Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives. In fact, on average we spend around 1/3rd of our lives asleep. Given that it is such a significant aspect of our lives, it is important that we get decent sleep.
However, it is reported that 1 in 3 grown adults do not actually get enough sleep in America.
This is shocking considering just how important sleep actually is to our lives!
How can you improve the quality of your sleep? Many factors contribute to sleep disturbances, such as stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and the environment of your bedroom, including the lighting and noise level.
Soothing background music, relaxing sounds, meditation, and aromatherapy and setting a consistent schedule for relaxation contribute to better sleep while reducing the symptoms of common disorders, such as sleep apnea and insomnia.
Regular breathing exercises and meditation throughout the day can also improve productivity while reducing stress, contributing to a good night’s rest.
In this guide, you’ll find many helpful suggestions and tips on improving the quality of your sleep. These include reducing caffeine consumption and large meals before bedtime and scheduling time to unwind and meditate while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy and soothing music.
The Importance Of Sleeping Better
Having enough good sleep is very important. How we sleep at night affects our minds as well as our waking hours. There is an association between having a low quality of sleep and having irregular sleep schedules.
Although there are many other factors that can cause a lower quality of sleep.
Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by our circadian rhythm, which is a physical, behavioral and mental change in us that follows the 24-hour cycle each day. Primarily circadian rhythms respond to light and dark.
This will depend on the amount of sunlight or lack thereof, which triggers us to get tired.
Of course, sleep drive will also be increased the longer that we are awake. Sleep drive is simply how likely we are to fall asleep at any particular time. It is actually used by adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter in our brains. It reduces our need to sleep during the day.
If we go to bed and wake at the same time each day this will align our circadian rhythm with our drive to sleep which will make getting to sleep an easier feat. Although it does take time for us to settle into a new sleep schedule.
Low quality sleep is also associated with poor performance during the day, even if we are sleeping the same length of time. So having a proper sleep schedule is important.
What Is A Sleep Schedule?
We all know the very basics of what a sleep schedule is, or at least most do. So, let’s recap.
Sleep schedules are part of our daily routine, it is a fixed time for us to fall asleep and wake up each day. It is not limited to our work week, as many may think, it should be maintained on weekends and days off as well.
Habits and routines are very important to humans, and we can condition ourselves to a particular sleep schedule by being consistent and repetitive. Humans are creatures of habit and this benefits us, helping us form a healthy sleep schedule.
However, it can also be a curse, as we can trap ourselves in unhealthy sleep schedules too.
If we use our susceptibility to habit, we can actually train our brains to stick to new routines easier, so gaining a healthy sleep schedule is less difficult.
Benefits Of A Healthy Sleeping Schedule
We all wish that we could get more sleep, but it seems to be so difficult to get the right amount of sleep. Being tired all the time and yawning is tedious, but lacking sleep can also have a significant impact on your health too.
Ideally you need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night.
Let’s look at how a regular 7-8 hour sleep per night helps you.
Increases Immune System
Our bodies go through various cycles of sleep during the night, one of these cycles actually helps our bodies heal. The more and better quality sleep we have the more healing our bodies do.
This means that when your body gets what it requires, the proteins and immune cells in our bodies get what they need to supercharge and fight whatever tries to invade your body.
A good night’s sleep can do much more than taking multivitamins, and such. It is a cure for so many ails.
Prevents Weight Gain
Okay, so getting decent sleep won’t automatically shed the pounds all on its own, however, it can help prevent you from packing on even more, so your efforts to shed the weight won’t be lost.
If you do not get enough sleep your body will produce a hormone (Ghrelin) that boosts your appetite, and decreases the hormone (Leptin) that lets you know you are full.
When you put these two together, this results in some hardcore destructive late-night munchies.
When you do not get adequate sleep you will also end up stressed and your body will crave junk food more to keep you going through the day. (Sugar, anyone?)
When you “get up on the right side of the bed” it doesn’t mean literally, it just means you got enough good quality sleep that you are in a good mood, which makes sense. If you do not get enough sleep then you will feel tired and cranky.
However, if you do get enough sleep you will feel more chipper, happy, and will have more energy.
Little things won’t annoy you, you won’t feel angry, and you will feel content. Getting good sleep will keep you happy and calm, something that will benefit you and everyone around you as well.
If you do not get enough sleep this can lead to heart issues. Sleep helps to regulate your body and getting good sleep can prevent high blood pressure and even heart attacks.
