How to sleep better? It’s a million-dollar question most people have ‘opinions’ to, but no one have found the exact answer on how to improve sleep quality.
Cultivating healthy sleep habits is one way to promote better sleep quality. Since sleeping well can help improve your mental and physical health, it’s important to ask: What are the top 3 habits which you think a person should cultivate for better sleep?
In this article, 41 experts had sacrificed their time and put in effort to come up with a list of vital habits we must develop before we go to sleep. Before diving into the habits, I would like to thank the experts for their time, this truly shows how passionate they are in promoting better sleep. There are few who wanted to contribute as well, but they are currently caught up with their personal matters, which I can relate to myself.
This post is to help those with minor sleep difficulties to sleep better. Those with severe conditions should still consult a sleep expert, but this post should serve as a helpful guide on what habits you should adopt to have better sleep quality. After reading through every answer, I have to say that the habits shared were nothing short of amazing.
Since I was curious which habit would top the list, I did a quick summary on which habit they thought would be the most helpful to get better sleep.
|Manage Bedroom environment||Eighteen|
|Consistent Sleep Schedule||Sixteen|
|Psychological wind down||Twelve|
|Avoid blue light||Twelve|
|Good sleep hygiene||Nine|
|Avoid Alcohol & Coffee||Five|
|Do not use bed for other things||Four|
|Get suitable mattress and pillows||Four|
|Establish a bedtime routine||Three|
|Learn to sleep with your partner||Two|
1- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends. Make sure your sleep schedule allows enough time for sleep each night.
2- Set the stage. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
3- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night. If you can get some sunlight while you’re exercising, that’s even better.
1. Brain Dump – Any thought that won’t leave your brain gets dumped out through a pen onto paper. Then, you can enter your bedroom having left those thoughts behind and pick them up tomorrow.
2. Meditate in Dream Land – Take 5 breaths, inhaling for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds, then out for 5 seconds. Then, in your mind’s eye, go to a natural landscape that makes you come alive. Maybe it has waterfalls, oceans, or mountains. Doesn’t matter. It only should feel like the “being” part of your humanity is recharging. Spend at least 3 minutes there. It’ll help calm your fight or flight nervous system.
3. Cannabidiol Oil (CBD) – That shit definitely relaxes you.
#1 Morning Sunlight
Here are my top three tips as a naturopathic doctor who consistently sees and treats patients with poor sleep habits, insomnia and other sleep disorders:
1. Invest your time, money, and efforts into good sleep hygiene – install black out curtains, turn off all lights, eliminate noise, ensure your sleep space is clean, and only use the bedroom for sleep and intimacy. Most importantly avoid screen time before bed – blue light transmitted from electronic interferes with brain waves and can cause insomnia.
2. Rule out underlying health conditions.
Seek professional help to rule out underlying health conditions that may be causing issues with your sleep such as food sensitivities, menopause, thyroid and other hormonal imbalances, or sleep apnea.
3. Try Herbal Remedies.
Still not sleeping? Try an herbal remedy such as valerian, passionflower, kava kava or chamomile.
1. I always recommend optimizing a client’s sleep routine first if they have not already done that before adding in some supplements, this includes going to bed at a consistent time, waking at a consistent time that will allow 8 hours of sleep. Also avoiding screens and anything stimulating before bed .
2. Supplements like Magnesium combined with 3 grams of glycine can help, especially for people who are having issues with waking at night.
3. If they have addressed diet (specifically blood sugar issues), improved their sleep routine etc and they are still having trouble sleeping I would look at doing the DUTCH hormone test to assess cortisol, melatonin and neurotransmitter levels.
By assessing cortisol and melatonin we can work out why someone is having sleeping issues and focus on a specific treatment program for them.
Here is a link to the DUTCH test https://www.
It is estimated that around 73 million people in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. Insomnia accounts for the majority of these. Here are some quick responses which I have in mind:
1. Get electronics out of the bedroom. No TV, no computer, no smart phone use. Your mind should associate the bedroom with sleeping (and intimacy). Ideally you should not even have a digital clock shining.
2. Don’t use alcohol as a way to get sleepy. Alcohol may help you feel tired but after a short time the sedative effect wears off and a stimulant effect kicks in. You may get to sleep but the chances are you won’t stay asleep for long. Alcohol has been shown to disrupt the restorative REM sleep. Lack of REM sleep is associated with lack of concentration and daytime sleepiness.
3. Make sure your bedroom is as dark and quiet as possible. Even a small amount of light can disrupt melatonin production. If necessary, get some blackout curtains to block outside light and earplugs to block outside noise.
