Healing with Sleep: Easy Sleep Tips You Can Try in Honor of Sleep Awareness Week 2023

It’s Sleep Awareness Week’s 25th Anniversary! In honor of the occasion, we will be delving into the wonderful world of sleep and exploring its profound effects on our bodies and minds. Today we’re excited to share with you some easy-to-follow tips for developing better sleep habits.

We get it—good sleep is often hard to come by. It seems none of us get enough of it. Improving your sleep health can be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered!

The journey to better sleep doesn’t just leave you feeling well-rested. By following these tips, you can unlock the gateway to better mood regulation, stress management, cognitive function, and physical health. That’s why our team of experts has read through the research to bring you only the best sleep tips so you can take action today!

In this article, we’ll reveal some simple yet effective practices that will lead to better rest. We will discuss the sleep smart steps you can add to your daily routine, from developing good sleep habits to dodging disruptions.

Quality sleep doesn’t start with your bedtime routine— it begins the moment you wake up. That’s why we’ll be giving you tips that you can apply morning, noon, and night. So if you’re ready to experience the healing powers of sleep while becoming your best self, we welcome you to join us on this journey!

Table of Contents

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Best Sound Machine
Sound + Sleep High Fidelity
  • Automatically changes volume to mask sounds
  • Convenient dual USB charging ports for mobile devices
  • 3.5mm jack to connect headphones and external speakers
  • Auxiliary audio input to play your own sounds
  • 64 Non-Looping Sounds recorded by professional audio engineers
  • Built-in adjustable sleep timer
Best White Noise
LectroFan White Noise Machine
  • Enjoy non-looping white, pink or brown noise
  • Intelligent and minimalist design
  • Doesn't introduce new lights to your sleep space
  • 20 non-looping white, pink, and brown noise options
  • Uncomplicated, minimalistic design for ease-of-use
  • Built-in cable management
  • Compact and travel-friendly
  • Adjustable sleep timer
Best Sleep Mask
The Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask
  • Simple design achieves total light blocking
  • Molded eyecups allow unrestricted blinking during sleep stages
  • Adjustable velcro headband and soft, lightweight construction for different head sizes and face shapes
  • Breathable, flexible, and durable fabric for quality rest in any sleep position
  • Travel-friendly
  • Hand-washable

Sleep Tips for Morning: It All Starts With Your Morning Routine 🌅

Your body begins preparing for the night the moment you rise. It’s governed by a perfectly fine-tuned biological process called the circadian rhythm. And to function at its best, this system depends on the two most basic resources on Planet Earth—sunlight and water!

Start Your Morning with Sunshine

Starting your morning with sunshine is crucial for regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to natural sunlight in the morning effectively resets your circadian rhythm. This ultimately makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up feeling alert and refreshed the next morning.

Sunlight exposure stimulates the release of hormones such as cortisol, which helps promote alertness during the day. On the flip side of this process, a lack of sunlight triggers melatonin production, which promotes sleep at night. Therefore, by getting some sun exposure in the morning, you are effectively synchronizing your body’s internal clock with the earth’s outer one. This can significantly improve your overall sleep quality and daytime alertness.

Of course, it isn’t always sunny! So, what should you do on days when it’s cloudy or overcast?

If it’s cloudy outside, you might need to spend more time in the daylight to get the same effects as a sunny day. Alternatively, you may consider using an artificial daylight simulator if you live in an area with minimal natural light. In his Tool Kit for Sleep, Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends exposing yourself to sunlight each morning and afternoon for:

  • 10 minutes on a sunny day.
  • 20 minutes on a cloudy day.
  • 30-60 minutes on an overcast day.