A lack of sleep actually causes your body to start releasing cortisol which is a hormone from stress, this makes your heart work harder. Much like your immune system your heart needs a break to be able to function properly and to its full capacity if it doesn’t this can lead to problems.
This is another reason to sleep.
You might be doing great with all-nighters, and wowing your employer with the numbers you put in at night, however, if you put off a good sleep, it can actually affect your work.
Sleep and concentration are relative to one another. Getting a good night’s rest helps with cognitive function which can actually make you more successful at work.
Yet, one restless night can leave you a bit drained and frazzled which means that you will make mistakes and your coffee cup won’t be able to fix them.
You might fix that afternoon crash, extra caffeine can be a problem too. So, just sleeping well at night and having a good daytime schedule to match can fix everything.
Increases Exercise Performance
Those who are sleep-deprived won’t perform as well in physical activity. Studies were done on basketball players, and if a player didn’t sleep well they weren’t a good player.
Sleep affects all types of performance in exercise. Sleeping can enhance your hand-eye coordination, muscle memory and reaction time.
It also impacts strength and power.
This is also relative to driving, road accidents also happen due to fatigue. When you drive a vehicle you need fast reaction times in the event of an accident or actually avoiding one. Not having sufficient reaction time due to a lack of sleep can result in a road accident.
When we sleep, our minds are still working, this is why we dream. Our brains process memories as we sleep, storing them and helping our brains to stay healthy. A lack of sleep encourages forgetfulness, and memory loss.
It is totally possible that if you do not get enough sleep you will lose memories or even create false memories. It is also possible that a lack of efficient sleep for a long period could result in memory disorders as well.
Sleep is an essential part of our ability to store memories and maintain mental health too. A healthy brain is a well rested brain.
Supplements to Help You Sleep Better
The best cbd for sleep
One of the most common ways to treat insomnia and sleep disturbances is with CBD products, which include a variety of oils, lotions, gummies, bubble baths, and ointments.
The potency of CBD products that provide the best sleep aid ranges based on your individual needs, which include full-spectrum or broad-spectrum options.
Many CBD lotions and topical creams are infused with essential oils, such as lavender, citrus oil, and other ingredients that relax your body and mind in preparation for sleep.
Many CBD products are designed to improve sleep while treating other health conditions and symptoms, such as anxiety, chronic pain, and stress.
When to Take CBD Oil for Sleep
As a part of your evening routine, taking CBD oil or applying topical creams or lotions before bed can enhance your ability to enjoy a restful sleep. It’s best to use CBD between 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime for best results.
Unlike melatonin supplements and sleep medication, which are often used temporarily, CBD oils, tinctures, and similar products can offer long-term relief without adversely impacting your mood, energy levels, or overall health while promoting greater mental and physical health alertness.
CBD oil is also a safe option to introduce into your routine after an evening of gentle exercise and meditation, aiding in a restful night.
Magnesium for Sleep and Anxiety
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs to support various functions, including playing a role in several hundred metabolic reactions, regulating blood pressure, muscle contraction, and the transmission of nerve signals.
Magnesium glycinate also plays a vital role in calming your mind and body, which can lead to a better night of quality sleep while reducing the symptoms of depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
While magnesium is a common ingredient in many foods, such as dark green vegetables, seeds, and vegetables, it’s also helpful in supplement form to ensure you receive the required dosage to improve your sleep.
The Best Magnesium Spray for Sleep
An easy way to enjoy the benefits of magnesium for a quality night of rest is with a spray. Many great magnesium oil spray products are available, which offer several advantages for your health, including pain relief, calming effects, and reducing stress.
The type of magnesium spray oil you use should be free of chemicals and additives so that you receive the benefits of pure, natural magnesium, which offers anti-inflammatory properties to relieve muscle aches, chronic pain relief, improving cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
Many of our recommended magnesium oil sprays offer incredible benefits alongside relaxation techniques, such as meditation, soft music, and breathing techniques.
Melatonin For Sleep: How Long Does it Last & When Does It Work?
Melatonin is vital for a good night’s sleep. It’s a hormone naturally produced by the brain during the night or in response to a lack of sunlight. Melatonin production helps set your circadian rhythm, a 24-hour clock that helps you fall asleep at night.
The body’s inability to produce enough melatonin can significantly impact sleep quality. A dietary supplement can boost your ability to sleep well and consistently.
Melatonin supplements take approximately 30 and 60 minutes to take effect and last up to ten hours, which varies based on dosage and other factors that affect your sleeping patterns.