4. Do not ‘abuse’ “over the counter” products
A number of “over the counter” products including melatonin, valerian, chamomile tea and others are often used to help with sleep problems. While these supplements have been shown to provide some benefits for some people these should not be used without consultation with a qualified medical practitioner. Just because a supplement is “natural” or available “over-the-counter” doesn’t mean it is safe to take in every situation.
For example Melatonin is generally considered safe, however there appears to be an increased risk of bleeding particularly in those taking blood thinners. Melatonin also increases the risk of seizure. Valerian is generally considered safe for short term (4-6 weeks) use. Reported adverse events include upset stomach, headache and morning grogginess. Valerian should never be used alongside alcohol or other sleep medications. These compound the effects of valerian. Chamomile Tea is another supplement generally considered safe but should not be taken by pregnant woman or those who are breast feeding. Those with allergies to ragweed should avoid chamomile. Any supplement capable of having a positive effect can, in some cases have a negative effect. We should be aware of interactions between any supplements and prescribed pharmaceuticals.
5. Numerous factors can affect our ability or inability to fall asleep, stay asleep and our quality of sleep. Most sleep experts refer to the management of these factors as Sleep Hygiene. The term Sleep Hygiene relates to developing a routine or habits that will help you fall asleep more easily, help you stay asleep and provide you with better quality sleep. Sleep hygiene includes the following:
• Do not consume caffeinated products within 4-6 hours of bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant known to affect the ability to fall asleep.
• Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Alcohol does have a sleep inducing effect however as the alcohol level in your blood wears off it has a stimulating effect causing wakefulness.
• Establish a pre-bedtime relaxing routine. About 90 minutes before bedtime, start allowing yourself to wind down. Take a warm bath or try some light reading or listening to soothing music. Try relaxation techniques.
• If you need to take a nap during the day limit these to 45 minutes. Avoid napping after 5.00 PM.
• Finish your evening meal a few hours before bedtime.
• Regular exercise can help with your sleep quality however, exercising within two hours of bedtime can decrease your ability to fall asleep. Exercise causes the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone which activates the brain’s alert mechanism.
• Set a time for bed and a time for wakening. An important aspect of sleep management is to go to bed and wake at the same times every day even on weekends. You can train your body to expect sleep during these specific hours if you stick with this routine.
• If you can’t sleep after being in bed for 20 minutes, get up and go to another room and do some light reading or listen to soothing music. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or slow deep breathing. When you feel you are ready to sleep go back to bed.
• Prepare your bedroom for sleep. The ideal environment for sleeping is a cool (around 70° F.) dark, quiet room. Use heavy curtains to block out as much light as possible. If you are distracted by noise use earplugs. Never use your bedroom for texting, sending emails or telephone calls. Your brain needs to associate your bedroom with sleep. Don’t watch TV in bed. The light from the TV screen can suppress your melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps control sleep-wake cycles.
• Turn off your electrical gadgets. Even the small glow of light from your smart phone or laptop can interfere with your melatonin production.
• Limit your fluid intake. Make sure your fluid intake is adequate to prevent you from being thirsty during the night but be careful not to drink enough to cause you a trip to the bathroom during the night.
Here are some tips to help your readers get their best night’s sleep using yogic techniques:
1. Put your legs up! Placing your legs on a chair for 5-20 minutes at night can release tension and tightness in your hips. Many people hold the stresses of the day in their hips as well as overwork their psoas, so this is a good posture to do for release of those muscles.
2. Add in some breathing! With your legs on the chair, take ten deep breaths, letting your belly rise and fall with the movement of your diaphragm. As you breathe in, think of something that is going right or good in your life. As you exhale out, release old thoughts or ideas that really aren’t working for you any more.
3. Do a body scan! Take your attention to every part of your body from the crown of your head to your toes and consciously release any tension you may be feeling in that body part. Crown, forehead, temples, eyes, jaw, cheeks, chin and throat. Chest, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, wrists, fingers. Abdomen, pelvis, hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles and toes. Enjoy this relaxed state; and when you are ready, gently make your way to bed.
Top 3 tips for sleep from me, as a sleep psychologist would be:
1. Keep a regular rising time in the morning (within a 45 mins or so). Think of your rising time as the anchor for your circadian rhythm (body clock) which keeps your sleep routine in place.
2. Wind down before bed – choose a pleasant activity that helps you to feel relaxed and ‘down regulated’ in the hour before bed: for example, reading, music, relaxation, craft or other quiet activity, or TV (not on your laptop as close screens expose us to too much bright blue light)
3. See sleep as an important part of staying healthy. More importantly, see sleep as an important part of staying healthy and feeling great, BUT try not to get into a patten of being overly worried or obsessive about your sleep. The more you worry about sleep the worse you will sleep. Be sensible with your sleep routine, with at least 7hr hours in bed most nights, and remember that you will be OK if you sleep badly every once in a while.