Wake Up at the Same Time Each Day

Maintaining a consistent routine is crucial to regulating your body’s internal clock. So if you’re looking to promote healthy sleep patterns, it’s important to wake up around the same time each day. By doing this, you allow your body to naturally adapt to feeling sleepy at the same time each night. This makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Here are some tips to help you rise at the same time every day:

  1. Set a consistent wake-up time: Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This practice gives your body a sense of routine and encourages your sleep cycle to adjust accordingly.
  2. Make gradual changes: If you’re used to going to bed and waking up at different times each day, it may seem impossible to get on a consistent sleep schedule. Try gradually adjusting your routine by going to bed and waking up 15-30 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired wake-up time. This way, you can avoid sudden changes that might disrupt your sleep.
  3. Avoid long naps: If you feel tired during the day, resist the urge to take a long nap. Instead, try to stay active and engaged to help you stay alert until bedtime. If you can’t help but take a quick catnap, keep it under 90 minutes. This helps your body get into a consistent rhythm.
  4. Use an alarm clock: Set an alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every day. If you struggle with falling back asleep, place it across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. This helps you start your day on time!
  5. Be consistent: Consistency is key! Try to stick to your daily wake-up time as closely as possible. Even on weekends! Over time, your body will adjust to this schedule, and you’ll find that you feel more alert and energized during the day. This practice is crucial in maintaining a consistent sleep pattern, which in turn promotes better sleep quality.

Try a Dawn Simulator

Do you cringe at the thought of waking to a loud, abrupt noise that jolts you out of dreamland? So do we! That’s why we love dawn simulators. They are a device that mimics the natural light of sunrise. They work by slowly increasing the light in a room over time to simulate the experience of waking up with the rising sun.

The gradual increase in light helps to regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythms. As a result, you enjoy a more peaceful and natural wake-up experience. In addition, many dawn simulators come with sound features, such as nature sounds or gentle alarms, to help ease the transition from sleep to wakefulness.

If you’re in the market, our favorite is the multifunctional Hatch Restore. Not only does it use soft natural-style lighting to start your day, but it can also be used as part of your nighttime routine. Additionally, it features thousands of sleep/wake-supporting sounds, including white noise, nature sounds, and guided meditations.

Drink a Glass of Water to Hydrate in the Morning

Drinking a glass of water upon waking up is strongly recommended by health experts. It is a simple yet effective way to rehydrate your body and jumpstart your metabolism. During sleep, your body loses fluids through breathing and sweating. Replenishing those fluids in the morning can help you feel more alert and energized throughout the day.

To make it a habit, simply place a glass of water next to your bed at night. Then drink it as soon as you wake up! For added flavor and nutritional benefits, try adding some lemon or other fruits to your water. Some people also prefer to add salt or electrolytes to their water, but most of us stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking regular water throughout the day.

If you are looking to boost the health and hydration effects of your water, mineral water, such as mountain or spring water, can provide additional electrolytes and minerals. But be careful! It is possible to absorb too much of a mineral. Be sure to choose a reputable brand and check the mineral content to ensure you aren’t going over the recommended dose.

It’s also important to note that certain drinks are likely to dehydrate you, such as:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Sugary Drinks

Sleep Tips for Daytime: How Your Day Impacts Your Night 🌞

In the words of Isaac Newton, “ For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” He may have been talking about physics, but it’s also pretty fitting when talking about the sleep-wake cycle. What you do during your daily routine can significantly affect you overnight.

Limit Caffeine Consumption Within 8-10 Hours of Bedtime

Let’s be honest, most of us enjoy that midday boost of caffeine. In fact, many of us don’t just enjoy it, we downright feel like we need it. Unfortunately, it turns out that caffeine is a *long-lasting* stimulant. This means that it can impact you for several hours after your last cup.

So it’s important to limit caffeine consumption for *at least* 8-10 hours before bedtime. To regulate your circadian rhythm, it is recommended that you consume caffeine early in the day, ideally before noon. And it’s best to avoid it in the afternoon and evening hours.

Consuming caffeine late in the day can interfere with the natural sleep process by:

  • Increasing alertness
  • Delaying sleep onset
  • Reducing total amount of sleep

To successfully limit your caffeine intake to after noontime, consider switching to decaffeinated coffee or tea. You could also add non-caffeinated beverages such as water, herbal tea, or fruit juice.

If you’re someone who typically drinks a lot of caffeine throughout the day, it may be helpful to cut back by making gradual changes. Abrupt changes may trigger withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue.