When you take melatonin supplements along with a regular meditation and relaxation techniques schedule, you’ll experience better sleep throughout the night, with little or no interruptions.
Since melatonin acts quickly, it’s essential to take supplements as you begin to prepare for sleep, usually one hour before bed. A doctor or sleep expert can recommend a dosage and other treatment options that improve the quality of your rest.
How Much Melatonin to Take for Sleep & Is It Safe?
Melatonin supplements are a natural, healthy way to treat insomnia and sleep discrepancies. While melatonin is a safe option for treating chronic sleeping disorders, taking just one to three milligrams before bed is essential to ease into restful sleep.
If you’re new to using this supplement, it’s best to begin with a smaller dose, especially if you experience occasional insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep at the same time every night, which can result in a delayed sleep phase syndrome and impact your mental clarity and alertness the following day.
When you begin taking melatonin, it’s essential to ensure you’re at home or where you intend to sleep so that you can enjoy the relaxing effects of the supplement before bed.
You may encounter difficulties sleeping if you travel to another time zone and experience jet lag or work evenings or overnight, which can drastically change your sleeping schedule.
How Long Does Melatonin Stay in Your System?
Melatonin often stays in your system long enough to enjoy the benefits of restful sleep. The duration of its effects depends on the dose amount and when you fall asleep.
Generally, you’ll experience a smaller dose for up to five hours, or if you take more, melatonin’s effects can last up to ten hours. It’s essential to determine when you plan to sleep so you can take the supplement one hour before bed.
The effects of melatonin on your bedtime routine vary based on other treatments you use to improve your sleep, whether it’s yoga, meditation, other gentle exercises, or breathing techniques that can enhance your body’s ability to relax and put your mind at ease. It’s also crucial to review different melatonin supplements to find the right fit and quality for your sleep difficulties.
What Tea Is Good for Sleep – Reviewing the Best Teas
Herbal teas are commonly enjoyed for their unique flavors, soothing effects, and medicinal properties. Various teas improve your ability to sleep by helping individuals who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, stress, and chronic pain.
At the same time, some herbal teas help you sleep deeply, like valerian, while others offer a gentle, relaxing effect, such as lavender, chamomile, and passionflower.
In addition to acting like a natural sedative, herbal teas that aid sleep can help calm your nerves after a stressful day or when you have difficulty falling asleep.
You’ll find many easy teas from the dried leaves of plants, flowers, and herbs, or you can purchase herbal tea blends specially formulated to help you relax and sleep well at night.
The Best Teas for Meditation
Herbal teas are ideal for meditation and relaxing techniques. These calming teas provide aromas and a pleasant taste while helping you ease into a sound slumber.
It’s essential to choose a tea blend that doesn’t contain caffeine, or a reduced amount, such as green tea, licorice, ginger, white tea, rooibos, lavender, and chamomile.
Fragrant teas also offer the benefits of aromatherapy, which can be enjoyed as you sip your favorite flavors and prepare for meditation or yoga.
How Sounds Help You Sleep Better
While noisy environments hinder our ability to get good sleep, there are some sounds that can help us.
Sadly some areas we live in can make it nearly impossible to get a perfectly quiet sleeping environment.
Yet, there is much interest in music and noises that can reduce the effects of these environmental noises that can disrupt our sleep.
It doesn’t work for everyone, but for some it is an absolute godsend.
Low Volume Music (Below 40 decibels)
Some music can cut down the time it takes for you to fall asleep and can improve the quality of sleep.
Of course, this depends on the music, and it should be no louder than 40 decibels.
Using music to aid in sleep is most effective when you have started using it regularly for around 3 weeks or so. Integrating it into your bedtime routine can teach your brain to associate relaxation with bedtime, rather than anxiety.
Some people may have anxiety about going to sleep, especially those who have relative traumas or sleep disorders, music can help.
Slow Tempo (60-80 beats per minute)
Similarly, music should also be at a slow tempo, this means no dubstep, rap, or heavy music for bedtime. However, relaxing, chill out, or calming music can actually aid you in your sleep.
Keeping your music to a low volume and at a slow tempo can help to relax the brain. This is especially efficient as a technique for people who find their brains are a little too chatty at night and may struggle to quiet their minds.
With background music you can focus on the sounds, keeping your mind quieter as you go to sleep. This makes it possible for you to fall asleep faster.
Minor Or Slow Changes To Sound
When you are choosing the music that will be helping you sleep you do not want it to be a sound that frequently changes. Sudden changes in sound may jerk you awake. For this reason if you set up a song or a playlist keep the music very similar.
