How to Sleep Better: 7+ Sure-Fire Sleeping Tips for Better Z’s

Maureenabuor
9 min readJan 30, 2023
How to Sleep Better

How to sleep better…

You’ve searched for it almost everywhere, read about it, and even tried a couple tips here and there, but still nothing seems to calm you down!

Sometimes, though, you sleep perfectly well. At times, this precious commodity just slips through your fingers.

Staying in bed wide awake almost every single night has become your new norm.

It’s frustrating. It’s draining.

It’s hurting your relationships, productivity, and, even worse, your precious health.

You are not alone.

And thank goodness, it’s all ending today.

We’ve compiled a list of 11 tried-and-true methods to help you fall asleep faster and get a good night’s sleep.

Sounds interesting?

Let’s dive in!

Here are 11 effective tips on how to sleep better.

The 11 All-Time Best Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Feel free to tweak them to your liking to see what works best for you.

1. Maintain a Regular Sleep-Wake Schedule

No. I don’t mean you go to bed at exactly 8:03 p.m. and wake up at 5:00 a.m.

Rather, strive to rest and get up generally at the same time, if possible, seven days a week.

This will help you get the most out of your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock system, thus improving the quality and amount of your sleep.

2. Optimize Your Circadian Rhythm

You see, your circadian rhythms depend a lot on how consistent your habits are. This means that in addition to keeping a regular schedule for when you sleep and wake up, you should also include healthy habits in your sleep routine.

…habits that will help you get this rhythm to work better with the routine your body already has.

And what are these habits?

  • Snooze Less During the Day (Or, if Possible, Avoid the Naps Totally): Day naps are great nighttime sleep disruptors. Unless you work on a shift basis or are emergency staff, keep them to a maximum of 15–20 minutes.
  • Never Sleep In (Regardless of When You Go to Bed): If you must stay up late for any reason, try to wake up at your usual time. Your body will complain, but force it.
  • Get Back to Sleep: Avoid staying in bed awake. If you can’t go back to sleep in the first 25 minutes, get out of bed. Engage your brain in something different until you feel exhausted, then return to bed.

Here are additional suggestions to help you get back to sleep quickly:

  • Relax every muscle in your body (from the face to the toes).

Lay in the tummy-position with your head well rested on the pillow. If you want, tuck your hands in below the pillow.

Try not to think of anything. If that’s not possible, you have some stress hanging over your head — resort to pillow-punching. Screaming onto the pillow works best when you can’t get your head down to sleep because of anger.

  • Keep your eyes off the clock

Resist the temptation of glancing at your watch because it will only lead to more anxiety, knowing that time is moving fast and you aren’t falling asleep yet.

  • Keep off your phone

The blue light emitted by your phone can suppress your melatonin levels, signaling and activating your brain and preventing you from sleeping.

  • Mute any loud sounds

Except for the sounds that help you fall asleep, silence everything in your room.

If you find the white noise effect soothing, try setting your fan on high and letting it run. It’s also a great way to keep your space ventilated.

3. Limit Your Exposure to Light

Both natural and artificial light have an impact on your circadian rhythm, which regulates both how well you sleep and how long you can stay awake.

When exposed to light, your body automatically shifts into “alert” mode, contrary to when it’s dark.

Darkness triggers the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps regulate your internal clock for bedtime.

And so, as good practice, get more light exposure during the day and begin to gradually cut down your exposure as darkness sets in.

In your last hour before bed, dim down half the lights in your home and put away all electronic devices.

4. Exercise (The Right Way)

You’ve heard it time and time again that exercise plays a major role in sleep.

Absolutely.

However, not in equal measure…

Some forms of exercise foster better, higher-quality sleep than others when done regularly and at the right time.

They include:

Aerobic/Cardio Exercise

It’s not what you might be thinking…

No, cardio is not just the hard sports workouts like cycling, running, and swimming that you see experienced athletes doing with ease in your neighborhood.

You don’t have to go that direction if it’s not your thing.

Focus instead on low- to medium-intensity cardio activities like jumping rope, dancing, walking, trampolining, hiking, and climbing stairs.

Both equally get your heart racing and muscles oxygenated, ready for the release of endorphins — the stress-and-pain relieving hormone that is also a great sleep inducer.

Resistance Exercise

Resistance (or strength-training) exercises have long been known and intended for muscle strength building but recent preliminary findings have begun linking it to improved sleep quality.

From weightlifting to push-ups, sit-ups, and working out with resistance bands, resistance exercises are believed to promote the production of adenosine, an organic-chemical compound that aids sleep.

In fact, experts suggest combining it with cardio exercises for even better rest and longer sleep.

Feet-Dance (In The Sheet)

It sounds crazy, but it works like a charm.

Once in bed, move your legs back and forth, each one touching the sheet, to avoid putting undue strain on any of them.

Do this for several minutes or until you get tired and fall asleep.

Repeat every day, at least when you need it.

It’s a simple method that works well at diverting your thought energy and leaving your brain and body relaxed and ready for sleep.

5. Feed Your Body and Mind

They say you are what you consume. In other words, what you consume consumes you.

What are your daily eating habits? Do you sneak in some sleep thievery?

It’s a fact that while some foods help promote sleep, others do the complete opposite.

A good example is coffee.

Yes, it’s a great stimulant. It can help keep your brain alert when you most need to focus; however, if consumed at the wrong time, it can turn you into a watchman.

Also, when you eat and the amount you consume can both harm or boost your sleep.

Sleep is that delicate.

All you’ve got to do is guard it.

