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How to fall asleep, stay asleep and get better sleep quality

Updated on August 21, 2016
Austinstar profile image

L. Cargill, B.A., Sam Houston University, Huntsville, TX., has been writing cool and interesting articles for the internet world since 1995.

Dream Catchers good bedroom décor? or do they help you sleep?
Dream Catchers good bedroom décor? or do they help you sleep? | Source

Fall asleep, stay asleep and get better sleep quality

Relaxation is the key to falling asleep. So the best answer to this question is to find ways to relax before bedtime. It also pays to have a cool and comfortable bedroom to sleep in. There are many ways to accomplish these goals.

If falling asleep, staying asleep or having poor quality of sleep is a major health issue for you, a sleep study would be the first step in finding solutions for this serious condition. Major health issues would include, but are not limited to: insomnia - inability to fall asleep, snoring, sleep apnea, nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, daytime fatigue, emotional balance and impaired job productivity.

The study of sleep disorders is covered under the medical specialty of Polysomnographic Sleep Technology.If you are curious about a sleep study and what happens during the overnight test, click on the linked text to read about it.

Quality sleep

Photo edited by L.A. Cargill
Photo edited by L.A. Cargill | Source

Relaxing before bedtime

It's quite important to relax for about an hour before bedtime. This will prepare your body to fall asleep. A tense body will impair the ability to get comfortable and be still enough to let sleep come about naturally.

When you wind down from the day and smooth out your body, your muscles will begin to relax on their own. Meditation and self relaxation techniques will encourage the process. Learning these techniques is not difficult, but practice will certainly make them more effective.

  1. Relax in your favorite chair, soft music is recommended but not required.
  2. Have a soothing cup of chamomile tea or hot chocolate - avoid caffeine or stimulants.
  3. Close your eyes and visualize any tense areas in your body. If you hands are tense, clench them and make them even more tense.
  4. Take a deep breath through your nose, concentrate on the tension and blow through your mouth while at the same time allowing your hand to go limp. This is called blowing out the tension.
  5. Repeat steps three and four for every tense part of your body.
  6. After you go through an entire cycle of this throughout your body, you may start over and do it again if you are still not relaxed. After a few practice tries, you will get the hang of it and it will become very easy to make your body relax.

If you forget to do this meditation and relaxation period before bed, you may do it while in the bed while trying to go to sleep.

Comfortable Sleep Areas Are Essential

comfortable sleep area
comfortable sleep area | Source

Improve your bedroom.

One of the best and easiest ways to improve your sleep and get better quality of sleep is to make your sleeping environment the best place to relax and feel comfortable.

Do's:

  • Keep the temperature cool, about 68 degrees is great for me, but you may like it cooler.
  • Keep your bedroom free of excessive noise and distractions
  • Keep your bed sheets and linens clean and freshly washed.
  • Experiment until you find the best pillow for you. Or no pillow at all if that helps.
  • A humidifier will help in the winter when heating dries out the air.
  • Use a small fan to circulate the air. Stale air is a frequent culprit in not being able to sleep and a fan provides "white noise" which helps keep you asleep.
  • Soft lighting is a must in the bedroom.
  • Decorate your bedroom with soft, cool colors like pastels and blues.
  • Invest in the perfect bed. You will have to shop around for the one that is best for you and anyone else that regularly sleeps in the bed. The money is well spent because you spend one third of your life in bed and your sleep quality affects your whole life.

Dont's:

  • Use your computer, tv, or other electronics in the bedroom. Make the bedroom strictly for sleeping. Call it your sleep room!
  • Don't use lightweight curtains. Use mid-weight or heavy curtains to help block sounds and light.
  • Don't go to bed at wildly different times of the day or night. Try to find a regular sleep schedule
  • Don't expect to sleep only a few hours. Always allow enough time for yourself to get the amount of quality sleep that you need. The world can wait.

Fall asleep, stay asleep, get quality sleep

By following these two suggestions - Learn how to relax and improve your sleep room - you will almost certainly get better sleep. If you do not, you will need a sleep study to determine why you cannot sleep well.

Sleep disorders are serious and affect your entire body. Sleep apnea can contribute to heart and lung problems and a shortened life span. Insomnia will make you moody and tense all the time. Everyone needs enough good sleep to function at a high level.

Sleep disorders

Sleep is Important For Health!

Do you get enough sleep?

See results

© 2012 Lela

Comments - How do you fall asleep? What makes it easier for you to fall asleep?

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  • Babbyii profile image

    Barb Johnson 

    3 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

    Timeless and useful information for anyone, anywhere, with a few tweaks. We're heading towards that time of year here in AK, when we have all this day light. Our bodies get confused. Great tips Lela. Thanks!

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 

    6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    This is great Lela ~ not having a regular full-time job and staying up late many nights because of writing/reading has really screwed up my sleeping habits. So I definitely do one of your DON'TS. The worst part is that my mind will start racing even more as soon as I close my eyes. Thanks for the great tips!

    Sharyn

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    Learning to sleep again after having children is so very hard. I wish you luck! It will help if you have set your bedroom up as off limits to children, it will help. That's not to say they can never enter the bedroom, just that they need to learn boundaries and respect for others. They need to have their own special place for relaxing and sleeping and you need to have yours.

  • profile image

    kelleyward 

    6 years ago

    Thanks so much for this information. I haven't slept well at all since having my boys. I keep thinking my sleep will return eventually and have tried a lot but it hasn't worked so far. I'll try some of your ideas. Thanks!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    Yes, do try it, it helps. If you still have problems after making some changes, you may need professional help. Good luck and sweet dreams!