If there are to be any changes, it should not be significant changes. This means you should pick the same genres, tempo, and volume level for the songs that you use to help you sleep.
There are some great types of sounds you can use for this, which we will look at later.
Smooth sounds mean a sound that is relaxing and calming, it should not be sharp or jarring. It should feel calming and relaxing, something that feels like the noise version of a warm bath or a comfy pillow.
Smooth sounds flow from one section to the next with ease. There are no sudden and brisk changes to tempo or volume. Instruments maintain a similar pace throughout the song, and it feels almost predictable.
Smooth sounds will give your brain something to concentrate on, but you are not anticipating any sudden changes which can relieve anxiety relative to sleep.
The Best Calming Music for Sleep
Do you have trouble falling asleep and ruminating or overthinking as you prepare for bed? The soothing sounds of soft music, nature, or background sounds can provide a relaxing environment, so you can rest easier and sleep well.
Classical music is a popular choice as background music, though the calming sounds of nature, such as birds singing, a rainstorm, waves, or a waterfall, can create a sense of peace, which is ideal for relaxation.
Celtic themes, singing bowls, and chimes can also reduce stress and set the atmosphere for yoga or meditation, which can help ease your mind and prepare for a restful night.
The Best Meditation Music for Sleep
Meditation is a powerful way to reduce stress, relax the body and mind, and provide numerous benefits for your health.
It’s a great mental exercise that helps slow your thoughts and reduce the effects of tension, anxiety, and symptoms from chronic health conditions and pain.
Meditation music helps improve the effects of this practice and enhances the positive outcome, which includes a better night of sleep.
Music also provides a more enjoyable experience, whether you prefer nature sounds, ambient music, Gregorian chants, chimes, singing bowls, and soothing background sounds that help reduce your blood pressure and ease you into a state of relaxation and calmness.
10 Soothing Sounds To Help You Sleep
We mentioned some examples of music that will help you sleep. So, we have noted down 10 soothing sounds that will have the above qualities to help you drift off to sleep at night.
They can range quite greatly, so there is something for everyone. Not every style will work for everyone, so try out a few different ones from this list and see which style works best for you.
We all know what white noise is, but pink noise is new news to most. It is racking up quite a lot of attention these days as a sleep aid.
It is different to white noise which is typical for giving evenly distributed attention to every frequency of sound, as instead it creates a balance of low frequency sounds and high frequency sounds that mimic natural sounds.
People who use pink noise usually spend more time in a deep slow-wave sleep. It is also believed that it would aid in boosting memory retention in your sleep.
So, for those who want to improve memory through sleep, try out pink noise.
White noise has been known to aid sleep in those who struggle with insomnia. It is also very useful for those who have to sleep in loud environments.
It is a mixture of every frequency of sound all at once, at the same level. It does a very good job of masking other noises that can disrupt sleep, which is especially important for those who may live in busy cities or have a club near their apartment or house.
It creates a steady stream of sound that can help, it has even been used to help patients in ICU units to sleep through the night better.
Does White Noise Help You Sleep?
White noise is a consistent, static noise that helps drown out the sound of distracting noises while providing calmness instead of complete silence.
The sound of household appliances, such as an air conditioner, oscillating fan, or similar device, can provide a similar pattern of sound that produces the same effect.
A significant number of individuals experience better sleep when they listen to white noise, as it provides a familiar sound similar to other color noises, such as pink and brown noise.
This spectrum of sounds varies in frequencies and offers various soothing effects, including helping babies sleep soundly throughout the night, reducing sleep disturbances, decreasing distractions, and increasing alertness and performance during the day, at work, or school.
Ocean sounds are also a popular choice. For most of us the crashing of the waves is a naturally calming sound anyway, and it transports us to a calming and relaxing seaside where we do not have a care in the world.
The sound of waves hitting the sand can be a very therapeutic noise, almost meditative.
It creates a mental state of contentment and relaxation. It can be deeply relaxing and helps your mind to focus on something other than the thoughts in your head. This makes it another brilliant sound to listen to if you find that your brain is a little too chatty at night.
Water Sounds (Rain Sounds)
You can also listen to other sounds, waterfalls, a tap not turned all the way off, a stream trickling. However, one of the favored sounds for many is the sound of rain.
Rain is a sound that we often find to be relaxing when we are all snuggled up in bed. It reminds us of cozy Sundays inside, warm, with a hot drink, hearing the rain outside.