If your mind is busy, you won’t get to sleep. If you get to sleep but your mind is still busy, you will wake up during the night.
1. The thing that helps me the most to quiet my mind are breathing, meditation and some advance to-do list techniques that alleviate the monkey mind midnight panic. Many people wake up in the middle of the night and worry about their undefined laundry list of to-do items that they must accomplish the next day. Having a robust to-do list system can help alleviate that feeling but clearly laying out what must get done and how long it is going to take. I have a podcast all about setting up an effective To-do list at http://www.workplacehero.me/to-do-lists/
The breathing pattern that works best for me before bed and in the middle of the night is the 4-7-8 technique. That is:
-4 heartbeats inhale,
-7 heartbeats hold,
-8 heartbeats exhale.
And for an added bonus, say the word “relax” as you exhale – outloud or in your head. When you start this breathing pattern, make a commitment to yourself that you will not stop until you fall asleep. If you skip that step, you run the risk of cutting it off to short because it “isn’t working so I may as well lay here worrying again.”
2. If you live in a loud, big city, like I do, investing in some good ear plugs, a decent pillow, and good heavy curtains are helpful but don’t get carried away since even the darkest, quietest room is no match for a loud and bright mind.
3. Aside from quieting your chattering brain, having a bedtime routine is also key.
Routines like having a consistent bed time, spending time gearing yourself down an hour (or two) before bed, turning off devices, not checking email after you are “done for the day”, and not reading books that relate to or are about your job before bed can all help. Then add doing some breathing, stretching and meditation and you will have set yourself up for success.
1. If you think you only need six hours of sleep or less to function, you’re probably wrong.
There are a very lucky few “short sleepers” out there who have physiology that only requires six hours or less sleep per day.
This trait is very, very rare. The vast majority of us are just plain sleep deprived and this can take its toll over the long term by causing weight gain and increasing our risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
2. Reevaluate your assumptions.
Most couples have “drank the Koolaid” that they should sleep in the same bed together; this is actually a relatively new societal norm.
While sleeping in the same bed can enhance intimacy for some, bedpartners can be a major cause of poor sleep quality due to snoring, restlessness, or differing sleep/wake schedules. If your bed partner is hurting more than helping, it’s time to talk about separate beds or separate bedrooms.
3. Don’t disrespect the bed.
It should only be used for sleep and sex. Using it as a multimedia center confuses your brain and may promote insomnia.
1. Stretch. When your muscles are sore and tight, your circulation isn’t optimal and it can be difficult to have a restful sleep. Try incorporating some gentle stretches as part of your nighttime routine. Practice deep breathing and relaxing your mind.
2. Have a routine. Instead of expecting that you’ll just fall asleep, set up a routine that will help prepare you for bed. Turn off your phone, have a warm drink and read a book to help your body unwind from a stressful day.
3. Use lavender and jasmine as sleep aids. There are lots of ways to adopt these scents into your evening routine. You can apply a few drops of essential oil to your temples, use a room spray or even place a potted plant on your bedside table. Any of these options will help you sleep like a baby.
Kathryn Pinkham, Founder of The Insomnia Clinic, the UK’s largest Insomnia Service.
1. Don’t spend too long in bed. The first thing we do when we can’t sleep is start going to bed earlier to try and increase our opportunity for sleeping. Reduce the amount of time you spend in bed, go to bed later and get up earlier, this will encourage your body’s natural sleep drive to kick in. By reducing the time you spend in bed you will crave more sleep, fall asleep faster and find the quality will improve.
2. Stop clock-watching. It very tempting to look at the clock every time we wake up to monitor how little sleep we are getting however, this increases the pressure to fall back to sleep and makes it less likely. Set your alarm for the morning then avoid looking at the time again.
3. Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t get to sleep or have woken up in the middle of night, get out of bed. The longer we lie in bed trying to fall back to sleep the more frustrated we get. This, in turn, means we begin to subconsciously relate bed to feeling stressed and being awake rather than asleep. Leave the bedroom and do something relaxing like read a book downstairs, then when you are tired go back to bed.
4. Manage your thoughts. A busy mind is one of the most common culprits in keeping us awake at night so start by writing things down. Make time to list what is on your mind, this can be therapeutic as it is a way of getting things out of your head. You don’t need to solve all of your problems but when they are written in black and white you will get a different perspective on things. Ask yourself, how many of the worries are hypothetical (haven’t yet happened) and how is worrying about them helping you? For example, worrying that tonight you might not sleep only makes it more likely that you won’t. Write down that thought and acknowledge it but then change your focus. If you are following CBT for insomnia techniques then your sleep will improve and so instead try to re-focus on more helpful thoughts.