It’s worth noting that not all sources of caffeine come in drink form. Caffeine can be found in certain foods and some medications. For example, chocolate can also interfere with sleep. It’s important to check labels carefully so you can avoid accidentally consuming caffeine too close to bedtime.

Timing Your Exercise Routine

Getting enough exercise is essential for good sleep. Thankfully it doesn’t take much to have an affect! According to Johns Hopkins, people who partake in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activities are likely to experience better sleep.

Examples of qualifying activities include:

  • Speed walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Weightlifting

It’s also important to time your exercise right. There is some evidence to suggest that exercising too close to your bedtime may have negative impacts on your sleep cycle. There are a few potential reasons for this.

Exercise is known to have several effects, which typically last for a few hours; these can include:

  • Raising your body temperature
  • Increasing your heart rate
  • Releasing energy-boosting endorphins

That said, moderate to vigorous activity has been shown to improve sleep quality when completed about 3-4 hours before bed. This gives your body time to return to its normal state before getting some shuteye.

Of course, you can always work out in the morning, but we know that not everyone can be an early bird. If you’re someone who doesn’t like getting up early, try to fit in some exercise during the day or early evening. By following this guideline, you can harness the full power of the sleep-promoting benefits of exercise.

The Dos and Don’ts of Daytime Napping

Who here hasn’t enjoyed an afternoon nap every once in a while? While naps are a great way to power through your afternoon slump, it is, in fact, possible to have too much of a good thing.

Sleep expert Dr. Huberman recommends using caution when it comes to daytime napping. He suggests limiting your naps to less than 90 minutes and, if possible, avoiding them altogether.

Napping for extended periods during the day disrupts the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. As a result, you may experience more difficulty falling asleep when it comes time for bed. Excessive napping also contributes to feelings of grogginess and fatigue. Meaning they could negatively impact overall productivity and mood.

By limiting daytime naps to less than 90 minutes, you keep your biological clock in check while still allowing for some rejuvenation during the day.

Sleep Tips for Bedtime: The Power of a Good Bedtime Routine 🥱

As you can imagine, bedtime is one of the most crucial periods of your circadian rhythm. At this stage, your body has begun to produce sleep hormones, which signal to your body that it is time to fall asleep. Ending your day with a peaceful, low-stimulation routine is key so that you can get the deep rest your body needs to take on the next day!

Guidelines for Eating and Drinking Before Bed

Just like daytime, how you fuel your body in the evening hours affects almost every aspect of your sleep health. While you’ve probably heard that it’s best to avoid eating before bed, that isn’t necessarily always true. Some foods can actually help you sleep.

Many nutrient-packed foods are often encouraged before bed. Many experts suggest bedtime snacks that offer one or more of the following nutrients:

  • Tryptophan
  • Melatonin
  • Antioxidants
  • Magnesium
  • B Vitamins
  • Omega-3s
  • Vitamin D.

Of course, there are also many more foods that you should avoid. Eating a heavy meal close to bedtime can negatively impact your sleep quality. When you eat a large meal, your body is forced to work harder to digest it. This can cause discomfort, which disrupts sleep. Additionally, lying down after a big meal can increase the likelihood of acid reflux, a common cause of sleep disturbance.

Here are some tips on when and how to eat dinner:

  1. Schedule dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime: This will give your body enough time to digest the food properly and will reduce the likelihood of being awoken by heartburn or indigestion.

  2. Avoid triggering foods: Some foods are more likely to cause digestive issues than others. This means that they are also more likely to interfere with sleep. Opt for lighter and healthier options like lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains.

    Avoid foods that are:

    • Heavy
    • Fatty
    • Spicy
  3. Limit sleep-disrupting substances: Some substances have the power to ruin a good night’s rest, so it’s best to avoid them altogether, especially close to bedtime. Some of the worst ones are:

    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Simple Sugar

    If you must have caffeine, make sure to consume it no more than 6 hours before going to sleep. Additionally, limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day.