Rain is very relaxing, although it is not when you are stuck out in it, when you are inside it is a really relaxing sound and many find that it helps them drift off to sleep easier.
Not only this but rain is a notoriously gentle sound, so there is no risk in a change of tempo or suddenly a raise in volume that could otherwise disturb your sleep.
While towns and cities remind us of the bustling activities of human life, and the adult responsibilities we have with work, stress and so on, nature reminds us of calm, contentment and peace.
There are many natural sounds that are based in the wilderness, woodland noises, jungle noises, a summer’s evening, campfires, the sounds of cicadas or frogs, or even farm animal noises.
There is quite some interesting science that talks about what this nature sounds can do for our minds, in reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression.
“Researchers have discovered that nature sounds alter the connections in our brains, reducing our fight or flight response.” – Scientific Reports Publication by Brighton and Sussex Middle School.
The Best Nature Sounds for Sleep
Nature sounds are an excellent way to improve sleep by easing your mind and relaxing your body. The most popular sounds are the gentle creek or stream, rainfall, a distant thunderstorm, singing birds, and ocean waves.
The rhythmic sounds of a flowing river or waves can help you meditate and fall asleep. Water sounds are among the most popular choices for improving sleep.
These gentle sounds of a beach shoreline or a gentle breeze flowing through the trees often remind us of a vacation or weekend getaway. It’s a fantastic escape from daily stress and challenges while providing a comforting environment for good sleep.
Soothing voices could be something like guided meditation tracks, sleep podcasts, or sleep stories. As long as a person has a soothing voice this can be extremely helpful for many. It almost borders on ASMR.
This type of soundtrack can be very useful for those with talkative minds at bedtime. It will help you to focus on what the voice is saying rather than the thoughts flying around inside your mind.
These tracks are usually done especially for sleep and will usually maintain volume and tempo.
Relaxing Music (i.e. Classical)
Some classical music can be perfect for sleep, especially calming piano tracks. Mozart has some beautiful pieces that can aid in sleep, and there are countless playlists and sleep tracks of YouTube and Spotify based on Mozart’s works that will aid in sleep.
Strings and piano are both very soothing and help your mind and body to relax in your mind and your body.
If you listen to classical music at bedtime or just before bedtime it can aid in the quality of sleep. Studies were done on young adults with sleep problems, and it was found that classical music greatly improved sleep quality in these individuals.
Meditation is known for being very beneficial for relaxation, mental health, and physical health. Meditation also helps you learn to relax your body and your mind. This will always help you get to sleep if you have trouble sleeping.
Meditation soundtracks are also useful because they do not change in tempo or in volume, they are consistent. Guided meditation or just the soundtracks can help.
If you have extra trouble getting to sleep at night you could meditate yourself to sleep, which is totally possible. Emptying your mind and relaxing your body can help you drift off faster.
Solfeggio Frequencies are useful in relaxation, they relieve pain and tension in our bodies. 174Hz frequencies help to relieve pains from the body. You can notice your breathing calming and it helps you drift off. Learn more about these sounds here.
Over the last decade there has been an increase in the interest of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) for sleep or relaxation.
Triggers for this can be whispering, or crisp sounds can provoke well-being feelings and can be very conducive to sleep.
There are many ASMR soundtracks out there, and you may find one type that appeals most to you. Some people prefer whispering tracks, others prefer the sounds of sand or more gentle sounds.
It is a form of mental stimulation that triggers a relaxing feeling and calmness, especially useful if you find it hard to ‘wind down’ at night.
Sounds That Relax YOU
Responses to sounds are very individual and unique, no one will have exactly the same tastes. Awake or asleep we all have different things that appeal to us, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures that help to relax us.
All of these things are connected to memory, and therefore it will depend. Note also that mental state will also dictate how we process audio and how we respond to it. Consider what sounds are most relaxing to you.
For some waves may keep them awake waiting for the next wave ‘crash’, meanwhile rainfall is relaxing. It is very individual and if often tied to our own experiences.
To learn more about the health benefits of music check out our in-depth article here.
The Benefits of Chakra Tuning Forks
Tuning forks are gentle and effective in treating the mind and body for various conditions while promoting improved balance and health.
Chakra tuning forks work with your body’s nervous system and natural energy, which can help restore greater well-being and a deeply relaxing experience, which is beneficial for sleep.
Treatment using these devices can be administered at home as a safe, easy way to reduce negative emotions, thoughts, stress, and anxiety.
