Good sleep is incredibly important.
It helps you feel good and makes your body and brain function properly.
Some people have no problem falling asleep. However, many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.
Poor sleep can have negative effects on many parts of your body and brain, including learning, memory, mood, emotions, and various biological functions
Your body temperature changes as you fall asleep. Your body cools down when you lie down and warms up when you get up
If your room is too warm, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Setting your thermostat to a cool temperature between 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C) could help.
Individual preferences will vary, so find the temperature that works best for you.
Taking a warm bath or shower could also help speed up the body’s temperature changes. As your body cools down afterward, this can send a signal to your brain to go to sleep (5).
One literature review found that taking a hot bath or shower before bed could improve certain sleep parameters, such as sleep efficiency and sleep quality.
Sleep efficiency refers to the amount of time you spend asleep in bed as opposed to lying awake.
People who took baths or showers measuring between 104°F–108.5°F (40.0°C–42.5°C) 1 to 2 hours before bedtime experienced positive results.
They reported improvements in their sleep even if their baths or showers lasted for as little as 10 minutes.
More research is needed, but these findings are promising
It’s based on breath control techniques learned from yoga, and it consists of a breathing pattern that relaxes the nervous system. It can be practiced any time you feel anxious or stressed.
Here are the steps:
- First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth and make a “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth, and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
- Hold your breath, and mentally count to 7.
- Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a “whoosh” sound and mentally counting to 8.
- Repeat this cycle at least three more times.
This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly.
Many people find that setting a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep easier.
Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.
Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it’ll be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day (8Trusted Source).
Lastly, give yourself 30–45 minutes to wind down in the evening before getting in bed. This allows your body and mind to relax and prepare for sleep (9
Light can influence your body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness.
Irregular light exposure can lead to the disruption of circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay awake (10Trusted Source).
During the day, exposing your body to bright light tells it to stay alert. Both natural daylight and artificial light, such as the kind emitted from an e-reader, have this effect on your alertness (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. In fact, research shows that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. In fact, the body secretes very little melatonin during the day (13, 14).
Get out and expose your body to sunlight or artificial bright light throughout the day. If possible, use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night.
When people are stressed, they tend to have difficulty falling asleep (15Trusted Source).
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are tools to calm the mind and relax the body. Moreover, they’ve all been shown to improve sleep (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
Yoga encourages the practice of breathing patterns and body movements that release stress and tension accumulated in your body.
Practicing one or all of these techniques can help you get a good night’s rest and wake up reenergized.
People who wake up in the middle of the night often tend to watch the clock and obsess about the fact that they can’t fall back asleep.
Clock-watching is common among people with insomnia. This behavior may cause anxiety about sleeplessness (21Trusted Source).
To make matters worse, waking on a regular basis without falling back asleep may cause your body to develop a routine. As a result, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night every night.
If possible, it’s best to remove the clock from your room. If you need an alarm in the room, you can turn your clock and avoid watching it when you wake up in the middle of the night.
Due to poor sleep at night, people with insomnia tend to be sleepy during the day, which often leads to daytime napping.
While naps of short duration have been linked to improvements in alertness and well-being, there are mixed opinions about the effects of napping on nighttime sleep.
In a study of 440 college students, the poorest nighttime sleep quality was observed in those who reported taking three or more naps per week, those who napped for more than 2 hours, and those who napped late (between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m) (22Trusted Source).
A 1996 study found that older adults who napped frequently had lower quality nighttime sleep, more depressive symptoms, and more limited physical activity. They were also more likely to be overweight than those who rarely took a nap (23Trusted Source).
A recent study of high-schoolers concluded that daytime napping led to shorter sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency (24Trusted Source).
To find out if naps are affecting your sleep, try either eliminating naps altogether or limiting yourself to a short nap (30 minutes or less) early in the day.
It seems that the food you eat before bed may affect your sleep. For example, research has shown that high-carb meals may be detrimental to a good night’s rest.
A review of studies concluded that even though a high-carb diet can get you to fall asleep faster, it won’t be restful sleep. Instead, high-fat meals could promote a deeper and more restful sleep (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
In fact, several older and newer studies agree that a high-carb/low-fat diet significantly decreased the quality of sleep compared to a low-carb/high-fat diet.
A study of 24 young adults demonstrated that sedative music promoted deeper sleep (34).
Listening to Buddhist music may be another great tool for better sleep, as it can reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. This parameter is known as sleep onset.
Buddhist music is created from different Buddhist chants and is used for meditation (35Trusted Source).
Another 50-person study revealed that those who were exposed to soothing music for 45 minutes at bedtime had a more restful and deeper sleep compared to those who didn’t listen to music (36Trusted Source).
Physical activity is often considered beneficial to healthy sleep.
However, it’s important to maintain a moderate-intensity exercise routine and not overdo it. Excessive training has been linked to poor sleep (40Trusted Source).
The time of the day when you exercise is also critical. To promote better quality sleep, working out early in the morning appears to be better than working out later in the day (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Therefore, moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning could significantly improve the quality of your sleep and how much sleep you get.
Get moving with activities like: