: These tips on how to sleep better are not a substitute for medical advice. If you are having trouble sleeping, you should seek the advice of a medical professional. These tips are just suggestions from an Average Jane on how to sleep better without supplements, medication or alcohol.

Perfect Conditions for Sleep

Before you jump in bed, check the thermostat. Do you have perfection, Goldilocks? Not too hot? Not too cold? Is the air just right? Don’t be surprised if you can’t sleep in the summer if you’re toughing it out without air conditioning. Is the environment free of loud noises, including loud neighbors, stereos, car alarms and other annoyances?

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Give Yourself a Bedtime

Remember when you were a kid and you actually had a bedtime? As an adult, you’re in charge, but you can’t escape the circadian rhythm – your body’s 24-hour clock. That body clock gets confused if you go to bed at extremely different times. Routine is your friend, so have a goal for when you’ll lay down at night and get up in the morning. Try to stick to these times even on days you’re not working.

Create Bedtime Rituals

Have you ever found yourself laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, because you’re stressed about the next day? Or maybe you’re in bed unable to sleep because of something unpleasant that you’re dwelling on that you can’t change? Having a relaxing activity planned before bed can help you fall asleep and this can become part of your nighttime routine. Taking a bubble bath or hot shower, performing yoga poses, having a time of prayer or meditation, or reading a book can relax your mind to help you fall asleep.

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Quit Caffeine to Sleep Better

Caffeine can be human’s best friend or worst enemy. In the morning, it can feel like a super fluid that empowers us to face the day. But in the evening, or even late afternoon, having coffee can make you feel more exhausted than before, too wired to sleep, and it can make your sleep not as deep as it could be. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, try having your last caffeinated beverage no less than four hours before bedtime. It may take a few days to notice a difference, but you will sleep better.

Sleep Better With Less Screen Time

Just like caffeine, technology can be a person’s best friend and worst enemy. The glow that emanates from a cell phone or television can be exciting to watch for entertainment but it can also contribute to an inability to fall asleep fast. When possible, keep the screen out of the bedroom. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, do an experiment: try eliminating your interaction with any type of electronic screen an hour before bed for a week. At the end of the week, think about how it went. Did you fall asleep faster? If so, you might want to build that into your bedtime routine.

How often do you have a hard time sleeping?

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© 2013 erinshelby

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    • erinshelby profile image
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      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      Herbal tea is a great suggestion and perfect for comfort on cold nights.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I find winding down after 9 pm really helps. Drinking herbal tea and making sure the temperature is cool is a must for me. Your tips are excellent and will help many to reach blessed sleep.

    • erinshelby profile image
      Author

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      An extra hour of sleep can make such a difference, kidscrafts. Hope you can get it soon!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great tips, Erin! I must say that I sleep like a log.... but not enough! It's important to try to keep a regular rhythm to not confuse our body! I realized this week with the change time that I was more tired... it shows that you don't need a lot to disturb your rhythm!

      Enjoy your weekend!

    • erinshelby profile image
      Author

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      FlourishAnyway, I hope at least one of the ideas helps!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good tips. I have found that as I have gotten older, it is so much harder to sleep well.