How to Use Tuning Forks for Healing
Whether you visit a professional tuning fork therapist or use them at home, these devices offer powerful treatments that promote healing for various issues.
Tuning forks support healing in the body, including relief from headaches, chronic pain, exhaustion and stress, joint and muscle aches, digestive issues, and calming the nervous system.
With the relief of these conditions, tuning forks help promote a good night’s rest, especially for individuals with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Tuning fork therapy is commonly used with other treatments, including massage therapy, aromatherapy, psychotherapy, and chiropractic sessions.
The unique sounds produced by tuning forks interact with your body’s energy, which can provide many benefits for improved health and well-being.
The Best Crystals for Sleep
There are many helpful therapies and treatments to improve your sleep quality, including using crystals for relaxing exercises before bed.
Crystals offer various healing benefits, whether worn as jewelry, placed around your home, as decor, or in a grid formation to enhance their power.
When you place crystals in your bedroom before you sleep, you’ll improve your chances of enjoying a deep, relaxing sleep.
When learning how to sleep better, you will find that specific crystals offer potent energies and vibrations that work with your body and mind to produce powerful results.
The most popular crystals that improve sleep include rose quartz, amethyst, citrine, smokey quartz, and many others that offer unique benefits.
The Benefits of Crystals for Protection and Healing
What are the benefits of using crystals for healing and protection? Crystal therapy offers the ability to improve energy, relax your body and mind, prevent negative energy, and provide protection to ease into a quality night of rest.
They emit an earthy, healing energy that lifts, energizes, and calms the mind and body, using natural vibrations, resulting in a more peaceful and relaxed feeling.
Many people use crystals for self-care, which can help reduce stress and anxiety from a challenging day at work. The power of crystals can be used by holding them or setting intentions during aromatherapy or a massage therapy session.
They help your mind to feel at ease and your body relaxed, which can improve your ability to enjoy a sound sleep.
How to Use Healing Crystals for Anxiety
Crystal therapy is popularly used to treat anxiety systems by setting the healing stones in the chakra points of your body, in a grid formation around your room, or wearing or holding to reap the benefits of the positive energy.
Healing crystals of various sizes and types can produce different healing results when you use them separately or together. This help amplifies the positive energies in your body and mind while moving in and out of your body’s vortexes, or chakras, each associated with different colors and attributes.
The Best Pillows for Sleep
Do you prefer to sleep with a large, high-loft pillow or a flat, memory foam pillow? Many shapes and sizes of pillows, made of various materials and filling, provide accommodation based on your sleeping position.
For example, flat, thin pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers, while high, thick pillows or body-sized pillows are ideal for back and side sleepers.
There are specialized options for people who require additional support during pregnancy or for sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or other conditions.
Choosing the right pillow for sleep is essential in supporting a good night’s rest.
Is It Better to Sleep Without a Pillow?
Sleeping with a pillow is generally recommended due to the support you receive during the night. If you sleep in various positions or prefer to sleep with little or no support for your head or neck, choosing a thin pillow or forgoing one can feel less restrictive.
While sleeping without a pillow may seem ideal for some individuals, their supportive features are essential for individuals with certain conditions, such as scoliosis, neck or back pain, or sleep apnea.
Weighted Blanket for Hot Sleepers
Weighted blankets are well known for their therapeutic benefits, comfort, and relaxation, though some may produce heat due to the type of materials and filling used.
If you’re a hot sleeper, great weighted blankets feature natural fibers and materials that promote ventilation while providing all the same comfort and benefits as a heavy blanket.
They are ideal for people who experience insomnia, anxiety, stress, or depression, as these blankets’ weight and comforting sensation can help you enjoy a good night of sleep.
It’s essential to review the types of materials, filling, and sizing available to choose the right fit for a quality rest.
How Heavy Should My Weighted Blanket Be?
When you select a weighted blanket, it should be approximately ten percent of your weight. You can adjust the weight based on your comfort, such as a lighter weight if you’re new to using a heavy blanket or a slightly heavier option if this is your preference.
Many brands offer various sizes and weight options, and specific fabrics and materials contribute to the weight and comfort level, which is also essential to consider.
Do Weighted Blankets actually Help You Sleep?
How do weighted blankets work, and are they effective? The pressure from the heaviness of a weighted blanket helps prepare your body for a relaxing, deep sleep, which is crucial for people who experience difficulty sleeping throughout the night.
Weighted blankets calm your nervous system, slow your heart rate, and help you breathe easier to ease into a good night of rest with a sensation of comfort.
