10 Helpful Tips for Better Sleep You Need to Try Tonight

10 Helpful Tips for Better Sleep You Need to Try Tonight

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people struggle with sleep issues that leave them feeling tired and unrefreshed. Here are some sleeping tips to help you get the rest you need, including some off-the-beaten-path tips you may not know about. Whether you have chronic insomnia or you just know you’re not getting adequate sleep each night, it’s a good idea to evaluate your sleep habits. Here are ten tried-and-true tips for better sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Melatonin can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and improve sleep quality.
  • Blue light glasses can reduce exposure to blue light from screens, promoting better sleep.
  • A white noise machine can create a soothing environment that helps you fall asleep faster.
  • Weighted blankets provide a sense of security and can reduce anxiety, leading to better sleep.
  • Herbal teas like chamomile can relax your body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep.

1. Melatonin

melatonin supplement on bedside table

Melatonin is a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. It is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain, primarily in response to darkness. This hormone signals to your body that it is time to sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

How Melatonin Works

Melatonin production is influenced by the amount of light you are exposed to. In our modern society, we often get too much artificial light exposure in the evening, which can impact our natural melatonin levels. To maximize your body's natural melatonin production, try dimming the lights in your home and lessening screen time in the last hour before bed.

Benefits of Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin supplements can be particularly helpful for individuals who have difficulty falling asleep or suffer from conditions like insomnia or jet lag. These supplements are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquid. You can start with a low dose and work your way up, but it is advisable to check with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Safety and Considerations

While melatonin is generally considered safe for short-term use, long-term effects are not well studied, especially in children. Always consult a healthcare professional if you are considering melatonin as a sleep aid for your child. Additionally, melatonin may interact with other medications, so it is important to discuss its use with your doctor.

In some ways, we are a dark-deprived society. Many of us get too much artificial light exposure in the evening, which can impact our natural melatonin levels.

Practical Tips for Natural Melatonin Production

  • Dim the lights in your home in the evening.
  • Reduce screen time in the last hour before bed.
  • Use blackout curtains and under-door draft stoppers to darken your room.
  • Set your room temperature to 65-68° F.

By following these tips, you can help your body produce melatonin naturally, promoting better sleep quality and overall health.

2. Blue Light Glasses

person wearing blue light glasses using a laptop in bed at night

Blue light, which electronic devices like smartphones and computers give off in large amounts, is the worst type in this regard. Harvard research shows that blue light suppresses melatonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating the body’s sleep cycle. Studies have also linked blue light exposure to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Benefits of Blue Light Glasses

Wearing blue light glasses can help mitigate the negative effects of blue light exposure. These glasses are designed to block or filter out the blue light given off by digital screens. By doing so, they help maintain melatonin levels, thereby promoting better sleep quality.

How to Use Blue Light Glasses Effectively

To maximize the benefits of blue light glasses, it is recommended to wear them at least two hours before bedtime. This practice helps in reducing nighttime blue light exposure, which can otherwise disrupt your sleep cycle.

Additional Tips

  • Turn off the TV, other devices, and any bright lights two hours before bed.
  • Consider using apps that reduce blue light emission from screens.
  • Combine blue light glasses with other sleep hygiene practices for optimal results.
Be mindful of the presence of gadgets and electronics, such as computers, phones, tablets, and TVs. The backlit 'blue light' displays suppress melatonin production – the hormone that helps you sleep; the suppression of melatonin causes sleep disruption.

3. White Noise Machine

person sleeping peacefully with a white noise machine on the bedside table

A white noise machine can be an effective tool for improving sleep quality by minimizing disruptive sounds. These devices produce a consistent sound that can mask other noises, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Keeping noise to a minimum is crucial for a sleep-friendly environment, and a white noise machine can help achieve this.

Benefits of Using a White Noise Machine

  • Masks Disruptive Sounds: By producing a consistent sound, white noise machines can effectively mask noises that might otherwise disturb your sleep.
  • Promotes Relaxation: The steady sound can create a calming atmosphere, helping you to relax and fall asleep more easily.
  • Improves Sleep Quality: By reducing the likelihood of being woken up by sudden noises, a white noise machine can contribute to more restful and uninterrupted sleep.

How to Choose the Right White Noise Machine

When selecting a white noise machine, consider the following factors:

  1. Sound Options: Some machines offer a variety of sounds, such as rain, ocean waves, or fan noises. Choose one that you find most soothing.
  2. Volume Control: Ensure the machine has adjustable volume settings so you can find the perfect level for your needs.
  3. Portability: If you travel frequently, a portable white noise machine can be a convenient option.
  4. Additional Features: Some machines come with extra features like timers, night lights, or alarm clocks. Decide which features are important to you.

Tips for Using a White Noise Machine Effectively

  • Placement: Position the machine near your bed but not too close to your ears to avoid potential hearing damage.
  • Volume: Set the volume at a level that is loud enough to mask disruptive sounds but not so loud that it becomes a disturbance itself.
  • Consistency: Use the white noise machine every night to help your body get used to the sound and improve your sleep quality over time.
A white noise machine can be a valuable addition to your sleep routine, helping to create a more restful environment and improve overall sleep quality.