  4. Incorporate sleep-promoting foods: Just as some foods can harm your sleep health, others can improve it. If you’re looking for healthy, natural ways to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, try foods like:

    • Turkey
    • Salmon
    • Almonds
    • Bananas
    • Oatmeal
    • Kiwis
    • Pistachios
  5. Everything in moderation: If you’ve ever found yourself lying awake in bed, feeling overly stuffed after a huge meal, you know that overeating can lead to uncomfortable digestive issues. Stick to moderate portion sizes and listen to your body’s hunger cues.

  6. Stay hydrated: Water is life! And it’s also sleep health. Drinking enough water throughout the day can help improve sleep quality. What for signs of dehydration such as:

    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Restlessness

Unwind With a Warm Bath or Shower

There are few things in this world that beat the feeling of a warm bath after a long day! But they do a whole lot more than leave you feeling like a new person. They are an excellent way to improve sleep.

The warm water helps to:

  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Lower stress levels
  • Increase circulation

This encourages your body to relax while your mind enters a calm state before bed. As a result, you sleep better and longer overnight.

When taking a warm bath or shower, the heat raises your body temperature. But the moment you get out, your body begins to cool down. This drop in temperature mimics the body’s natural sleep-signaling patterns. So when your body senses this change, it tells your brain that it is time to prepare for sleep.

Because this is supposed to be a calming process, it is important to avoid using stimulating products or scents, such as caffeine or peppermint. Instead, use calming scents such as lavender or chamomile. You can also take advantage of products such as bath salts or essential oils.

If you choose to take a bath or shower as part of your nightly routine, it is best to do so at least 1-2 hours before bed. This gives your body enough time to cool down, triggering the release of sleep hormones at the most optimal time.

Use Aromatherapy to Promote Relaxation

Aromatherapy is a powerful method of promoting relaxation and well-being. Your sense of smell is closely linked to your limbic system, which is the part of your brain that is responsible for emotions and memories.

Incorporating aromatherapy into your bedtime routine can be done in a variety of ways. You can add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath or shower. But some people prefer to apply oil-infused lotions before changing into pajamas. And others use a diffuser to spread the scent throughout the bedroom. Additionally, applying a few drops to your pillow or bedding can help promote relaxation.

The most popular relaxing essential oils include:

While essential oils can have amazing benefits, it is important to follow proper safety precautions. Essential oils can cause skin irritations when applied directly to the skin. They should always be diluted before being applied. It is also important to use high-quality, pure essential oils and to store them correctly.

If you’re considering aromatherapy, keep in mind that everyone is unique. What works for one person may not work for another. If you have any health conditions or concerns about using essential oils, consult with a healthcare provider before use.

Create a Worry Journal

Stress and anxiety have a nasty way of interfering with sleep. To overcome those end-of-day worries, psychologists suggest writing down your concerns in a journal before bed. This can be a really effective way to ease stress and improve sleep.

By taking some time to journal, you can externalize your thoughts and emotions. This allows you to process them as you reduce the intensity of those feelings. You may find that they lose their power over you and you are able to let go of them more easily as you drift off to sleep.

To get the most out of journaling, try setting aside some time before bed to reflect on your day. Write down any concerns or worries that are weighing on you. Be honest. Write freely and without self-judgment, letting your thoughts flow onto the page.

If you would like to experience even more benefits from journaling, you can also use this time to track your sleep patterns. This can help you to identify any patterns or triggers that may be impacting your sleep quality.

Listen to Calming Music or Nature Sounds

Just like smell, sound plays a huge role in relaxation. It’s hard to unwind when you’re being overstimulated by loud or disruptive music. But the right sounds can promote relaxation and better sleep. Listening to calming music or nature sounds has been shown to:

  • Ease anxiety
  • Reduce heart rate
  • Decrease blood pressure

There are thousands of options for sleep sounds, and not all choices suit all people. You may prefer classical or instrumental music with slow tempos. Others may want sounds of nature, such as ocean waves, rain, or birds chirping. Meanwhile, some of us need white noise to fall asleep. It’s important to choose sounds that are calming and relaxing to you, and it may take a bit of trial and error to find the right fit.

