Knowing how to get a better nights sleep is the secret to living a healthier life, mentally and physically.
Conversely, poor sleep or a lack of really good sleep can have quite a bad effect on your health.
Far more than you may realise.
In fact, poor sleep has been scientifically linked to weight gain, infertility, heart disease, poor immune system, diabetes, memory loss, mood swings and more. Harvard University also found even your life expectancy can be shortened by not getting enough sleep.
Sleep really is the golden key to life.
The good news is that there are there are some natural ways in which you can get into that amazingly deep and restful slumber. So put our methods to the test and let us know how they work for you.
When reading these 10 Simple ways to Better Sleep take notice of the ones where you’re doing the exact opposite. It’ll give you good insight into just how much you’re working against yourself and why a good nights sleep has been so elusive to you.
1. Develop a Bedtime Ritual
Our body clocks are wired to respond to a rhythm around sleep. So the best way to take advantage of this is to develop a simple time based ritual around bedtime.
Start your bedtime ritual at the same time each evening. This is crucial as it develops a solid pattern to which your mind and body will respond positively to.
Try going to bed at the same for one week and see just how this alone makes such a difference.
2. Turn Down The Lights
Turning off the lights might seem like a simple and obvious tip but you would be surprised why this works so well when timed with your bedtime ritual. Turning on a soft light such as a floor lamp or lighting a candle is ideal.
It’s powerful because our bodies release a chemical in our brain called melatonin in response to light or more accurately a lack of it.
When you match light reduction with your bed time, you’ll trigger the release of melatonin and the sleepiness starts to kick in.
3. Avoid Device Activity
30 minutes prior to actually getting into bed, try and eliminate all activity with your phone or tablet. Try and even eliminate watching any TV 30 minutes prior to getting into bed.
If you turn down the lights but the light from your high resolution phone or tablet directly is in your face then you’re stopping that melatonin from being released.
The longer you’re on your device the less likely the sleepiness will kick in because the light is working against you.
If you absolutely must be on your phone dial the brightness setting down to the lowest setting possible.
4. Take a Nice Hot Shower or Bath
A study at the University of Texas found that when you take a hot shower or bath before bedtime your body, being the amazing thing that it is, actually releases heat and REDUCES your bodies core temperature.
It may seem the exact opposite of what you’d think but when you place yourself in hot surroundings, like a hot shower or bath, your body tries to get your core body temperature down. It’s simply trying to keep everything in balance otherwise you risk overheating.
The effect of lowering the core temperature also triggers the body to release melatonin, that sleep inducing chemical we explained earlier.
The ideal time to do this is 1hr before bedtime.
Breathing is of course something we all do naturally, but learning to breathe in order to relax is a whole lot different.
Try the breathing method called the 4-7-8. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and then breathe out for 8 seconds.
Harvard-educated doctor and author Andrew Weil says that this 4-7-8 breathing technique is like a tranquilliser for the nervous system.
6. Listen to Some Relaxing Music
Soothing sounds have a way of relaxing our mind and reducing tension. Tension is the last thing we want when we are trying to develop a solid sleep ritual.
Spotify and Apple Music are great ways of listening to your favourite tunes. It’s the ideal place to find your sleepy time sounds but beware it’s not the time for your favourite playlist of stompin’ beats.
Try and find music with 60 beats per minute. This was found to be the optimum rhythm for tuning your body into its natural sleep mode.
This ‘sleep beat’ music before bedtime will not only improve your sleep quality but also your sleep efficiency as well.
7. Make a List
As a part of your bedtime ritual make a simple dot point list of the things you need to tackle tomorrow.
Each point should be short and concise because its really just a reminder for you to review tomorrow and helps your mind release prior to going to sleep.
A study at Baylor University found that those who wrote a to-do-list before bedtime fell asleep 9-10 times faster than those who didn’t.
Simply writing down your list somehow helps you get your mind off what it actually is.
8. Essential Oils Inhalation
15 Studies conducted between 1990 and 2014 all show conclusive evidence that inhalation of certain essential oils increased the amount of slow and deep wave sleep in those who took part in the studies.
Our Nest and Temple No.2 Smelling Salts contain the ideal combination of pure and powerful Essential Oils infused with Himalayan salts to activate slow and deep wave sleep.
The stylish glass jar can be left beside your bed as part of your bedtime ritual.
9. Read Some Pages of a Book
Reading fiction books in bed is a great way to get your brain to relax.
Ideally, you want to be reading an actual book under soft light and not reading from your phone or tablet.
Interestingly, a 1000 person survey by SleepJunkie found that people who read fiction before bedtime earned more money, made healthier choices and had a better outlook on life.
Reading fiction’s important because it doesn’t require you to be introspective or use a great deal of brain power whereas reading non-fiction can require you to be more reflective or activate your alert response which are both killers for getting you into sleep mode.
10. Muscle Relaxation Technique
If you’re struggling to sleep right this minute then a sure way to get you snoozing is this muscle relaxation technique developed by Edward Jacobson in 1930.
The idea is to simply tense your muscles then relax them starting from your outer limbs.
While lying in bed, start by tensing the arch of your feet, hold for 5 seconds then instantly release the tension and feel the weight of your feet on the bed. Feel how heavy they are, how much heavier than you thought they were. Think and feel the weight of them for at least 20 seconds.
Now tensing the calves in your legs, hold for 5 seconds then instantly release the tension and feel the weight of your calves on the bed. Feel how heavy they are, how much heavy than you thought they were. Think and feel the weight of them for at least 20 seconds.
Repeat this for every muscle group and you’ll be asleep faster than you ever imagined.