10 tips to improve your sleep over time
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want better sleep. In fact, a reported 7 out of 10 Americans aren’t getting enough restorative sleep. However, while the goal of “getting better sleep” may sound relatively simple, its fix can in fact be quite nuanced, as there are many facets that play a role in sleep quality. The good news is that many of these improvements can be found by making certain lifestyle tweaks.
Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or just want to improve the quality of your sleep, here are some techniques you can use now to help make improvements over time.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day – even on weekends. While sleeping in may sound like a great way to “catch up” on sleep, it can actually give you a similar feeling to jet lag when you do finally wake.
- Create a calming bedtime routine: This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, practicing relaxation techniques – whatever is most soothing for you. For Bryte members, Somnify’s synchronization of sound and gentle bed motion is a great option.
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly: It should be cool, quiet, and dark. Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out any light that might disturb your sleep. A white noise machine or earplugs can block out noise as you drift off.
- Limit your exposure to screens: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body's production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. Try turning off all electronics about an hour before bed to let yourself wind down more naturally.
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol: We’re not saying you need to completely cut these out of your life, as they can both be OK in moderation. However, try to enjoy them earlier in the day to cut down on their negative effects on sleep.
- Exercise regularly: You don’t need to be a serious athlete to enjoy the sleep benefits of exercise. Instead, focus on moving your body in a way that feels good for you. Be careful with timing however, as exercising too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Eat a healthy diet: You may want to avoid heavy, spicy, or rich foods before bedtime, as indigestion can disrupt sleep. Instead, choose foods that are easier to digest and try to eat your last large meal several hours before bedtime.
- Be careful with naps: While short naps can be refreshing for some people, too much can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. If you do enjoy naps, try to keep them shorter and earlier in the afternoon to ensure you can still fall asleep at night.
- Pay attention to stress: We get it – it’s so easy for stress to accumulate. While completely eliminating it may not be realistic, try working in stress-management techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to relax before bed.
- Seek professional help if needed: We all need help from time to time. If you’re consistently having trouble sleeping, a healthcare professional can be incredibly beneficial in identifying any underlying conditions that might be disrupting your sleep.
As you look to improve your sleep, try to incorporate practices that feel sustainable for you. If that means adding one new technique now instead of all 10 listed above, that’s great. Over time, you’ll find what feels best and has the most positive impact for your lifestyle and your sleep.