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Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. Its impact on various aspects of our physical, mental, and emotional health is profound and often overlooked.

Getting a good night’s rest is vital to many functions in our body including our cardiovascular health, weight management, hormone regulation, pain perception, cognitive function, and more. Chronic sleep deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of various health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even certain cancers.

Check out these sleep hygiene tips to help you get a better night’s rest by improving the quality and duration of sleep.

Stick to a consistent sleep schedule

Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and promotes better sleep.

Use a sleep calculator

If you’ve never heard of or used a sleep calculator, you need to try it to help get a good night’s rest. Sleep calculators take into account the average duration of sleep cycles, which typically last around 90 minutes. These calculators suggest waking up at the end of a sleep cycle, helping individuals wake up feeling more refreshed and alert.

When you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, you tend to feel more groggy and like you need more sleep. On the other hand, at the end of your sleep cycle, you wake up feeling more refreshed and alert. You typically want to get 4 to 6 sleep cycles per night.

A sleep calculator will either calculate the best time to wake up if you want to go to sleep right away or the best time to go to sleep if you want to wake at a certain time.

Use this sleep calculator here for a better night’s rest

Create a conducive sleep environment

Make your bedroom a sleep-friendly space. Keep the room dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. There are some great things you can buy to upgrade your bedroom to a more sleep-friendly environment.

Room darkening shades or curtains

Grab a set of room-darkening shades or curtains to create a darker room for sleep. If you’re doing curtains, I recommend raising them up above the window line to reduce the amount of light coming into your room in the morning.

Eye mask

If you can’t modify your environment, consider an eye mask to reduce light. This is even an excellent option for traveling.

Earplugs

Earplugs are great if your partner snores or if you sleep in a noisy environment. These are also great to take during travel to help you get a better night’s rest.

White noise machine

A white noise machine can help reduce background noise to help you rest easier. You can even download one like the White Noise app to use on your phone too. You can choose from white noise sounds or environment sounds like crashing waves, thunderstorms, or other soothing sounds.

Limit exposure to screens before bed

The blue light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers can interfere with sleep. Avoid using screens at least an hour before bedtime, or use blue light filters or night mode settings on your devices. You can also grab some blue light-blocking glasses to wear throughout the day or at least an hour before bedtime to help.

Establish a pre-sleep routine

Engage in relaxing activities before bed to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This could include reading a book, taking a warm bath, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, or listening to calming music.

You can add essential oils to your pre-sleep routine to help with relaxation and prepping for bed. Oils such as lavender, chamomile, valerian, bergamot, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, frankincense, and sandalwood are thought to help with calming and reducing stress to help get you ready for bed. You can set up a diffuser or use a roller ball to apply directly to your skin.

Avoid stimulants close to bedtime

Limit or avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially in the evening. These substances can interfere with sleep quality and make it harder to fall asleep.

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity during the day can promote better sleep. Aside from the many health benefits associated with a regular exercise routine, it will also help with your sleep patterns. Studies have shown that regular exercise is associated with longer sleep duration and improved sleep quality. Exercise has been linked to increased time spent in deep sleep, which is the most restorative stage of the sleep cycle.

However, try to finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime, as exercising too close to bedtime can stimulate the body and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Manage stress and worries

Practice stress management techniques, such as prayer, journaling, mindfulness, or engaging in relaxation exercises, to help calm your mind before bed.

If you find yourself ruminating on worries, consider writing them down or creating a to-do list to offload your thoughts.

Avoid heavy meals and fluids close to bedtime

Eating a large meal or consuming excessive fluids before bed can cause discomfort, indigestion, or the need for frequent nighttime bathroom trips. Aim to have dinner at least a few hours before bedtime and limit fluid intake close to bedtime to minimize disruptions.

Make your bed a sleep-only zone

Reserve your bed for sleep and intimate activities. Avoid using it for work, studying, or other stimulating activities to associate your bed with relaxation and sleep.

Seek natural light exposure

Get exposure to natural light during the day, particularly in the morning. Natural light helps regulate your body’s internal clock and promotes better sleep-wake patterns.


Remember, everyone’s sleep needs are unique, so it’s important to find what works best for you. If you continue to have persistent sleep difficulties, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for further evaluation and guidance.