1) Wear blue blocking glasses at night. There is a receptor in our eye that responds to blue and some green light. It sends a signal to the SCN in our brain which either produces melatonin (our body natural drowsiness hormone) or stop producing melatonin. When blue light is present (morning and during day) it stops producing melatonin. In evening it produces melatonin. But today with artificial lights (light bulbs, etc) and devices (computer, TV, phones) we are bombarding our eye with blue light all day. Wearing blue light blocking glasses 2-3 hours before bed time can go a long way to restoring natural sleep cycles.
2) Get blackout blinds for your bedroom to block out light. Also a sound machine can help too.
3) Sleep temperature is a huge factor in getting good sleep. If you are too hot or too cold you don’t get good sleep. A chilipad can help get you to the right temperature for your body.
Tip 1. Make sure you get breathable mattress:
Dr. Swartzburg helped developed a patented system using connected surface holes and channeling underneath the surface which allow the Snuggle-Pedic mattresses to have over 100 times more breathability than mattresses that only have ventilated tops or channeled lower layers but do not connect the two together. This means that you do not have to get into a cold mattress, but you also do not have to let your body heat escape out of control while you are sleeping.
Tip 2: Use breathable sheets and blankets.
Today, more and more bed sheets are advertising that they are made from fabric that breathes, such as Egyptian cotton, but they are ultimately microfiber blends that that do not breathe well, ensuring that the body heat will not escape as the night goes on. Dr. Swartzburg recommends using breathable cotton sheets or jersey knitted sheets that have a much more breathable matrix much like a cotton t-shirt, even though some may not like the stretch component.
Tip 3: Use a heating pads.
Use heating pads only to warm the initial surface when you enter your bed, but turn it off once you get inside to avoid adding to your body heat increase that occurs throughout the night.
Bonus Tip: Avoid using electronic devices
Additionally, going to sleep late at night, working late and/or using electronic devices that emit light waves in the blue spectrum can play havoc on melatonin production, an essential part of normalizing your sleep patterns. Since reduction of melatonin is one of the enemies of getting to sleep and UV light is the enemy of melatonin production.
Avoid using electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed time, make your room as dark as possible during sleeping hours, and if you cannot get it totally dark, use an eye shade.
Increasing melatonin formation naturally, will not only help get more sleep quantity, but with more normal circadian rhythm, you will also get a deeper and better quality sleep so necessary for helping the body repair itself and reduce inflammation.
1. Optimize your sleeping environment – generally, the cooler, darker, less humid, and better ventilated your room is, will contribute to more sound sleep.
2. Get outside! – Exposing your body to sunlight (especially in the morning) for even 15-30 minutes will help calibrate the body’s circadian rhythm to day/night cycles.
3. Meal timing – eat your final meal earlier in the evening (4+ hours prior to bed) to prevent your metabolism being elevated overnight, which can adversely affect sleep.
My top habits are
1. Have a wind down routine, before bed and before you need to be asleep. That gives you time to ease into sleep. Make sure part of the routine is something you enjoy…a good book, music, a podcast, diffusing some scents, meditation…whatever it is give yourself something nice to look forward to at bedtime.
2. Get sunlight in the morning. Make sure when you get up in the morning you get a few minutes of sunlight right away…even if it is just sitting by a window, or walking a dog or drinking a cup of coffee outside.
3. If you can’t sleep be empathic and kind to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a child or a good friend, be accepting and encouraging…kind of like a good listener…”Wow you can’t sleep, that’s rough. Any ideas why? Oh what should we do? Get up and read or should we just try and move to this side of the bed.” Be your own bedtime ally, at the very least it will make those sleepless nights a little less painful.
My top three tips for cultivating good sleeping habits are:
1. Establish a bedtime routine
By establishing a bedtime routine, you are setting the stage for a good night’s sleep. It can be as simple as just a few minutes of the same tasks done in the same order every night, then a minute of deep breathing or stretching before setting in to bed.
2. set a sleep/wake schedule
Setting a bedtime and wake up time and sticking to it also adds predictability to your body and brain.
The body is meant to function on a diurnal (day/night) schedule, and keeping it regular helps the body fall asleep faster and wake with more energy.
3. sleep in a dark room.
Sleeping in a dark room contributes to the day/night sense of your brain’s wiring, and darkness allows us to fall into deeper sleep faster.
Habit #1: Keep A Consistent Bedtime
This will train your circadian rhythm so that you get sleepy and become alert at the same time every day, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up each day.
Habit #2: Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Before Bed
These can make it harder to fall asleep (caffeine) or lead to middle of the night awakenings (alcohol).
Habit #3 Ditch the Blue Light Before Bed
Blue light from cell phones or tv can interfere with natural melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep.
