November 20, 2020
One of the easiest ways to improve your energy, mood, and weight loss is to GET MORE SLEEP! Learn how to improve your sleep with these Must-Know Sleep Tips sure to change your life!
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my sleep. When I was a kid, I could never get enough sleep and always struggled to get to school on time.
When you’re young, you can always use growing as an excuse for needing more sleep, but that feeling has stayed with me well into adulthood.
I might have a pretty good excuse for being tired all the time with my Hashimoto’s Disease and hypothyroidism (you can read more about that here), but if I’m really being honest with myself, there is so much more I can do to improve my sleep quality and duration.
Can you relate?
If you’re like me and finally ready to stop making excuses, you need to try these 25 Easy Sleep Tips that will transform your life!
You might think I’m being dramatic when I say your whole life will be changed by getting more sleep, but I honestly couldn’t believe how much better I felt after following these quick and easy sleep protocols. I only wish I had done something sooner!
So let’s get to it! If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep – or even just suspect your body needs a little more sleep – be sure to follow my Top 25 Favorite Sleep Tips that will help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized every day!
For more health and sleep tips, check out the following:
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Most of us have probably experienced some sort of insomnia. Maybe you’re having a particularly stressful time at work that makes it difficult to calm your mind enough to fall asleep, or you wake up at 2 a.m. and toss and turn for hours.
Most adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but the majority of Americans are not reaching that goal.
Lack of sleep can have serious effects on health, including reduced brain and cognitive function, weight gain and obesity, heart disease, adrenal fatigue, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, stroke, decreased sex drive, reduced work performance, increased accidents, and much, much more.
So it really isn’t an exaggeration to say that your sleep problems might be making you fat, and it’s certainly making you tired, grumpy, and miserable!
Since Sarah Blooms is all about improving your health and fitness and helping you feel amazing, we’re going to start with improving your sleep quality.
Because it’s one of the easiest ways to get your health back on track.
Let’s get started!
We all know that eating more whole foods can improve your health and weight loss, but did you know it can improve your sleep, too?
Foods that don’t digest well, such as dairy and processed foods, may cause heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach that might interrupt your sleep.
These symptoms are not normal and can be eliminated by consuming a healthy, whole foods diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods.
Avoid eating too close to bedtime, as well. A big meal before bed can increase your body temperature (we tend to sleep better at cooler temperatures) and make you uncomfortable when dealing with a very full stomach.
This study found that drinking coffee even 6 hours before bedtime significantly affected sleep quality, and the affected person might not even realize their sleep is suffering.
To be safe, cease all caffeine consumption after 2 or 3 p.m. to get a great night’s rest.
Many people think alcohol makes them sleep better, but studies show that, while you may fall asleep faster, your sleep will be much less restful, as you’ll wake up more frequently and spend less time in the recuperative REM sleep cycle.
If you drink too much of any liquid close to bedtime, you may have to make bathroom trips throughout the night, which will greatly interrupt your sleep. If you find you have to get up to pee at night, stop consuming liquids a couple hours before bedtime.
If you don’t have a problem with consuming liquids before bed (I actually have to drink a lot of water before bed to prevent getting thirsty), consuming a cup of calming herbal tea 30 minutes before bedtime may help you sleep.
Consuming honey before bedtime will also help you sleep, so add some to your nighttime tea. I really like this raw honey available on Amazon, though if you can get honey from a local source, that’s even better.
Naps can be a great tool to make you more alert, boost memory, and increase job performance. However, experts recommend limiting naps to no more than 30 minutes and not napping too close to bedtime.
Women especially tend to stay active right up until bedtime.
Your evening routine can be super busy – cook dinner (consider meal prepping!), clean the kitchen, help the kids with homework, do laundry, tidy the house, get the kids ready for bed, fit a workout in there somewhere – the list goes on and on.
I know it may seem like you need to be superwoman, but taking time to care for yourself is extremely important, too.
When you keep going and going day after day, you’re at greater risk of burning out or getting sick, which isn’t good for you or your family.
Taking time for yourself not only improves your quality of life and how you treat your family, it can also prevent sick days from work and more unintended consequences.
It can also improve your sleep quality. Taking time to unwind before bed will let you relax before you hit the sheets, which can help you fall asleep faster.
To do this, enlist help from your partner if he or she is sitting around while you’re still busy.
If you can figure out a way to give yourself a break, please do it! It’s so important for your health and well being.
Exercising can raise your internal temperature, which may make it more difficult to fall asleep. Plus, you should give yourself at least an hour to unwind before bedtime, and vigorous exercise won’t let you do that.
A yoga or meditation session before bed will help you unwind and fall asleep fast.
These gentle practices won’t warm raise your temperature like more vigorous exercises, and they are wonderful stress relievers.
Stress can prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep when you’re worrying about other issues.
Nighttime exposure to blue light emitting devices – such as your TV, smartphone, iPad, computer, and light bulbs – disturbs your natural circadian rhythm and can cause serious health issues, including chronic fatigue, insomnia, chronic sleep deprivation, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, anxiety and depression, and decreased REM sleep and overall sleep quality.
To prevent these ill effects, stop using your blue light electronics at least one hour before bed.
