The 10 Best Tips to Improve Your Sleep Quality

The 10 Best Tips to Improve Your Sleep Quality

Everyone knows a quality night’s sleep is good for overall health and wellness. So why is it so hard for so many of us to get the sleep our minds and bodies need? Insomnia, irregular sleep schedules, medical issues, and raising children are many factors that negatively impact sleep quality. And when that happens, it’s detrimental to how you function in your daily life. 

Typically, adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night. Less than that, and you’re susceptible to many issues. Feeling tired and less energetic during the day, having problems with your memory and concentration, and experiencing irritability, mood swings, or higher stress levels. Over time, sleep deficits can affect your body. Including your immune system, mental health, hormones, cardiovascular health, and more.

The good news is that it’s easy to improve your sleep quality with some simple strategies. These can include choosing the right mattress type based on sleep position, cutting back on alcohol or caffeine in the evening, or regular doctor visits to address potential medical conditions like sleep apnea.

Here are 10 tips you can try to improve your sleep quality this year:

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Bright lights, loud noises, and too-warm bedrooms can make it hard to get a good night’s rest. You’ll sleep easy if your room is comfortable, cool, quiet, and dark. 

Use blackout curtains to keep outdoor light from shining in your bedroom. Set your bedroom thermostat to around 68 degrees so you don’t wake up sweating in the middle of the night. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, earplugs or a white noise machine can help you relax. And keeping your bedroom free of clutter promotes a greater sense of relaxation.

You’ll also want to have a bed you’ll want to curl up in each night. High-quality sheets, supportive pillows, and the best mattress for partners or singles, depending on your situation. You can even get an adjustable base to angle your bed position for maximum restfulness. We’ve contemplated getting an adjustable base for our mattress. Finally, we put it on our list of big-ticket items to purchase within the next few years.

water, pills and alarm clock next to a bed with low light

Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine

The body is naturally attuned to its circadian rhythm, which is why you start feeling tired at night and more alert during the day. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep when you stick to a schedule aligned with that circadian rhythm. Consistency is key. You’ll want to establish regular sleep and wake times (yes, even on weekends). This will set your internal body clock and make it easier to go to sleep—and stay asleep.

Prioritize Exercise

Working out is good for your health, and it’s good for your healthy sleep habits, too. Regular physical activity helps you sleep better and fall asleep faster, likely because it reduces stress and boosts your mood. 

You don’t have to do a hard-core workout to see the benefits. Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity (even walking) about five days a week can make a difference. Ideally, you’ll want to exercise in the morning. Evening workouts can raise your body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep.

Watch What (and When) You Eat

If you’ve ever spent the night tossing and turning after eating a dinner with rich foods, you’ll know that eating affects sleep quality. 

Try to avoid anything spicy, greasy, or heavy at night so you can avoid indigestion, heartburn, or other problems that will keep you awake. And it’s helpful to time your dinner so your body has a few hours to digest your food before going to sleep. (And that’s true for alcohol, too). 

Of course, it’s important to watch your caffeine intake before bedtime. Limit caffeinated coffee to mornings only. And try to stay away from caffeinated foods and drinks at night as well.

a person reading next to bed with low lighting

Create Relaxing Bedtime Rituals

When you’re setting that consistent bedtime, be sure to leave enough time beforehand to wind down and chill out so you can get deep, restorative sleep.

Cue your body for rest with deep breathing, meditation, gentle stretches, and other relaxation techniques. You can also use a soothing aromatherapy diffuser or pillow spray with calming essential oils like chamomile or lavender to set a serene mood. You may want to also spend a few minutes in bed winding down by reading, or listening to music or a relaxation app with nighttime stories and soundscapes. Whatever you do, though…

Disconnect from Electronics

It’s so easy to try and zonk out in front of the TV, but it’s not a good idea. Electronic devices like TVs, tablets, and smartphones emit a blue light that interferes with the body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Charge your phone overnight where it’s not within reach, and shut off all devices at least an hour before your bedtime.

Manage Stress

It’s a vicious cycle: When you’re stressed, you may stay awake at night filled with negative thoughts, and because you didn’t get enough sleep, you’ll feel even more cranky and stressed the next day.

Break the loop by reducing stress not just at night, but throughout the day. Yoga, journaling, participating in hobbies or volunteer events, and exercise can all help you relax. If your worries are persistent or you think you have signs of anxiety or depression, you may want to get support from a mental health professional.

mattresses in a store

Get the Best Mattress for You

Investing in a high-quality mattress pays huge dividends when it comes to sleep quality. There are many mattresses on the market that use advanced design and construction to offer the ideal blend of comfort and support, whether that’s memory foam, spring coils, or a combination of both.

You’ll want to shop for a mattress where you can consult with expert salespeople on selecting a mattress type based on sleep position. You’ll also want to find the right size. Shopping for the best mattress for partners is different than if you’re shopping for a mattress for yourself, or for you, your partner, your kids, and your pets (because that’s where everyone ends up at night).

Limit Naps

If you’ve been up all night with a sick child, of course you’ll want to grab some shut eye during the day if you can. But a power nap longer than 20 to 30 minutes loses its power and can interfere with your sleep schedule. Especially avoid taking a nap close to bedtime.

Don’t Hesitate to Get Help

If you try these tips and still have a sleep deficit, you may need to seek medical attention from your healthcare provider or a sleep specialist. They can run any necessary tests, evaluate your condition, and make treatment recommendations, if needed.

Sleep Well!

When you’re getting enough sleep every night, you feel the difference. You are refreshed and energetic, mentally sharp and emotionally strong. You’ll lower your risk of illness because your immune system is stronger, and you’ll reduce your risk of chronic medical conditions. You don’t have to dream about good sleep any longer—make it a reality starting tonight.

"The 10 Best Tips to Improve Your Sleep Quality" with picture of a bed and nightstand with a lamp

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