Claus Pummer | Certified Healthy Sleep Coach
President, Natural by Design Corp | Managing Director, SAMINA North America
# 1 – Prioritize your sleep!
You plan on making times for things that matter to you. Your daily calendar and plans should include wake-up times and then back track to what your ideal go-to-bed time is so you can get sufficient sleep for you. If you are a human being, that’s somewhere between 7 and 9 hours every night. Sleep is not an after-thought. Take it seriously because even the American Medical Association has recognized the connection between lack of sleep and heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
My tip: Set an alarm…to GO TO BED!
#2 – Make your bedroom a zen-zone.
Look around your bedroom right now. Would you consider it a sanctuary for relaxation and sleep? Or is it an extension of your living room or office? Modern times have made electronics and other devices commonplace in every facet of our lives including our bedrooms which should be the one safe place in your life where you can escape from the active demands of daily living to relax and enjoy deep, restful and restorative sleep.
My tip: Clean up your bedroom! It should be the one place you have control. Clean and de-clutter, make it a place to relax not look like your next home project or an extension of your workday. You will awaken with more positive outlook in the morning when you awaken to a nice scene.
#3 – Limit exposure to light and electro-smog.
People who know better will ensure their dedicated sleep place is ideal for sleep. One of the most common issues I have seen from visiting 100’s of homes each year is that people permit too much light into their rooms. Our sleep cycle is directed by the day-night light cycle and we are wired to sleep when its dark, awaken when the sun rises. Artificial light when it should be dark is disruptive to our natural sleep patterns including, for example, light peering in from cracks in curtains or blinds, all those little lights emanating from our clocks, TV’s, cell phone chargers, cable boxes, nightlights, you name it. When it comes to quality sleep, science proves that darker is better.
One of the more common culprits of light are electronic devices which always causes me to ask, “Why there are any electronics at all in your sleeping sanctuary?” Similarly, I always ask clients, “Why is your cell phone on while you sleep?” Even our doctor clients who are on call have been challenged by this question. Heck, when it is that critical to be reached at all hours, get a land line; they are so inexpensive now. The frequencies from cell phones can wreck your sleep. The so-called electro-smog we are involuntarily bombarded with in modern life—WiFi, Bluetooth, radiofrequencies, cell tower frequencies and all the “smart” devices in your home—are “pinging” us almost without pause. During our active waking hours is one thing, yet, at night when we should be recharging our batteries not charging them, we should be rid of those frequencies!
My tip: If you are on call or other responsibility to be reached at all hours, get a land line. When your cell phone is your morning alarm, at least turn it on airplane mode. Try it. You should get a more restful sleep without these nuisances and your body will thank you for the reprieve.
1. Regularity as to when I go to bed and wake up each day.
2. Warm magnesium right before bed.
3. Avoid blue light exposure after sunset.
4. Sunrise on bare skin or alternatively near infrared if no sun or the middle of the winter.
1) Don’t wait too long to go to sleep. That sleepy feeling you get while watching that Netflix documentary…don’t ignore it, your body is doing it’s job. When you ignore that cue your body does another one of it’s job. It floods your system with cortisol to keep you awake. The problem with cortisol is that it will ultimately ruin your sleep for the night and possibly trigger insomnia.
2) Remove all devices and electronic light sources from your bedroom. By now we know that the blue light from devices wreaks havoc on sleep but even small lights from TV power buttons and alarm clocks can trigger awakenings. If you must have an alarm clock, make sure the lighted clock is amber or red.
3) Go to bed and get up at relatively the same time every day. Quality sleep is highly dependent on a consistent sleep pattern. When we sleep ‘off clock’ we risk messing with our body clock and circadian rhythm (which work together). Sleeping in on the weekend is a nice theory but often it does more harm than good!
My one big piece of advice would be to create consistency. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Even on your days off! Your body craves consistency and giving your body predictable patterns can really help with that.
Also, keep your room cool! We need our body temp to drop 2-3 degrees in order to fall asleep. It is usually always easier to sleep in a cool room! for adults between 65-67 degrees.
I would also tell people who are wanting to lose weight that sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise!
Most people don’t realize how vital this is. When adults get less than 8 hours of sleep at night this increases our cortisol (stress hormone) levels which causes us to store more fat in our stomach.
Sleeping less than 6 hours while on a calorie restricted diet can decrease the proportion of fat loss by 55% and can increase the proportion of muscle loss by 60% which means you will burn muscle instead of fat.
Sleeping less than 7 hours makes you three times more likely to catch a cold.
So bottom line, sleep is a biological necessity, not a luxury!
Getting sleep is one of the most important aspects of your health. Improper sleep can cause sleep apnea, hypertension, depression and heighten pain. Here are 3 habits that can help you get better sleep.
1. Exercise Daily. Exercising on a daily basis can actually help resolve insomnia by promoting daytime alertness and inducing sleepiness at night.