If you’re considering a weighted blanket, it’s essential to consider the benefits and possible drawbacks of using a heavy cover as a sleep aid.
Aromatherapy for Sleep – How It Can Help
Aromatherapy is a calming, therapeutic treatment that can improve the quality of your sleep while providing other benefits due to the pleasant fragrances, which blend one or more essential oils into the atmosphere.
These aromas are effective in various methods, whether you release them through a diffuser, scented candles, or a topical application, such as a lotion or skin cream.
You can also add a few drops of lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and other oils on your pillow or in a diffuser, before bed for a restful sleep.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to enhance the ability to relax and reduce stress while enjoying a better night of rest.
How Aromatherapy Lotion Can Help You Sleep Better
Aromatherapy lotion is a great way to treat dry or irritated skin while enjoying the benefits of essential oil fragrances and their therapeutic effects.
When you apply a cream or lotion to your skin with aromatherapy properties, you’ll find the scent of clary sage, lavender, or chamomile help you to relax and ease into a good night of sleep.
It’s a great alternative to diffusers and candles, or you can use it along with other methods to enhance the beneficial effects of specific essential oil blends.
Using Sleep Diffusers for a Good Night’s Rest
Which type of diffuser is ideal for a good night’s rest? There are many diffuser options available, whether you’re looking for an automatic, electric device that releases your favorite scent on a timer system, or a reed diffuser, which adds scent to your room through the natural method of evaporation.
The type of diffuser that works best for improving your sleep is based on how much fragrance you prefer, the strength of the scent, and how consistently the essential oils are dispersed throughout your room.
Choosing a durable diffuser made of quality materials offers safety features, such as an automatic shut-off to avoid overheating is essential.
How Do Diffusers Work?
Different types of diffusers release the scent of essential oils into the air for aromatherapy benefits, including electronic, ultrasonic, and reed diffusers.
While some diffusers dispense fragrances into the air based on vibrations, others release scent based on a timer system every hour or a specified number of minutes.
Reed diffusers use evaporation as a natural method of releasing essential oils from sticks into the atmosphere.
How Sleep Positions Can Affect Rest
The Best Sleep Positions for Hip Pain
Getting a good night of rest with hip pain is challenging, especially following a surgical position or chronic pain from arthritis, inflammation, or another condition.
Finding the proper position to relieve discomfort while supporting your body with a good-quality mattress, bedding, and a pillow to keep your spine aligned.
The Best Sleep Positions for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing to stop repeatedly during the night. Specific medical treatments are used, including a sleeping mask, which improves the quality of your rest while reducing the risks associated with this condition.
It’s also crucial to adjust your sleeping position so that your airways are open and best supported throughout the night.
Tips On How To Sleep Better
So, how can you sleep better? Well, it can be done in steps. There is no hard and fast rule to make everyone sleep better. What works for you may not work for someone else.
So, instead of giving you hard guidelines, let’s give you some tips to help you on your journey to better sleep.
Establish A Sustainable Evening Routine
The first step to sleeping better is to establish an evening bedtime routine that is easy for you to keep and is relaxing to you. It should be something that you look forward to doing at night.
Most people will have a routine that starts with brushing teeth, changing into nighttime attire, drinking some water, perhaps washing up.
You can add in other activities to this, it could be taking a warm bath, drinking a calming drink, perhaps some warm milk, or a sleep aiding tea, you could read a book, or do some meditation.
Whatever you choose, make sure that it is relaxing for you, and spare some time before your bedtime to complete these things.
Create A Sleep Music Playlist
We mentioned sleep music to help you fall asleep, you could craft your own playlist. Ideally you would want to do this on YouTube or Spotify, or just on your mobile device, as adverts can change the tempo and volume, so you want to avoid these.
You can create your own playlist for this, or you can use one already created. Try our playlist made especially for achieving good deep sleep, right here!
Cut Down Screen Time On your Devices
We don’t like admitting it, but our electronic devices are so bad for us when it comes to trying to achieve a good night’s rest. Televisions, smartphones, tablets, laptops and such all have a blue light which triggers our brains into believing it is still daytime!
This is so bad because it can totally mess up our circadian rhythm, and result in disturbed sleep or all our hard efforts failing.
Try to avoid any devices with a blue light a few hours before bed, at least 1 hour!
Some devices will have a function to remove the blue light on them and this can be useful if you absolutely have to use devices at night, although it’s better to just not use them at all.
