- Sleeping at least 85% of the time you’re in bed
- Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less once you’re in bed
- Only waking up once per night
- Being awake 20 minutes or less after falling asleep for the night
More than 1 in 3 adults struggles with getting the quality sleep they need, so here are 15 tips for sleeping better through the night.
1. Relax & Clear Your Mind
Relaxation and sleep go hand in hand. In order to get the quality sleep you need, you must do your best to relax and keep a clear mind. Most people will find that if they had a stressful day, they will have a hard time falling asleep due to thinking too much about the day’s events.
There are a number of ways to help yourself relax before bed. These tactics can include using various breathing techniques, physical activity, reading, or even trying to count backwards. By clearing your mind before bed, you will get a more sound quality night’s sleep and feel well rested in the morning.
2. Exercise At Night
Exercising before bed can be a great way to improve your overall quality of sleep. Physical activity, especially later in the day has shown to help people fall into a much deeper sleep faster than if they did not exercise. While there is still some debate about whether or not it is best to exercise before bed, studies have shown that it is best to finish your workout at least 2 hours before you go to sleep.
There are a number of benefits of exercising before bed. These benefits include releasing stress, clearing your mind, as well as releasing tension and muscle stiffness from sitting or standing all day.
An additional benefit to exercising before you go to sleep is the prevention of unhealthy habits. Unhealthy habis such as eating too much or drinking alcohol before bed can be detrimental to your quality of sleep.
3. Avoid Caffeine Before Bed
Avoiding caffeine before you go to sleep is one of the best ways to help yourself fall asleep faster. A common question people ask about caffeine is typically how long before bed should you avoid caffeine?
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it should not be consumed within 4 – 6 hours before bed time. Caffeine and sleep quality never go hand in hand. Since caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in the brain, which promote sleepiness, this can delay the feeling of being tired. It is best to also limit the amount of caffeine a person drinks in a single day.
The recommended amount of caffeine per day is up to 400mg. 400mg of caffeine can be:
- 4 8 oz cups of coffee
- 2 energy drinks
- 6 12 oz sodas
Limiting or timing your caffeine intake is one of the quickest ways to help you improve your quality of sleep, especially if you are a heavy caffeine consumer.
4. Cut Out Smoking Cigarettes Or Cigars
Smoking cigarettes before bed is very common, but has a very negative impact on your quality of sleep. Cigarettes contain nicotine, and just like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant. Having any type of stimulant before bed can cause insomnia and greatly impacts your ability to fall asleep.
Another downside of having nicotine before bed is that it can increase your risk of sleep apnea, as well as changing your natural circadian rhythm. Smoking can also lead to poor sleep once you do actually pass out. In addition to that, studies have shown that in general, compared to those who don’t smoke, smokers take longer to fall asleep and get less deep sleep.
5. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
While drinking alcohol might make you feel tired and more relaxed, alcohol before bed is not recommended. Alcohol helps you fall asleep, but ultimately lowers the quality of sleep you will get due to reducing the amount of REM sleep you will have. The more alcoholic drinks you consume before bed, the more your sleep cycle gets thrown off.
Besides lowering your ability to sleep better, there are other downsides of having a couple beers or glasses of wine before bed. These negatives include the need to use the bathroom more during the night, increased snoring, and the potential to sleep walk and eat.
Consuming alcohol before bed causes your body to not be as well rested, which increases how tired or irritable you might be the next day.
6. Limit Fluid Intake
Drinking water before bed is not a bad thing, but it is best to limit the amount of fluids you consume before going to sleep. Naturally, your body will decrease your urine output during the night to allow for 6-8 hours of sleep. By having too much fluid right before bed will over-activate your bladder.
This will cause you to have to use the bathroom more during the night. It is recommended to limit fluid intake about 1 hour before bed to allow for your body to absorb and flush it out as needed. Proper hydration is critical to body functions, so be sure to increase your fluid intake throughout the day and cut back at night before going to sleep.
7. Don’t Eat Too Close To Bed Time
A common question that is asked when talking about not eating before going to sleep is often “how long should I wait to go to bed after eating?” The answer to this is to eat at most 2-3 hours before going to sleep. Eating food, especially higher in sugar before bed will raise blood sugar levels. This will result in triggering your nervous system causing restlessness.
In addition to not being able to fall asleep, it is common that those who have a the bedtime snack are more likely to overeat and gain weight from the additional calories. Eating before bed can create a cycle of overeating and eating things that you likely shouldn’t.
If you feel the need to eat before bed, it is a sign that you are consistently not eating enough during the day and should evaluate your diet.
8. Take A Hot Bath Or Shower
Believe it or not, taking a hot bath or shower will help improve the quality of sleep you get at night. The heat of the water then the cool down after you get out helps calm and relax your body, which is another way to get a better quality night sleep. This psychologically tells the brain that since it naturally lowers its internal temperature while sleeping that we should be going to sleep soon.
It is best to take a bath or shower an hour to an hour and a half before you go to sleep. This gives your body enough time to regulate its circadian rhythm to promote tiredness.
9. Take Sleep Supplements
Taking supplements to help you sleep is one of the most effective ways to not only get a more quality night sleep, but fall asleep faster. Most sleep supplements are all natural and are added vitamins or minerals that your body already produces. The increase in these vitamins or minerals allows your body to feel like you are more tired and ready to go to bed. Sleep supplements are perfectly normal to take as long as you’re responsible with how much you take.