2. Avoid Stimulants. Avoid drinking stimulants like caffeine found in coffee, tea and soda before going to sleep. This blocks adenosine a chemical that naturally makes us feel sleepy. Foods that contain tryptophan’s; a substance that is metabolized in our body to serotonin and melatonin are sleep-inducing agents.
3. Sleep Comfortably. Take a warm bath to relax your muscles. Wear less clothing so that your body can stay cool. Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and keep the environment quiet better sleep quality.
Dr. Kelenne V. Tuitt is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician and Concierge physician that helps busy professionals achieve optimal health on the go via telemedicine and house calls. You can follow her on all social media @drkelenne or at www.drkelenne.com.
Quality sleep! It used to be viewed as a badge of honor to manage on as little sleep as possible. Luckily, there is a recent shift that now focuses on sleep being one of the top pillars of health. While the information available can be vast, complex, and overwhelming, you have the ability to start instilling certain habits NOW to cultivate better sleep.
First (and possibly the most commonly known) is by limiting your screen time/blue light exposure for 1-2 hours before going to sleep. And don’t just “hope” you will stick with this habit, take actions by charging your phone outside of your bedroom and replacing your evening TV routine with a good book or podcast.
Next, make sure your bed/bedroom is true “sleep sanctuary” by creating a relaxing environment that you only use for sleep (and maybe intimacy with your partner). Check your email at the table, fold clothes on the couch, and even read in a separate spot than your bed (like a chair).
Lastly, consistency is key! This applies to your consistent approach over time at solving your sleep problems and especially to keeping a consistent routine. Don’t allow your bedtime and/or morning time to drastically change on the weekends when you are not working or allow each night and morning to be different from the previous one if you set your own schedule. Try and aim for the same one hour window on a day-to-day basis.
By implementing these habits for at least 4-6 weeks (change takes time) you will be able to benefit from much more quality sleep. And don’t hesitate to find a specialist that can help you with deeper and more complicated sleep concerns.
My top 3 sleeping habits would be:
1. No caffeine after 3pm. It takes a minimum of 5 hours for caffeine to get out of your system.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. Having our minds and body on a schedule is important so they know when to sleep!
3. Exercise! Any kind of exercise during the day will make you tired and sleepy for the evening.
1. Sleep temperature.
People often toss and turn more if they are too hot or too cold. The optimal temperature for a great night’s sleep is 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. It’s important that you find the best temperature for your own perfect sleep. If you are too cold, consider an extra blanket. Too hot? Cracking a window to get your temperature just right.
2. Warm Tootsies.
Most sleep better in cooler temperatures, but few will sleep with cold feet! If your feet are too cold, you may have poor blood circulation. People with high metabolisms tend to lose heat quickly. To get a better sleep, if your feet are icey consider socks, an extra blanket, or a hot water bottle.
3. Decaf coffee after lunch.
Did you know it can take 11 hours to metabolize the caffeine in a single cup of coffee? For the best sleep, cut out coffee after lunch or switch to decaf. Your sleep will thank you.
We often say, “have a peaceful nights sleep”. I think peace really is the key to a great night of rest!
First, we need to be at peace with our surroundings. Have we locked the doors, set an alarm, and taken other simple precautions to feel at peace in our environment? Have we gotten off our cell phones at least an hour before bed and put them on a bedtime mode? Bonus if you get the kid’s backpacks packed the night before!
Next, we need to be at peace with our partners. Sleeping next to someone that you are in a current argument with is extremely difficult. Thus the, “I’ll sleep on the couch” happens. But, both partners end up tossing and turning when things aren’t resolved. Even if an agreement can’t be reached or there are complicated issues, make the argument about the issues and not about each other. This is not only more mature but improves your sleep.
(Although when my husband takes call at the hospital, I enjoy him AND his pager on the couch, and I sleep quite well!)
Finally, we need to be at peace with ourselves. Maybe our day didn’t go according to plan. Perhaps tomorrow will bring more challenges. Consider a practice of meditation, prayer, journal writing, or general reflection before bedtime. Really use that time to let go of what didn’t go according to plan, and reset for tomorrow.
And my bonus tip: clean sheets!
Here are my top 3 suggestions for a better nights sleep:
1) Be exposed to bright sunlight in the day. Have your coffee outside, eat breakfast by the window, walk your dog during the day rather than night…. Melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone that is controlled by light, so when its dark it secretes more so that is why you should be outside in the light during the day
2) Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Otherwise this will stimulate your mind and keep you rolling around in bed waiting to fall asleep.
3) Excercise during the day. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy duing the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea.
I would say the top 3 habits for improving sleep are actually fairly simple.
Firstly, you need to get in line with the sun, and what I mean by that is the circadian rhythm. Go to bed shortly after the sun goes down at night and wake up roughly when it rises. This ensures your body is in sync with nature and your hormones will be balanced (serotonin and melatonin).