Keep Your Bedroom Calm & Relaxing
You should turn your bedroom into a sanctuary for sleep. The ideal room for sleep should be cool, dark, and quiet. A bedroom that is too warm will disturb you throughout the night, a room that is bright will also disturb you during the night, and a room that is loud will also.
If you must have a light on, try to ensure it is a dull light and that it has orange tones so that it is not stimulating to your brain. To keep your room cool, keep a window open. However, if outside is too noisy it may be beneficial to get a quiet fan.
Keep A Sleep Journal
We are so used to keeping dream journals, why not a sleep journal? It can be worthwhile to note down how you sleep.
Something that can be highly beneficial is if you have a watch or an app that records your sleep. You can then note this down in a sleep journal to track how you sleep each night. Including the time you fell asleep, when you woke up and how long you slept for.
You can even include facts such as if you woke up to use the restroom, or if you are able to track this, how many cycles of sleep you had (light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep cycles).
Doing so can help you see your progress, and see the difference in your long-term sleeping patterns. It can be ideal motivation for you to keep up a healthy sleep schedule.
Exercising during the day will help you to feel more tired in the evening. You should avoid doing workouts too late if this interferes with your sleep. Sometimes we get a burst of energy after doing exercise, although this does not apply to everyone.
Exercise uses up energy and can help us feel more ready for sleep at a more reasonable time of day. Doing exercise is also healthy for your body overall, so it is worth doing it regardless.
Do Not Spend Too Much Time In Bed
If you find that you are still wide awake after laying in bed for 20 minutes, get up and do an activity until you start to feel tired, especially if you still feel very awake.
That being said, there are counteractive statements about this. Sometimes we just cannot sleep for some reason, we might have something exciting happening the next day which is making us anxious or nervous, keeping us awake. Our mind may not quiet, or we might be uncomfortable.
Sometimes it is better to just rest your body even if you cannot rest your mind. Of course, this depends on how long you have been trying to get to sleep and your personal situation. It is worthwhile gauging it yourself.
This is especially true if you cannot sleep, and you only have a few hours left to rest before the next day. In some cases it is better to rest your body even if you cannot rest your mind. However, it depends on you. For some doing an activity will be just what you need to get to sleep.
Moderate Your Caffeine, Nicotine & Alcohol Intake
Never drink caffeine too late. If you were to try and sleep around 11pm or midnight, ideally you should stop drinking caffeine at 3pm. This stands even for carbonated drinks that contain caffeine such as Coca-Cola.
You should also avoid alcohol before bed, as alcohol can disturb your sleep as well. It will help you fall asleep, yes, but it will then spur brain activity later on, and you will find it harder to sleep after about 4 hours or so.
Nicotine is also something that should be avoided before bed. Nicotine can also have a negative effect on the quality of sleep. Avoid having a cigarette right before bedtime.
Sure, if you haven’t slept well a nap can be just what the doctor ordered, but frequent naps can make you feel less tired in the evenings and will reduce how much sleep you get the following night.
If you do nap try to limit it to 30 minutes. However, there are nap times that will also make you feel less tired based upon the cycles of sleep. If you nap you should nap for either 20 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes. This is to prevent you feeling tired even more.
Breathing Techniques for Sleep
Practicing breathing techniques, whether box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, or another method, you’ll find significant improvement in sleep quality while reducing the effects of stress and anxiety.
These breathing techniques help you focus on your breath, calm your nervous system, and reduce the negative impact and symptoms of respiratory conditions, congestion, and other conditions.
Practicing these techniques also improves melatonin production, which is essential in helping you sleep throughout the night with minimal interruption.
Keep Routine For 3 Weeks +
Once you start a routine it is important to maintain it. You should try to be as consistent as possible. Life is random and there may be things that will impact your ability to be exact every time. However, you should still try to maintain it.
If you try to maintain your routine for at least 3 weeks, your body will start to get used to it, and you will develop your new and better sleep schedule for better sleep and therefore better all round health.
All of this will be worth it if you are determined to stick to the schedule you build for yourself and be as consistent as possible.
Sleep is a very important factor of our lives that often goes overlooked. A lack of sleep can result in irritability, low performance, memory loss, and more. In fact a broken or poor sleep schedule can typically lead to depression, and a weakened immune system.
Getting a good night’s sleep is about knowing what relaxes you, what helps you wind down at night and what you should be avoiding. If something stimulates your body or brain, it should be avoided late at night. If something relaxes you, it should be more prominent at night.
Know yourself, and get better sleep. You will feel better for it!