4. Weighted Blanket

person sleeping with a weighted blanket

Benefits of Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets have been shown to provide a range of benefits for individuals struggling with sleep issues. The firm but gentle pressure exerted by these blankets can help lower physiological symptoms of stress, such as a rapid heart rate. This pressure, often referred to as Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS), can make you feel less anxious and more relaxed, thereby promoting better sleep.

How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket

When selecting a weighted blanket, consider the following factors:

  1. Weight: The blanket should be about 10% of your body weight.
  2. Material: Choose a material that suits your comfort needs, such as cotton, fleece, or a cooling fabric.
  3. Size: Ensure the blanket covers your body adequately but is not too large for your bed.

Tips for Using a Weighted Blanket

To maximize the benefits of your weighted blanket, follow these tips:

  • Use the blanket consistently every night.
  • Make sure the blanket is evenly distributed over your body.
  • Pair the blanket with other sleep aids like a white noise machine or essential oils for a more comprehensive approach to better sleep.
If you struggle with insomnia, anxiety, or another condition that makes sleep difficult, a weighted blanket may help you relax more easily, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer.

For more information, you can refer to our [comprehensive guide on valerian supplements for better sleep](https://www.example.com/blogs/health-articles/soothing-sleep-and-more-the-comprehensive-guide-to-valerian-supplements).

5. Essential Oils

aromatherapy oils on bedside table with cozy bedroom setting

Benefits of Essential Oils for Sleep

Essential oils have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. They work by stimulating the olfactory system, which can influence brain activity and promote a sense of calm. Some essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, are particularly effective in reducing anxiety and improving sleep onset.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are several ways to incorporate essential oils into your bedtime routine:

  1. Diffusion: Use an essential oil diffuser to disperse the aroma throughout your room.
  2. Topical Application: Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil and apply to your skin, particularly on pulse points like wrists and temples.
  3. Bath: Add a few drops of essential oil to your bathwater for a relaxing soak before bed.

Popular Essential Oils for Sleep

Here are some of the most popular essential oils known to aid sleep:

  • Lavender: Known for its calming and sedative properties.
  • Chamomile: Helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Bergamot: Can help to alleviate stress and improve mood.
  • Sandalwood: Known for its grounding and calming effects.
Incorporating essential oils into your nightly routine can be a simple yet effective way to enhance your sleep quality. Whether through diffusion, topical application, or a relaxing bath, these natural remedies offer a holistic approach to better sleep.

6. Sleep Mask

person wearing a sleep mask in a cozy bedroom at night

A sleep mask can be an effective tool for improving sleep quality by blocking out excess light. Exposure to light, especially during the night, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interfere with your body's production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. By wearing a sleep mask, you can create a dark environment that is conducive to falling asleep and staying asleep.

Benefits of Using a Sleep Mask

Using a sleep mask offers several benefits:

  • Blocks out light: Prevents light from interfering with your rest, helping you transition to bedtime more easily.
  • Promotes melatonin production: Contributes to your body's natural production of melatonin, aiding in better sleep.
  • Portable and convenient: Easy to carry and use anywhere, making it ideal for travel.

Choosing the Right Sleep Mask

When selecting a sleep mask, consider the following factors:

  1. Material: Choose a mask made from soft, breathable fabric to ensure comfort.
  2. Fit: Ensure the mask fits snugly but not too tightly, to avoid discomfort.
  3. Design: Opt for a design that effectively blocks out light and suits your personal preferences.

Incorporating a Sleep Mask into Your Routine

To maximize the benefits of a sleep mask, incorporate it into your evening rituals. Here are some tips:

  • Consistency: Use the mask every night to help your body adjust to the new routine.
  • Pair with other sleep aids: Combine the mask with other aids like earplugs or white noise machines for a more restful environment.
  • Maintain a dark environment: Even with a sleep mask, try to minimize light exposure in your bedroom for optimal results.
A sleep mask is a simple yet effective tool that can significantly improve your sleep quality by creating a dark, restful environment. By incorporating it into your nightly routine, you can enhance your overall sleep hygiene and enjoy more restful nights.

7. Blackout Curtains

bedroom with blackout curtains at night

Benefits of Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are an effective way to block out light and improve your sleep quality. Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. By using blackout curtains, you can create a dark environment that promotes the production of melatonin, a hormone that encourages sleep. This is particularly useful if you are disturbed by street lights outside your window or bright sunlight early in the morning.

How to Choose the Right Blackout Curtains

When selecting blackout curtains, consider the following factors:

  • Material: Opt for heavier fabrics or those with extra lining to ensure maximum light blockage.
  • Size: Make sure the curtains cover the entire window to prevent any light from seeping through the edges.
  • Color: Darker colors are generally more effective at blocking light.

Installation Tips

Proper installation is crucial for the effectiveness of blackout curtains. Here are some tips:

  1. Measure your windows accurately to ensure a good fit.
  2. Install the curtain rod higher and wider than the window frame to minimize light leakage.
  3. Consider using under-door draft stoppers to further darken your room.
In some ways, we are a dark-deprived society. Many of us get too much artificial light exposure in the evening, which can impact our natural melatonin levels.