I am pretty addicted to my iPhone, TV, and computer. If I want to use these devices after dark (most nights), I wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
A shower or bath before bed helps relax you. A warm shower will warm up your skin, which actually lowers your internal body temperature. A cooler body temperature will make you sleepy.
This is another idea that might not be super easy for you, but I assure you, it is well worth it because it works.
You may think you’re catching up on sleep by sleeping in later on the weekends, but following a varied sleep schedule messes with your body’s internal clock and will make you more fatigued.
Plus, you may find it difficult to return to your weekday sleep schedule on Sunday night, making it really tough to get up for work on Monday and causing you to be exhausted all day.
I actually like keeping my weekday schedule on the weekends because few people get up early on Saturday and Sunday, so these mornings tend to be my time.
I have to do this every night because I’m terrible about going to bed on time.
Many evenings, I just don’t pay attention to what time it is. Before I know it, it’s way past my bedtime, and I feel like falling asleep at my desk the next day.
I actually set my alarm clock well in advance of my bed time – around 8 PM. That way, I can do all my night time chores first – like closing the chicken coop, brushing my teeth, and making sure my dogs and cats are all set for the night – and still get to bed at a decent time.
Make your bedroom an electronics-free zone. While many people like to read before bed, it is best to use your bed only for sleep and romance. This way, when you go to bed, your body will know it’s time to rest. If you like to read before bed, sit on the couch or in a comfy chair.
Snoring is the worst offender for sleep loss. Some tips to reduce or stop snoring include sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding alcohol close to bedtime, and losing weight, if you are overweight.
PRO TIP: Having trouble not sleeping on your back? Sew a tennis ball into the front pocket of a t-shirt, then wear the shirt backwards to prevent you from turning onto your back.
If you keep your feet warm in bed, you may fall asleep faster.
Putting socks or a hot water bottle on your cold feet causes vasodilation, the dilation of the blood vessels in your feet. Studies have found that vasodilation in your hands and feet tells your brain it’s time to rest.
If you don’t like to wear socks, you can try layering the bottom of your bed with additional blankets.
Most of the year, I need to wear socks because I run cold and can’t fall asleep if my feet are too cold. Of course, everyone is different, and if you tend to run hot, this method may not work for you.
If you’re one of those people who tends to run hot in bed, you may get to sleep faster by kicking off your covers. Putting your feet outside the covers can be enough to cool the rest of your body, so you can fall asleep fast.
Most of the year, I need socks to sleep because I run cold, but right now in the hottest part of summer, I tend to get too warm at night. I prefer to keep my body covered in bed when I can, but if my feet get too hot, I put them on top of the covers.
Doing this sends me into dreamland almost immediately.
This study found that sleep-onset insomniacs who were instructed to lay in bed and try to stay awake with their eyes open fell asleep faster than participants told to fall asleep without this “paradoxical intention,” or PI.
Participants in the PI group fell asleep easier and showed less sleep performance anxiety.
If you’re still wide awake about 20-30 minutes after going to bed, get out of bed, and sit somewhere dimly lit and quiet. Do a relaxing activity, such as reading, until you feel sleepy. Continuing to lie in bed waiting to fall asleep can stress you out about not falling asleep, which further keeps you from falling asleep.
Certain scents have a calming effect that may help you sleep.
The best scents to promote a good night’s sleep include lavender, Roman chamomile, cedarwood, bergamot, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.
My favorite herb for treating minor insomnia is lavender because it’s effective, easy to find, and safe to use. Place cut lavender flowers on your nightstand, spritz lavender infused water on your pillow, or put an essential oil diffuser like this nebulizing diffuser or this ultrasonic diffuser near your bed.
PRO TIP: Using certain essential oils can cause serious health problems for pets, especially cats. Please research this topic and use caution when using essential oils around animals.
Sleep apnea is a condition where the affected person unknowingly stops breathing for a short period. This causes sleep disturbances – whether the person realizes they are waking or not. These sleep disturbances often cause chronic fatigue.
If you have sleep apnea, you can treat the condition by losing weight and/or using a CPAP machine while sleeping if your doctor recommends it.
Nicotine is a stimulant that may keep you up if it’s in your system at bedtime. According to a 2008 study, smokers are 4 times more likely to feel tired upon waking than non-smokers. Breathing problems caused by smoking can also make you more tired.
I realize this isn’t a nighttime hack, but the way you feel when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. I love hitting the snooze button, but when I do this, I know I’m not doing myself any favors.
When you hit the snooze, you might think you’re getting some extra sleep. In reality, your sleep has already been disrupted, so that “sleep” isn’t going to be as beneficial and can leave you feeling groggy and more tired than if you hadn’t used the snooze function.
If you MUST snooze, just do it once instead of repeatedly if you can.
If these sleep tips don’t work for you, you may have more severe insomnia that might respond to cognitive behavioral therapy treatment from a professional.
Missing out on sleep can make you miserable – and prevent you from reaching your weight loss and fitness goals. Get your sleep back on track with these Must-Try Sleep Tips that really could change your life!
Have you tried any of these helpful Sleep Tips? Share what helps you get a good night’s rest in the comments below!