There are many ways that you can listen to sleep sounds. You can use your phone to access millions of options on YouTube. Or test out one of the popular sleep apps. But if you plan to make sleep sounds a permanent part of your nightly routine, we suggest investing in a sound machine. They are an excellent solution if you’re looking to listen to calming sounds while also drowning out distracting noises such as traffic, snoring partners, or noisy neighbors.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a sound machine, you can’t go wrong with the SE Premium Sound Machine by Sound+Sleep! It offers 60+ sleep sounds with settings that can adapt to the noise level of your environment. So you won’t be kept awake by barking dogs, crying babies, or loud sirens.

Because it’s a low-effort activity, listening to soothing sounds can be combined with other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation. This may further reduce stress and promote relaxation.

A word of caution, avoid using headphones or earbuds while sleeping, as they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of ear infections. When possible, use a speaker placed at a comfortable distance from the bed.

Reduce Noise and Light Pollution

Disrupting noises and light pollution are big triggers for sleep disturbances. To get the best quality sleep, your bedroom needs to be kept quiet and dark. Exposure to these outside stimulants can be disruptive and prevent you from getting the restorative sleep that your body needs.

Here’s how you can reduce noise and light pollution in your bedroom:

  1. Invest in earplugs: If you live in a noisy environment, invest in a pair of earplugs to block out unwanted noise. This can be particularly useful if you live near a busy road, have noisy neighbors, or sleep with a partner.
  2. Use white noise: White noise machines or apps can help mask external sounds and create a peaceful sleep environment. They produce a constant, soothing sound that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  3. Use blackout curtains: External light can interfere with your circadian rhythms and disrupt your sleep. Installing blackout curtains or blinds can help reduce external light and create a dark, comfortable sleeping environment.
  4. Turn off electronic devices: Electronic devices such as TVs, smartphones, and tablets emit blue light, which can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin. Turning off these devices at least one hour before bed to gives your body time to wind down.
  5. Remove or cover LED lights: Even small lights on electronics or appliances can be disruptive to sleep. Create a completely dark environment by covering or removing any LED lights. This can easily be done by purchasing LED light stickers that block the light without interfering with functionality.

Invest in a Sleep Mask

As we’ve established, light is a big disrupter of sleep! Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to eliminate all exposure to light when sleeping. Eventually, most of us find ourselves on a trip, in the hospital, or catching up on lost sleep during the daytime hours.

In these cases, investing in a sleep mask is a simple and effective solution. Here are some ways a sleep mask can help you:

  1. They block out light: Sleep masks block out unwanted light, creating a dark environment without the hassle of window coverings or light-blocking stickers. This is especially helpful for people who don’t have a consistent sleep environment. They are also great for people who live in urban areas or have streetlights shining into their bedrooms.

  2. They promote deeper sleep: Exposure to even low levels of light can disrupt our body’s natural production of melatonin. By blocking out light, sleep masks limit this exposure overnight, resulting in deeper, more restful sleep.

  3. They reduce insomnia symptoms: Sleep masks can be particularly helpful for people who struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders. By blocking out light, they eliminate one cause of sleep disturbance. The lack of disruptive stimulation also adds to a calming environment, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

  4. Easy to use: To use a sleep mask, simply place it over your eyes before going to bed. Make sure the mask is comfortable and fits securely over your eyes to prevent any light from seeping in. You may also want to experiment with different materials or shapes to find the best fit for your face and sleeping position.

  5. Convenient and affordable: Sleep masks are a simple and affordable solution compared to expensive light-blocking window treatments. Plus, they are lightweight, easy to pack for travel, and can be found at most drugstores or online.

    If your looking to invest in a sleep mask for the first time, we suggest starting out with the Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask. This is nothing like the sleep masks of your parents’ generation. Its simple design is easy and comfortable to use, with eye cups that mold with your face shape, an adjustable headband, and breathable fabric. And it’s only $14.99!

Create a Comfortable Environment

When it comes to sleep health, there are few things more uncomfortable than trying to sleep when you’re too hot. That’s why a comfortable environment is one of the most influential factors in sleep quality. Keeping your body cool and well-ventilated promotes better, more restful sleep.