Common benefits of sleep related supplements include, decreasing insomnia, promotion of sleep producing chemicals in the brain, along with other bone, and cardiovascular health benefits. Common sleep supplements include:
10. Cut Out Naps During The Day
Wanting to take a nap during the day is a natural feeling we all share. Whether we have worked hard and want to come home and relax, or pass out in the middle of a rainy Sunday, napping is great…unless you’re trying to sleep better at night. Napping during the day for more than 30-45 minutes can negatively impact how well you sleep at night.
Taking a nap during the day can reduce your ability to fall asleep at night quickly. The reason for this is that taking a nap will cause your body to feel like it needs less rest, which will create a cycle of poor sleep at night.
11. Reduce Light
Reducing light before bed is another great way to not only fall asleep faster, but get a better quality of sleep. We can all admit that we’ll often check our phones, sit on our laptop, watch tv, or all of these before we go to bed. In doing so, we are exposing ourselves to blue light. Blue light exposure close to bed time supresses melatonin in the brain, which is what gives us the feeling of sleepiness.
Some basic ways to reduce light exposure before bed include installing dimmer switches around your home to dim the lights in the room, and reduce the amount of time you spend infront of phones, tv’s, computers, etc. If you need to be on any of your devices, be sure to install an app that reduces the light output. These apps will help you fall alseep quicker when you are finished.
12. Set A Sleep Schedule And Stick To It
Creating and sticking to a sleep schedule is a great idea for people who are looking to improve their quality of sleep. Most people who are struggling to sleep consistently should try their best to keep a schedule where they go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day.
One of the best ways to start a sleep schedule is by waking up at the same time every day, weekday or weekend. This will seem tough at first, but after a week or two your body will adjust.
Once you figure out how much sleep you need to feel the most rested, it is easy to determine what time to go to bed every night. This is one of the best ways to sleep better at night naturally.
13. Use A Better Quality Pillow
Pillows are an often overlooked area of improving your quality of sleep. In fact, having a proper pillow is a great way to improve how you sleep. Many people use a pillow that is not best for them. The pillow is either too soft or too firm and not providing the support they need based on their sleep style. This can lead to neck pain and stiffness in the morning depending on how incorrect the pillow is for you.
Another way pillows impact quality of sleep is that it is just not comfortable. Many people have memory foam pillows, and like them…until it gets warm. They will flip the pillow over and within a couple minutes, the pillow is warm again.
The best pillows for sleeping are latex foam pillows. Latex foam pillows not only keep you cooler at night, but will offer support that memory foam pillows can not. Learn more about what makes latex better than memory foam.
The Ultimate Pillow For Comfort & Support
We recommend pillows based on what you NEED for maximum comfort and support. Check out our pillow recommendation guide to see what pillow is best for you!
14. Use A Body Pillow
Body pillows are a great way to improve your quality of sleep, and offer a number of benefits. One of the biggest areas that body pillows help with is relieving pressure points. Pressure points typically lead to discomfort and pain, and results in more tossing and turning throughout the night.
By placing the body pillow between your legs, you can reduce pressure points, back and neck pain, along with tossing and turning.
Another added benefit to body pillows are that they help improve spinal alignment. When laying on your side, your body weight is on your hips causing you to again want to turn to distribute the weight. Body pillows work to better distribute weight in your hips when you straddle the pillow. Side sleepers often face the most problems with this, and a body pillow can help them get a better night sleep.
Utilizing a custom body pillow is the perfect way to better improve your quality of sleep. Custom Sleep Technology has created a custom dual density latex foam body pillow to do just this. Our custom body pillow is designed to have a firm bottom half while utilizing a softer top half. This allows for maximum comfort and support.
A Truly Unique Body PillowBody pillows are a great way to improve your quality of sleep. Learn more about how our dual density latex foam body pillows can help you!
15. Get A Better Quality Mattress
Your mattress affects your sleep, and is often not considered until you are in noticeable pain or have extreme discomfort. More often than not, people who experience comfort and pain from their mattress are sleeping on something that is low quality, cheap, or old. Over time, mattresses break down and are unable to support your the way you need it.
It is common for someone to purchase a new mattress and start to experience aches, pains, and other problems less than a year after they first sleep on it. There are a number of ways your mattress reduces your quality of sleep including making you feel tired, keeping you up at night based on not being able to get comfortable, and causing you pain. In fact, it is common that newer, cheap mattresses cause back pain, and people will ingnore the fact that their mattress is the cause because it is brand new.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time for a new mattress.
What is the Best Mattress For Better Sleep?
The best mattresses for quality of sleep is one that is custom designed for you. The perfect mattress should support your body while giving you the comfort you need for an amazing night sleep. Most mattresses on the market today do a poor job of being able to properly support you and cause more pain that you might have felt before.
Custom Sleep Technology has the best mattress to improve your quality of sleep. Our personalized mattresses are 100% custom built and are designed based around your body dimensions. We use a proprietary algorithm to assess what your perfect mattress is. Whether you are a back sleeper, side sleeper, or sleep on your stomach, we can custom build a mattress suitable for your needs!