Secondly, treat the 2 hours BEFORE you go to bed as if they were incredibly sensitive, because they are. Don’t eat during those two hours, don’t exercise, don’t look at screens (TV or laptops etc) without ‘blue light blocking’ technology like Fl.ux or night mode on your phone.
And thirdly, make sure that during the day when you’re awake, SPEND yourself. This means that you should exercise, go out into the world, experience new things and give your energy to doing what you love doing and what excites you. Do those things, and you’ll sleep like a baby every night.
1. Drink a glass of water before bed – dehydration is an absolute sleep killer, it’ll keep you awake at night and leave you feeling groggy in the morning so a glass of water before sleep is a must.
2. Take a hot bath – coming out of a hot bath will cause your inner body temperature to start cooling down which is the same process that your body does before sleep so it can trick your body into thinking it’s time to sleep and let you drift off faster.
3. Go to bed at the same time every night – creating a solid routine of falling asleep and waking up at the same time can do wonders for your sleep, helping your body naturally know when it’s time to fall asleep and when it’s time to get up, making mornings easier to deal with and going to sleep at night a much faster process.
My Top 3 Habits for Better Sleep
1. White Noise – I know some people have to have silence, but I sleep so much better with white noise like a softly whirring fan.
2. Know Your Ideal Pillow Size – I know that I like a medium pillow and if a pillow is too flat or too fluffy I won’t sleep as well.
3. Imagine anything but real life – This might sound weird but I cannot fall asleep if I’m thinking about my life. I have this trick I developed as a child to pretend my life is something so different and unattainable and I’ll live it out for a little bit and it truly helps lull me to sleep. An example is that I’m a world traveler visiting exotic locales. Doing this takes me out of my world and helps me relax.
1. Keep Cool
Your bedroom temperature should ideally be set around 59.9 and 66.92 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 – 19.4 degrees Celcius) to help you cool down enough and get to sleep on those hot summer nights or any night.
There are a number of easy ways to help keep you cool during the night. Here are a few to get you started:
Taking a warm bath might sound counterproductive, but studies prove otherwise. Read this article to discover more about these cooling tips.
2. Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
In a perfect world, the best option would be to switch everything off three hours before bedtime. Sometimes this isn’t really practical for people that have to get tasks done that require lights or digital devices in the evenings. All you have to do is wear your Night Swannies to block the blue light emitted from your bedroom lights and digital devices.
3. Invest In Quality Bedding
This is often an overlooked tip that can cause you to experience restless sleep. It’s important to invest in a quality mattress and pillow to provide the support needed for quality sleep. If your goal is to align your neck, shoulders, and spine, head over to this article to find the perfect pillow for you
Our 3 habits for healthy sleep
1. Routines: Having a solid bedtime routine can help cue adults and children’s brains that it is time for sleep. Having a solid pre-sleep routine before bedtime can help the body relax and it helps our body to send a signal to our brain to produce melatonin which is our body’s natural sleep aid.
Our younger children cannot tell time so they rely on this sequence of events to help them relax for sleep and transition from playing to sleeping. * A short nap routine for younger children is just as beneficial as a bedtime routine.
2. A consistent daily schedule and wake time: Waking and going to bed at the same time allows the circadian rhythm the stay properly set, making falling asleep and staying asleep easier. The internal clock needs that consistency so try and avoid going back and forth between early and late bedtimes/wakeups.
Don’t be afraid of earlier bedtimes. Children need a lot of sleep overnight. Plus, how great is it as a parent to get that time to yourself to wind down or practice self-care?!
3. Reducing blue light before bed for ideally 1-2 hours prior to bedtime: This includes TV, devices/tablets and computers! Blue light reduces the production of melatonin, which is our natural sleep aid and very much needed for healthy sleep!
Instead of using your device before bed, use that time before bed to connect emotionally and spend some time with your little one which can do wonders to help them sleep!
My three top advices:
1. Practice meditation
2. Do some sports , but don’t do any sports in the late evening
3. Try to stick to the truth in what you say and what you do. Share your resentments. You’ll experience much less bugging thoughts when you try to fall asleep.
Note: Summer has generously spent her time writing down the top habits every parent need to cultivate for their baby. Mothers, please pay attention to this section!
My top 3 habits…
Baby’s thrive on consistency.
1. I would begin with a daily routine. Wake baby at the same time every day so you don’t have to struggle with naptime routine.
2. Start bedtime as soon as possible, I suggest 4 weeks old. This really helps teach good sleep habits from the very beginning.
3. Swaddle, sound machine, blackout curtains are a must have.
Keys to good sleep habits is setting you up for success from the very beginning but let’s say you have a toddler.