When designing a high-quality sleep environment, keep these factors in mind:

  • Temperature: Ideally, you want to keep your bedroom between 60 and 67°F, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleeping in a cool room can help regulate your body temperature, allowing you to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the night.
  • Ventilation: In addition to temperature, having good air circulation in your bedroom is also important. This can help prevent stuffiness and make it easier to breathe, which can promote relaxation and deeper sleep. To achieve good ventilation, you can open windows or use a fan to circulate air. For even better results, try an air purifier!
  • Linens and clothing: It’s also important to ensure that your bedding and pajamas are appropriate for the temperature of your bedroom. Using blankets and sheets that can be easily removed or added can help regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable throughout the night. Dr. Haberman suggests that it’s better to have layers that can easily be removed than to have to get up and turn down the thermostat.
  • Keep electronics away from arms reach: Artificial light from personal devices can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. Even just briefly waking to check the time may be enough to stimulate your brain. To avoid temptation, keep your phone or other devices away from your bedside.

If you live in a warm climate and cannot keep your bedroom cool, there are a few solutions you can try.

First, consider investing in a fan to create a gentle breeze. Choose light, breathable bedding and clothing to keep cool. Cooling pads or pillows are a great way to regulate your body temperature while you sleep. Additionally, you can apply a bowl of ice or a cool washcloth to your forehead or neck to help lower your body temperature.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

As the use of personal devices has become more common, so have sleep disturbances. Most of us have been guilty of staring at our phones as we lay in bed instead of getting the sleep we need.

Exposure to screens and technology before bed can interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to get eight hours of quality sleep. The blue light emitted by screens can suppress the production of melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone.

The effects of cell phones extend beyond exposure to light. Your sleep health can also be impacted by the kinds of activities you partake in. Whether you’re playing a game, talking to friends, or just mindlessly scrolling social media, phone use can be overstimulating and even stressful at times. This causes your cortisol levels to increase, resulting in a higher likelihood of stress. Ultimately, this process will negatively impact your sleep health.

To get the best sleep, it is recommended to turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed. This allows the brain to wind down and prepare for sleep. If you’re still in the mood for some other bedtime entertainment, consider engaging in relaxing activities such as reading a book or listening to calming music. If must use a screen, consider using blue light filters or screen dimming apps to reduce exposure to blue light.

Use a Body Pillow to Improve Sleep Posture

How you sleep is just as important as where you sleep! The position you sleep in can have huge effects on not only your quality of sleep but also your quality of life. If you’ve ever woken up with a stiff neck, you know what we’re talking about!

Many experts suggest using a body pillow to improve sleep posture and promote better rest. Body pillows are great for:

  • Aligning the spine
  • Limiting pressure on your joints
  • Supporting muscle health
  • Easing pain
  • Minimizing snoring
  • Supporting breathing
  • Reducing the risk of pregnancy-related injury

Body pillows are an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool for supporting your physical well-being while you sleep. Choose one that is comfortable and supportive, and adjust it as needed throughout the night. But keep in mind that it is important to use your body pillow correctly.

  • Side Sleepers: If you are a side sleeper, use your body pillow by placing it between your legs as you lay in bed.
  • Back sleepers: If you sleep on your back, you can hug your body pillow to your chest.
  • Stomach sleepers: People who sleep on their stomachs should place a body pillow slightly under one side of their torso. This allows you to take some pressure off your spine, while still resting comfortably.

Add Natural Sleep Supplements to Your Routine

Many of us would try just about anything to get some proper rest. Pharmaceuticals can be a great option, but some people prefer a more natural solution. Enter natural sleep supplements!

Natural sleep aids can be an effective way to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve sleep quality. Some of the most popular sleep-supporting supplements are:

Melatonin for Sleep:

Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces when it senses that the sun is going down and nighttime is approaching. It plays a key role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements have been proven to help you get more hours of quality sleep.

Valerian Root for Sleep:

Valerian root has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Sometimes referred to as “nature’s valium”, this supplement has become more mainstream in recent decades. Valerian contains flavonoids, which have been linked to improved sleep.