By following these guidelines, you can create a sleep-friendly environment that helps you transition to bedtime more easily and improves your overall sleep quality.

8. Herbal Tea

person drinking herbal tea before bed

Benefits of Herbal Tea

Herbal teas have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. They are often caffeine-free and contain natural ingredients that can help to calm the mind and body. Some popular herbal teas for sleep include chamomile, valerian root, and lavender.

How to Choose the Right Herbal Tea

When selecting an herbal tea for sleep, it's important to consider the specific ingredients and their effects. For example, chamomile is known for its calming properties, while valerian root can help to reduce anxiety. Look for teas that are specifically labeled for sleep or relaxation.

Preparation Tips

To get the most out of your herbal tea, follow these preparation tips:

  1. Use fresh, filtered water.
  2. Steep the tea for the recommended amount of time, usually 5-10 minutes.
  3. Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners, as they can interfere with sleep.
  4. Drink the tea about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Herbal teas can be a simple and effective way to improve your sleep quality. By choosing the right tea and preparing it correctly, you can create a relaxing bedtime routine that promotes better rest.

9. Comfortable Mattress

person sleeping comfortably on a mattress

A comfortable mattress is essential for a good night's sleep. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Ensuring your mattress is both comfortable and supportive can significantly impact your sleep quality.

Importance of Mattress Comfort

According to a 2021 research review, medium-firm mattresses may be a good choice for comfort and to avoid back pain. However, the best mattress and bedding for you are extremely subjective. If you’re upgrading your bedding, base your choice on personal preference.

Mattress Types and Preferences

When selecting a mattress, consider the following types:

  • Memory Foam: Known for its ability to contour to the body, providing support and pressure relief.
  • Hybrid: Combines the benefits of innerspring and memory foam mattresses.
  • Innerspring: Traditional mattresses that offer strong support and durability.
  • Latex: Offers a bouncy and responsive feel, often made from natural materials.

Mattress Longevity

Most mattresses have a lifespan of about 9 to 10 years. Over time, even the best mattresses can lose their supportive qualities, leading to discomfort and poor sleep quality. Regularly evaluating the condition of your mattress can help you determine when it’s time for a replacement.

Investing in a supportive mattress and pillow helps ensure that your spine gets proper support to avoid aches and pains.

Personalized Comfort

In a 2024 review, researchers examined nine studies on sleep quality involving various bedding and sleepwear materials, including cotton, polyester, wool, duck down, goose down, polyester, linen, and a blend of cotton and polyester. The findings suggest that personal preference plays a significant role in determining the best mattress and bedding for each individual.

10. Adjustable Bed

person sleeping comfortably on an adjustable bed

Benefits of Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds offer numerous benefits that can significantly improve your sleep quality. They allow you to customize your sleeping position, which can help alleviate various health issues such as acid reflux, sleep apnea, and back pain. By elevating your head or legs, you can reduce pressure points and improve circulation, leading to a more restful night's sleep.

Features to Look For

When choosing an adjustable bed, consider features such as remote control functionality, multiple preset positions, and massage options. Some models also come with USB ports and under-bed lighting, adding convenience to your sleep environment. It's essential to select a bed that meets your specific needs and preferences.

How to Use an Adjustable Bed

Using an adjustable bed is straightforward. Most models come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the bed's position with ease. Start by experimenting with different settings to find the most comfortable position for you. Many health articles recommend elevating your head slightly to reduce snoring and improve breathing.

An adjustable bed can be a game-changer for your sleep quality, offering personalized comfort and support.

Cost and Investment

While adjustable beds can be more expensive than traditional beds, they are a worthwhile investment for those seeking to improve their sleep quality. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the features and brand. Consider this an investment in your overall well-being and long-term health.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining an adjustable bed is relatively simple. Regularly check the bed's mechanical parts and ensure they are functioning correctly. Clean the mattress and bed frame as needed to keep your sleep environment hygienic. Proper care will extend the life of your adjustable bed, making it a valuable addition to your bedroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is melatonin and how does it help with sleep?

Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces in response to darkness. It helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep faster, especially if you have trouble sleeping due to jet lag or shift work.

How do blue light glasses improve sleep quality?

Blue light glasses block or filter out blue light emitted by digital screens. Reducing exposure to blue light in the evening can help improve sleep quality by preventing the disruption of your natural sleep-wake cycle.

What is the benefit of using a white noise machine?

A white noise machine produces a consistent sound that can help mask background noises, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can be especially useful for people who live in noisy environments.

How does a weighted blanket help with sleep?

Weighted blankets provide gentle pressure across your body, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. This can make it easier to fall asleep and improve the overall quality of your sleep.

Are essential oils effective for better sleep?

Certain essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, have calming properties that can help you relax and prepare for sleep. Using them in a diffuser or applying them to your skin before bedtime can improve sleep quality.

What should I consider when choosing a comfortable mattress?

When choosing a mattress, consider factors like firmness, material, and your sleeping position. A mattress that provides good support and comfort can significantly improve your sleep quality.

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