TEN Tips For Getting Better Sleep

How To Get Better Sleep

Regardless of age, we all need some help now and then in getting to sleep. So, try these sleeping tips instead of just popping a pill that can be habit-forming and lead to more sleep problems in the long term. One or more of them will surely help.

Have a hot bath.

Make sure the water is not uncomfortably hot. The heat of the water relaxes the muscles and causes the core body temperature to drop afterward, which sends a sleep signal to the brain. It is excellent for children too. It only works for baths, though, not showers!

Get more light during the day.

It is vital for good sleep at night. Our brains are hard-wired to go to sleep when it is dark and wake when light. Not getting enough light during the day will deprogram our biological clock. Once our circadian rhythm has been upset, our brain will not receive the sleep signal when we are ready to sleep.
Even if you work long hours, try to get outside into the sunshine for a while at lunchtime. If you live in a part of the world with short days in winter, install a bright light at home and sit under it for at least 30 minutes. It should be enough to keep that biological clock ticking!

It is good not to watch TV in bed. Even if the program is dull, the TV screen's bright, flickering light will work against your natural sleep patterns!

Do not lie in bed and worry about not sleeping.

It will only cause stress and make sleep even harder to achieve. If you are concerned about not sleeping, get something to drink like coco or warm milk. Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea. Find something to read. Stay up until you feel sleepy again, and then go back to bed.

Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.

It reinforces the natural biological rhythm and helps your brain send a sleep signal. As a result, you will develop a habit essential to better sleep. Of course, you will not be able to do this every night, and there will be nights when you might go out to a gathering or dinner with friends! However, if you manage most nights, this will still work well.

Do not go to bed until you are tired.

Yes, I know! It sounds like a direct contradiction of the previous tip! The logic behind this is that if you are not sleepy, you will lie in bed awake and start worrying about not going to sleep. The essential part of all this is to get up at the same time every morning, no matter what time you went to bed the night before.

Eventually, you will feel very sleepy at your usual bedtime. Getting up in the morning when you are still tired is not easy, but it will help in the longer term. Stick with it!

Keep a sleep diary.

Keeping a diary, although it may be tedious, will give you an idea of your sleep patterns.  It will be a necessary record if you ever decide to visit a sleep clinic for help. Some people have done this and found their sleeping problems disappeared of their own accord! The asleep diary should include the following:
What did you have for dinner?
What did you drink after dinner?
Did you nap during the day?
What time do you go to bed?
How long does it take you to fall asleep?
Did you wake up during the night?
What time did you wake up in the morning?
How you rate your sleep quality (1-10)
Record anything else you may observe about your sleep.
Do this every day for a few weeks, and you should see a pattern emerging. In addition, it will give you invaluable information on your sleep habits and routines.

Develop an evening ritual.

It would help if you did the same things at the same time each night. It programs the unconscious mind that you are preparing for sleep. For example, brush your teeth, put the cat out, and check the doors' locks. Do each step in the same order. It may sound simplistic, but it can work well.

Exercise more during the day.

Exercise relaxes the body and mind, is suitable for your health, and helps with weight loss. Even walking just 30 minutes a day will help. If walking's not your thing, try Yoga or Qigong. Both are soothing and will relax you. If no classes are near you, videos or CDs are readily available.


Practice muscle relaxation.

You can do this during the day or after going to bed. Practice tensing and relaxing each muscle group, starting at the top of the head and gradually working down to the toes. It relaxes the body and distracts you from worrying thoughts while performing it.


Write down worries before going to bed.

There is always something to worry about, isn't there? These things can keep you awake when your mind does not let go. Solution? Have a worrying time before going to bed. Think of all the current problems in your life and write them down. Then, decide to do something about them the following day.
If you start to think about any of those things while trying to sleep, tell yourself, "It is ok; I've made a note of it, and I'll handle it tomorrow."
Sweet dreams!
Pat Bracy

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2 years ago

This is a good article I need to try going to sleep at the same time every night 💤

2 years ago

Great blog post very helpful tips to achieving quality sleep I especially like the recommendation of keeping a sleep diary and to not work that you are not sleeping but to find something to read. This usually helps me.

Laverne Haynes
2 years ago

Ok, I must admit, I need more sunlight in my life. I guess this 98 degree temp causes me to avoid it. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up the same same time in the morning is something that I will try. The bedtime journal/diary is also a good idea for monitoring sleep habits.

Queen Young-Wynn
2 years ago

I did not know that not getting enough light during the day affects my biological clock. So now when I wake up in the mornings I open my blinds and drapes to let the light come through. The sleep diary is something I am going to try for a few weeks.