Your toddler thrives on making his own decisions but how can you do this with bedtime. First I always set a timer, when the timer goes off the parents and toddler know what the next step is going to be. Your child can make the decision with how cleans up but the timer keeps it structured.
1. Pick up toys
2. Bath Time
3. 20 minutes for playtime in child’s room.
4. Books 2 only
5. Kiss and prayer parents may choose to lay down for 5 minutes but make sure timer is on.
Consistency is the key to all success.
My top 3 daily habits that will help you sleep better:
1. Top and tail your day with tranquillity. The first thing you do in the morning when you wake up should not be to reach for your phone and start checking email. Better to spend at least the first 30 mins just ‘being’.
That will allow you to step over the threshold of you day by taking peace with you. The back end of the day should be similar Turn everything off and disconnect yourself physically and symbolically with the world. I recommend putting your phone on aircraft mode in the evening until the morning.
2. Eat early in the evening and make it light. Remember that your digestive fire will create heat which means that your core body temperature will not be able to drop and your body won’t go into a deep sleep.
3. If you wake up in the night and can’t go back to sleep, get up out of bed, sit in a chair and follow your breath with your mind. Drink a small cup of chamomile tea. Then go back to bed.
1) Get rid of those electronics!
2. Give Yourself Time and Space to Wind Down
Make your pre-sleep behaviors soothing and calming to alleviate the stresses of the day. An hour or two before bedtime, take time for relaxation and solitude to make it easier to fall asleep. This may include taking a warm bath, playing soft music, meditating, journaling, or reading.
3. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
Turn your bedroom into your own personal sleep sanctuary. Keep the temperature cool, the lights low, and make the room a clutter-free zone. Make sure your mattress feels good and provides the support you need. Keep your sheets and bedding fresh and clean. Have black-out drapes over windows to block ambient light coming into the room.
It is important to note that if you continue to struggle with getting a good night’s rest, talk with your doctor about your sleep issues.
1. If you care about how your brain functions, Make Sleep Your Top Priority. The glymphatic system that detoxifies your brain and helps prevent cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s dementia, is at least twice as effective during sleep. Once you decide that keeping your brain healthy is your goal, it’s so much easier to turn the TV off earlier or say no to that extra drink.
Pro Tip: Low levels of alcohol intake may increase glymphatic function, but moderate levels impair brain detoxification. Keep it to no more than 1 drink.
2. Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Oasis. It needs to be quiet and dark. Keep your room clean and uncluttered – set the mood for your brain to relax and rejuvenate. Never use electronics in bed and turn off your Wifi – these stimulate your brain making it harder to sleep. Use blackout curtains – even a little light can interfere with a good sleep. Keep the temperature 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit – most researchers and people have found that having your room on the cool side promotes healthy and energizing sleep. Remember, your bed is only to be used for two things: Sleep and Sex – keep it as the health sanctuary it is.
Pro Tip: Wifi in a necessary part of life today, but it can dramatically interfere with your sleep. Put your Wifi router on a timer to go off and back on at the desired times. Set it and forget it. If your cable modem has a built in Wifi, have tech support help you turn it off and get a separate Wifi router that you can control. It’s your life, your brain, your health!
3. A Calm, Quiet, Tired Body and Mind tend to Sleep Better. Regular exercise balance our energy – less stressful and anxious energy, more natural tiredness. It also helps support body wide detoxification, thereby lowering inflammation. We all have a variety of stressors to deal with throughout the day. Some days are worse than others. Make it your evening ritual to practice Breath Awareness. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to wind down at the end of the day by enjoying the simple act of breathing. Notice your breath as you inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, that’s ok, just go back to focusing on your breathing.
Pro Tip: Super-charge your Breath Awareness practice by adding Heart-Centered Breathing. Start with Breath Awareness just as before, then focus on the center of your chest, the area of your heart. Feel the breath expand into your heart. Thinking of someone or something amazing in your life that brings you intense joy, satisfaction, or love. Enjoy this time focus on the amazing things in your life. Now lie down and enjoy the restful sleep you so deserve.
There are many habits that you can adopt to get better quality sleep. However, the tough part is to test each suggestion and see which habit works the best for you.
I would suggest tackling each suggestion one at a time. It’s much easier to see which habit help you get better sleep if you test them out one at a time.
In this lengthy post, with 41 experts sharing their views on the top 3 healthy sleep habits, I am sure most people that stumbled upon this post would benefit from the generous sharing done.
If you feel that your friends can benefit from this post, feel free to share it too!
Furthermore, I am sure most people reading this post already has in-depth knowledge concerning the how to sleep better. So, what are the top 3 habits which you think a person should cultivate for better sleep? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
I am a big advocate that having a great sleep is something everyone deserves. With over 10 years of experience in this field, I would love to use this platform as a means to help you achieve a good night sleep.