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 

    6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    As a sometimes tosser/turner, I found this to be so very helpful. It’s difficult to turn off my mind, and hubby will chide me about doing too much. He has recommended chamomile tea as well. I was not aware of the soft lighting, but I love the cooler temps. Interesting hub, thank you!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    Ok, ya got me there.

  • Shadesbreath profile image

    Shadesbreath 

    6 years ago from California

    Yeah, but how much does it cost for the prescription and Dr.'s visit. Plus, the real fun is in throwing them back. :D

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    You don't have to drink all that much if you mix Vicodin with it.

  • Shadesbreath profile image

    Shadesbreath 

    6 years ago from California

    So I guess just "drink so much you crash the moment your head hits the pillow" didn't make the list. A shame. I personally adore that tactic. But, if you're going to add this excellent strategy to the list, make sure you tell people to drink enough so that they don't wake up in the middle of the night as the sugar in the alcohol burns off. That's awful and you end up losing a couple of hours tossing and turning. You have to commit, otherwise, this strategy fails horribly. :D

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    You're right! I was thinking of single people and the question was about sleeping. Silly me. But couples also tend to use other rooms in the house besides the 'sleeping room'. I am, of course, referring to the shower :-)

  • neeleshkulkarni profile image

    neeleshkulkarni 

    6 years ago from new delhi

    just a sleeping room???

    we also use it for another very relaxing activity which also helpps us sleep well.

    it is not permittted is it??? at this age tuff to change that!!!!

    lol great hub

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    @Mr. Anton - Thank you for commenting and I'm happy to hear you don't suffer from sleep disorders.

    @Sunshine - I do wish there was a pill to give me more energy. Some say Vit. B12 does the trick.

    @lisa.b - Good to know that some of these tricks work :-)

    @hpedneau - Let us know how well you succeed with this.

    @RHW - Yes, and you definitely know better!

    @Tams - Please try some of these suggestions and let us know if they work for you.

    @lady rain- Please move to Texas asap! And stop short changing yourself on sleep during the week. It's bad for you.

    @drbj - I'm with you, I can sleep standing up in the middle of an e.r. crisis. But at bedtime, I have problems.

    @Susan - oh, I wish I were on the beach in a hammock right now. I would sleep for a week. Is that really boring radio show called Coasttocoastam.com by any chance?

    @Mo - I am saving my pennies for the King adjustable sleep number bed @ $5,000 I'll be saving for a while yet. Meanwhile I sleep on air mattresses from Target at $20 a pop. They help, but not a lot.

    @Om - I tried a yoga class once. I always fall over because I have no balance. But gentle stretching is very good to relax the muscles.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    Nice hub! My personal trick is to do some gentle yoga about an hour or two before bedtime. All easy stretching and relaxing poses. Nothing vigorous. :)

  • profile image

    Motown2Chitown 

    6 years ago

    Okay, Susan, your husband drives ME crazy too...lol

    Austin, this is an awesome hub. Heard a lot of these tips in the past, but it's GREAT to have them all together in one place.

    And, I can come back here and drool over the king sized sleep number bed. Ahhhh.....

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Depending on what I have on my mind when I go to bed determines whether I get a good sleep or not. I find if I close my eyes and imagine myself on a beach sunbathing it will usually do the trick. I have also used the self relaxation tips you mentioned. Sometimes listening to a really boring radio show works too. My husband drives me crazy because he is one of these people that can drink 2 cups of coffee lie down and can be out like a light in 2 minutes.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    6 years ago from south Florida

    Excellent information for those who have difficulty falling asleep, Lela. I don't have that problem yet since I can fall asleep in the middle of a sent.... zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  • lady rain profile image

    lady rain 

    6 years ago from Australia

    I love Saturdays because I get to sleep in and make up for the lack of sleep during the week. I have so much work to do during the week that there is never enough time to get any sleep at all.

  • Tams R profile image

    Tams R 

    6 years ago from Missouri

    Insomnia is a big problem. People who don't have it just don't understand. I've slept about 6 hours the last 7 days even with sleeping medication. Ridiculous!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    You did a beautiful job on this! Perfect advice and gosh it is a refresher for me. I do all the bad things...I always have...I have a tv on...the computer in my room...I was a terrible example for a sleep tech. I even drink coffee way too late.

    The relaxation exercises are perfect. Alright, now I will work on mending my ways:) I always love how professional your hub articles look too. Great Video!

  • hpedneau profile image

    Holly Pedneau 

    6 years ago from Princeton, West Virginia

    Thanks for the tips, I'm going to try some of these tonight!

  • profile image

    lisa.bom 

    6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips. I use many of these and do get a good sleep most of the time.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    No vitamin Lela, I'm just hyperactive...like a 5 yr old which is why it's annoying to be me sometimes:)

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    You ARE lucky Mr. Anton - an estimated 70 Million people in the U.S. are said to have sleep disorders or difficulty falling asleep!

  • christopheranton profile image

    Christopher Antony Meade 

    6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

    There is some excellent advice here. I am very lucky in that I don't really have any great sleeping problems. For those who have, your advice should be invaluable.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

    Is there some kind of vitamin that you take that gives you so much energy? I need to write a hub about How to stay awake!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I'm the energizer bunny all day long. It's exhausting being me. I have no problem falling asleep and staying asleep for 6 hours. Since I wrote this I guarantee I won't be able to sleep tonight. Haha! Awesome hub!

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