5 Tips for Sleeping More Soundly, Every Night

See also: What is Sleep?

Sleep is essential for many reasons, but sadly very few of us get the rest we need. The numbers on sleep deprivation are astounding, to say the least.

As more research is done, the effect of sleep on our physical and mental health is slowly becoming apparent. We must get enough sleep to ensure peak health and performance. It is even more critical that our rest is of high quality.

Black and white image of woman sleeping.

The following are tips to ensure you are sleeping more soundly every night:

Have a Sleep Schedule

One of the most important things you can do to get more sleep is to ensure that you have a sleep schedule. The first thing is to set a time when you get to bed and wake up every day. Consistency is what will help you get enough sleep.

Even though you may disrupt your sleep schedule at the weekend, you should ensure that it does veer too far off course. Each person's program will be different, so study your sleeping patterns and discover which times best suit you.

Make Sure You're Allowing Yourself Enough Time to Sleep

When creating a sleep schedule, you should give yourself enough time to sleep. A grave mistake many people make when creating a program is limiting their sleep time. You need enough time to rest, and your actual sleep need is much higher than 5 hours.

Though you might still function on five hours of sleep, it is terrible for you. Only a minimal number of people can function on that little sleep. Cut out anything from your schedule that may prevent you from getting enough sleep, no matter how important you may think it is. Nothing is as important as getting enough rest.

Turn Off the Lights

The sun's light is a strong determinant of when we awake and go to sleep. However, we have electricity and electrical devices that have made it impossible to adhere to our natural circadian rhythms.

Therefore, if you want to sleep more soundly at night, you should turn off the lights. It would be preferable to dim the lights or shut them off completely an hour before bedtime. Blue light, in particular, is detrimental to getting high-quality sleep. Electrical devices like TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones should be off at least 2 hours before bed.

Create an Environment for Sleep

Sleep is not simply a matter of getting into bed and shutting your eyes. No matter how good your bed is, you will have trouble sleeping soundly if your bedroom or wherever you sleep is not primed for sleep.

For better sleep, you should create an environment that promotes it. Ensure that the room can be completely dark when you turn off the lights. A cool room is also better for sleep so turn down the thermostat before bedtime.

Quiet is also necessary for most people, so use earplugs or any other technique that blocks out the noise when you go to sleep.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise is another thing that can help you greatly if you want to have better and deeper sleep at night. The benefits of exercise have been proven repeatedly, but many still choose to ignore them.

Get active during the day, and it will help you during the night. The best option is to exercise outdoors as you will be getting sunlight which also helps with sleep.

Thirty minutes of exercise per day should be enough but avoid working out at night as it might be too stimulating and prevent sound sleep later on.

Try a Melatonin Supplement

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, your body's natural melatonin production may be partially responsible. While we produce the most melatonin in our infant stages, production of this chemical gradually diminishes as we get older.

To correct this problem, you can turn to the use of melatonin supplements. When taken, melatonin can help to regulate the body's circadian rhythm and induce sleep.

You can also derive melatonin from certain foods that are melatonin-rich. These include dairy products, soy, turkey, chicken, lamb, and many other foods.

Reduce Your Daily Caffeine Intake

While you already know you shouldn't drink caffeine before bed, also be careful in limiting your caffeine intake throughout the day. It can take up to 10 hours for caffeine to be completely cleared from your body. If you're drinking several cups of strong, black coffee throughout the day, you're going to have a hard time sleeping at night.

Your best bet is to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day. If you need further energy boosts throughout the day, try other natural ways of increasing your energy levels.

Avoid Oversleeping or Keeping Odd Hours

Sometimes when we have a day off to ourselves, we want to just spend the whole day in bed. But oversleeping during the day can make it harder to get your schedule back to normal.

Your body has an internal clock that tells you when to wake up and when to go to sleep. When you over-sleep, your body won't know when to go to sleep and your natural circadian rhythm will be thrown off.

So, lounging in bed all day might sound like a perfect Saturday after a busy work week, but you're going to find it difficult to fall asleep the following Sunday night.

Avoid Alcohol or THC Products Before Bed

Alcohol and THC products can make you drowsy and fall asleep easier, but they also impact the deepest type of sleep - stage 4 REM - by cutting it short.

"Toking a fatty" before bed will certainly zonk you out, but it will also reduce the quality of deep sleep you get. Many people swear by marijuana consumption to help them get to sleep at night, but scientific research also indicates that it negatively impacts REM sleep, which is the phase of sleep that refreshes and repairs our brain for the next day.

This is in fact why many habitual marijuana users report waking up in the middle of the night, and needing a few "puffs of the good stuff" to get back to sleep.

The Skills You Need Guide to Life: Looking After Yourself

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life: Looking After Yourself

Based on some of our most popular content, this eBook will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

Learn how to look after your body and mind: the fundamental first steps to personal development.

This eBook, now in its third edition, with new and revised content, is designed to make life both easier and better.

In summary, sleeping for enough hours is not enough; you should ensure that you sleep soundly. The above tips should help you get enough deep sleep to function optimally.

You can do much more to improve your sleep, which you should find out and implement. However, the tips above should give you a good start.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.