But how?

Simple.

Make Peace with Coffee

If you must take it, agree to part ways by 11 a.m. every morning.

Just in case you didn’t know, caffeine can stay in your body for up to 8 hours, depending on your tolerance for the substance.

So imagine having coffee in the afternoon or close to bedtime…

That’s a sure ticket to sleeplessness.

Warm Your Soul

To be in high spirits (which, obviously, is good for your sleep), warm your soul; soak into the positivity of life.

Take out your gratitude journal and draft in your thank-yous for the day. This helps suppress any negative thoughts that may arise.

While at it, sip a cup of herbal tea (loose-leaf — it could be chamomile tea or passionflower tea), warm milk with honey, or chocolate.

Just something warm before retiring to bed.

Eat Early

Try to have your dinner two hours before bedtime to allow your system adequate time to initiate and run the digestion process.

Whenever possible, avoid highly spicy and acidic dishes, as they may cause stomach discomfort like heartburn.

If you must snack, consider light options like banana, watermelon, popcorn, kiwi, or yogurt.

Walk in Nature

This can be just 15–30 minutes, but it greatly helps with resetting your system by signaling your brain that it’s almost time to rest.

The entire process soothes, relaxes, and, most importantly, enhances digestion so you feel light enough by the time you are ready for bed.

6. Clear Your Mental Clutter

Of course, the best way to declutter your mind — whenever possible — is to take a nature walk.

…to just lose yourself in nature.

And while you are at it, listen to your favorite soothing tones, podcasts, or even read.

Once back inside, read the Bible and pray; read a self-improvement book or any physical (written) material of interest to you.

Then map out the next day’s activities on a piece of paper.

Write everything down in order of importance, along with the estimated amount of time it will take to execute each item.

This is important because it keeps you from worrying that you’ll forget important things, which could keep you up most of the night.

7. Optimize Your Bedroom Environment

Your sleep environment plays a crucial role in your sleep quality and, by extension, your overall well-being.

Consider this: the best of health thrives on good quality sleep.

This automatically implies that high-quality sleep emerges from a sleep-optimized environment.

It’s what you crave, without a doubt.

To achieve it, optimize your bedroom.

Invest in Quality Bedding (Including the Bed)

It doesn’t have to be classy or expensive to be effective.

Just a simple upgrade to moisture-wicking fabrics will do the trick.

And nothing gets the job done better than cotton, silk, wool, linen, and bamboo materials.

Paired with a comforter or duvet built with quality cooling materials, not even the hot night temperatures can mess up your snooze mission.

Pick a mattress that is a bit firm to equally balance your weight so no part of you sinks into some “hole” and potentially causes unnecessary body pains.

If you are a pillow die-hard, then go with what makes your neck muscles comfortable.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but try to change or clean your bedding every two weeks to keep allergens like dust and mold from making it hard to sleep.

…Or, even better, invest in allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers.

Set the Perfect Temperature

You may not believe it, but your body rests better in colder temperatures as opposed to when it’s excessively warm.

Next time, try setting your bedroom temperature to 65℉ (18℃) and see what happens.

Your body will thank you for it.

Turn Down the Lights

And if possible, make the room pitch black.

Make provisions, though, for motion-activated lights to aid your movement to the bathroom area.

If you’re concerned about external lights disrupting your sleep, consider blackout curtains.

A sleep mask will do if all of the above light-control measures aren’t feasible in your space.

Just make sure it has a comfortable band and is made of a smooth, breathable fabric like satin, cotton, rayon, or silk.

8. Adopt Minimalism (At least in Your Bedroom)

Just like a clutter-free office space boosts productivity, an organized bedroom promotes a good night’s sleep.

Endeavor to have only what serves your sleep needs in the bedroom.

9. Respect Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is for sleeping, not for random activities.

Execute your to-dos before bed where they are supposed to be done.

This will help train your brain and rewire it to associate your bedroom only with rest.

10. Adopt a Pro-Sleep Attitude

Like with everything in life, your attitude towards sleep determines how well or badly it serves you.

Embrace sleep, and it will return the favor.

In short, adopt a positive attitude toward sleep.

Prioritize it.

How?

  • As much as possible, try to think about and look forward to your sleep time every day; get excited about it.
  • Set up a routine that helps you wind down and relax before bed. This will help your brain get ready for sleep.

11. Rule Out a Sleep Disorder

Though highly effective, the above tips aren’t going to work for you if you already suffer from a sleep disorder.

Talk to your doctor to first address the cause of your poor sleep, then come back here.

Woo… This is a lot of information to absorb at once.

I know.

Here is a quick recap of it all.

How to Sleep Better: Pulling it All Together for a Good Night’s Rest

  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule to help anchor your sleep quality and quantity.
  • Keep your sleep environment cool so your body is able to easily initiate sleep and stay asleep.
  • Block out any lights in your room to help boost your melatonin levels for better sleep.
  • Never, ever stay awake in bed. Instead, get up and do something different. Only come back to bed when exhausted.
  • Watch what and when you eat. Avoid drinks like coffee in the afternoon and before bed.
  • Establish and stick to an effective wind-down (bedtime) routine to help you transition to rest mode smoothly.

And there you have it: how to sleep better and fall asleep faster.

Now, what’s next?

Implement.

Practice makes perfect, you know.

You don’t have to implement all the tips at once; instead, take one tip at a time.

With commitment and consistency, you’ll soon be the master of your snooze world — you’ll fall asleep faster and enjoy the quality rest you’ve been craving.

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