Wondering how to get better sleep? Rest easy with these tips and tricks.
It’s well past midnight, and you’re lying in bed: wide awake, mind racing, thinking about how to get better sleep. You have a big presentation at work, the kids have to get to school on time, and your to-do list is piling up faster than you’d like to admit. You need sleep more than anything right now, but you just can’t seem to close out all those tabs in your brain.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, you’re in good (albeit tired) company. About 50 to 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping, and approximately 35.2% of all U.S. adults reportedly get less than seven hours per night — falling below the recommended eight hours.
The pandemic hasn’t helped things in the sleep department, either. According to this article from the Harvard Gazette, “sleep is emerging as the latest casualty of the COVID-19 crisis,” meaning that the added stress brought on by uncertainty surrounding job stability, finances, health, and even politics has created a “perfect storm of sleep problems” that’s plaguing much of the country.
The good news is that your sleeping schedule doesn’t have to suffer forever — there are ways to treat acute insomnia and the occasional (or chronic) bought of sleeplessness. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is getting enough sleep so important?
Sure, you might be cranky after a restless night, but whether or not you get enough sleep affects so much more than just your mood. Rest is vital for your body and brain to function properly, which includes things like:
- Healthy brain function
- Emotional/mental wellbeing
- Physical health
- Performance, coordination, and safety
So without further ado, here’s how to get better sleep.
1. Put the phone/iPad/computer down before you get into bed.
If your pre-sleep habits involve checking emails in bed or scrolling endlessly through your social media apps, you might want to reconsider. Studies have shown that limiting screen time before bed is a surefire way to get a better night’s sleep.
Why is that? The blue light emitted by these devices limits the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm — i.e., your internal process that regulates sleep. By reducing your body’s natural production of melatonin, your body then has more difficulty falling and staying asleep.
So as difficult as it might be to put down that smartphone, don’t worry — it will be there in the morning.
2. Make sure you have a comfy setup that’s conducive to sleep.
If your mattress gives you aches and pains, your sheets are scratchy, and your pillow is a literal pain in the neck, of course you’re not going to sleep well. The same goes for your bedroom temperature: too hot, and you’ll be up sweating; too cold, and you’ll be up shivering.
If you’re wondering how to get better sleep, start by creating a comfy, cozy environment that makes you want to curl up and doze off. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature, slip into a soft (and clean!) set of sheets, and pretty soon, you’ll be sleeping better in no time.
3. Start (and keep) a consistent nighttime routine.
Do you find yourself staying up super late and sleeping in on the weekends? Are your workweek bedtimes all over the place? It might be time to change those habits. There’s a reason why we sleep train our children, after all — when you have a consistent bedtime routine, it becomes a healthy habit.
When your go-to-bed and wake-up times are all over the place, your body’s sleep-wake rhythm gets interrupted, making it more difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. It’s like when you travel across time zones — your body has no idea what time of day it is because you’re on a completely different sleep schedule!
By getting into a more consistent nighttime routine, you’ll be able to get better sleep across the board.
4. Get some exercise or movement during the day.
Your mind might be exhausted from staring at a computer screen all day, but your body sure isn’t. Try getting in some exercise during the day and see if that helps improve your sleep.
It might seem obvious that working out would make you tired, but it goes deeper than that. According to recent studies, people who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night. What’s more, consistent exercise over time has shown to also consistently improve sleep quality, too.
Exercise already has a whole other slew of health benefits, so you can go ahead and add “how to get better sleep” to the list as well!
5. Try a natural, plant-based remedy to help you sleep more soundly.
You’re probably familiar with the myriad of prescription-based sleep aids on the market — but they come with the risk of side effects and dependency, which many of us would prefer to avoid. If you’re looking for a more natural approach, however, the Sleep Support Patch or the Sleep Support Patch with CBD are both great places to start. These plant-based, hypoallergenic patches are formulated with science-backed ingredients that are proven to help you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep throughout the night.
For example, the Sleep Support Patch contains the following: chamomile, which has shown to promote sleep and relieve stress and anxiety; valerian, which helps with stress, anxiety, and getting a good night’s rest; lavender, which promotes calmness, sleep, and wellness; and finally, passionflower, which helps with anxiety and sleep.
By using nature’s own remedies, you can drift off without experiencing any next-day drowsiness. And right now, you can sign up for OnMi’s newsletter and get 15% off your first purchase!
While getting a good night’s rest is tough for so many of us, we hope this helps answer your questions about how to get better sleep. From bedtime routines to soothing, plant-based sleep aids, there are definitely better options out there than counting sheep.