If you’re struggling with sleep issues, it’s important to address them for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Yes, a visit to your doctor may be in order. First, though, give some of these holistic tips for better sleep a try.
Watch this video to know why sleep is your superpower:
Here are twenty tips for better sleep that don’t require a prescription:
1. Create a Relaxing Evening Routine.
This is one of the best tips for better sleep. Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Read a book or practice meditation. Watch a soothing TV show (just not from bed).
Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness). Prepare for the day ahead so you don’t worry about getting out the door. Also, avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work, watching the news, discussing emotional issues to get better sleep. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
2. Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule.
This is one of the best tips for better sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. I know it’s tempting to stay up late or sleep in on the weekends. (Especially when you’re struggling with adequate sleep.)
However, try sticking to your routine on the weekends, too. Waking up at the same time each day is the very best way to set your body clock. Even if you didn’t sleep well the night before.
Related: 3 Best Supplements for Better Sleep
3. Do the Math.
If you aren’t getting adequate sleep, do the math to figure out what time you need to go to bed to ensure you do. That means that going to bed past midnight doesn’t work if your alarm goes off at 6 AM. If you struggle with going to bed, set an alarm on your phone to begin getting ready for bed at the optimum time.
4. Listen to Your Body and Let It Overrule the Clock.
There are just going to be those days when you’re exhausted at 8 PM. Stop trying to force yourself to stay up until a “reasonable” bedtime and go to bed already. It’s your body’s way of asking for more sleep without running late for work.
5. Lower the Temperatures.
Often, waking during the night is due to being too warm. Keeping the temperature comfortably cool. An ambient temperature that’s between 60 and 67 degrees is typically ideal for sleep. (We sleep at 64 in the summer and 62 in the winter.)
6. Sleep Naked.
When you sleep naked, there are no pajamas or nightgowns to get tangled in. Nightwear can invariably make you hotter or feel anxious during active dreams. When you sleep naked, it helps keep your body temperature at the optimal ranges so your body can better create cortisol. If you sleep overheated your cortisol levels tend to stay high, even after you wake up.
This can lead to increased anxiety, cravings for bad food, weight gain, and more terrible things. Sleep naked so you can keep your body temperature down. And sleep well so your body can properly produce and regulate cortisol.
7. While You’re Sleeping Naked, Do So with Your Partner.
Our bodies need to be cool for better sleep, but as humans, we also need intimacy. Sleeping naked with a partner gives you the opportunity for skin-on-skin contact. That kind of intimate contact releases copious amounts of oxytocin, which is the neurotransmitter that helps you feel good – about yourself and your honey.
8. But Don’t Sleep with Fido Or Fluffy.
I confess I’ve slept with pets in the past and you know what? They regularly woke me during the night. Banning your pets from your bed – or even your bedroom – can lead to better sleep and less middle-of-the-night awakening.
9. Exercise Early in the Day for Better Sleep.
Our bodies need movement and as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality – as long as it’s done at the right time. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.
10. Count your Blessings.
If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down—and then putting them aside. Better yet, write down your worries and set them aside, and then record your biggest accomplishment of the day and three things you are grateful for. It helps you get better sleep and seed your dreams with the good stuff.