Chamomile for Sleep:

Other natural sleep aids include chamomile, which has calming properties that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which support recovery after a long day. Studies suggest it may even have a hypnotic effect.

Lavender for Sleep:

Lavender is one of the most commonly used natural sleep aids. Studies show that simply smelling lavender can have significant sleep-promoting effects. But it can also be used in tea form.

Magnesium for Sleep:

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including sleep. There are two forms that are most often associated with rest and relaxation—Magnesium Threonate and Magnesium Bisglycinate.

  • Magnesium Threonate is believed to improve the function of the brain and nervous system, which can lead to better sleep.
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate is thought to have a calming effect on the body, which can help improve sleep quality.

Apigenin for Sleep:

Apigenin is a flavonoid found in certain herbs such as chamomile and parsley. Research has found that apigenin has sedative effects and can help promote sleep. Consuming foods that contain apigenin may help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

Theanine for Sleep:

Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves, particularly green tea. It is known for its calming effects and ability to promote relaxation. Theanine has been found to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.

Glycine for Sleep:

Glycine is another amino acid that has been shown to improve sleep health. Studies have found that taking glycine before bed can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep. Glycine may also improve daytime performance and reduce fatigue.

GABA for Sleep:

GABA is a neurotransmitter that calms brain activity and is known for its soothing effects. Taking a GABA supplement before bed can help promote relaxation and improve sleep. Some research has found that GABA may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can interfere with sleep.

As always, talk to your doctor before taking any natural sleep aids. Some supplements can interact with certain medications and may not be appropriate for everyone. Additionally, it is important to use natural sleep aids as part of a comprehensive sleep routine, including good sleep habits and lifestyle choices.

Meditation and Yoga for Sleep

If you have concerns about putting something in your body to boost your sleep health, meditation or yoga may be better solutions for you!

Meditation involves focusing your mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to achieve mental clarity and a sense of calm. This practice has been shown to reduce the following:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Racing thoughts

There are many meditation apps available that can lead you through the practice. These apps offer guided meditations, breathing exercises, and sleep-specific content to help you relax and prepare for sleep.

Some of our favorites are:

  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Insight Timer

Similarly, practicing yoga or gentle stretching before bed can calm the mind and relax the body. Certain poses, such as a forward bend or inversions, can help to calm the nervous system and promote relaxation. Incorporating a regular yoga or other stretching practice before bed can help to signal to your body that it is time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Yoga has many physical benefits as well, including:

  • Reducing effects of chronic stress
  • Relieving pain
  • Providing muscle support
  • Promoting heart health

Incorporating these practices into your bedtime routine can be a helpful tool for improving sleep quality and promoting relaxation. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or stretching, finding a practice that works for you can help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Tips for Nighttime: Experiencing a Night of Quality Sleep 😴

It’s the end of the evening, and you’ve made it through another long day! Now it’s time to ease into a restful sleep so that you can wake up refreshed and ready to go. It sounds so easy, just settle between your sheets and go to sleep, right? Unfortunately, for far too many of us, a good night’s rest is much harder to come by. So what can you do to make the most of this time?

Use a Sleep-Tracking App to Monitor Your Sleep Patterns

You may be a bad sleeper and not even realize it. So whether you’re just starting out on your sleep journey or you’ve practiced healthy habits for years, Dr. Huberman recommends trying a sleep-tracking app. Using an app to monitor your sleep patterns is an innovative way to gain insight into your sleep health.

This technology is typically pretty easy to utilize because you can do so through your smartphone. Most brands pair with wearable devices to get more accurate measurements overnight. Sleep-tracking apps work by measuring your body’s vital signs, movements, and even sounds to identify bad habits and potential sleep disorders. Oftentimes they offer detailed reports on the quality and quantity of your sleep so that you can identify any changes that need to be made.

By keeping an eye on your sleep patterns, you can identify potential issues earlier. Sleep-tracking apps are often able to identify:

  • Snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep Interruptions

Even better, most apps provide you with personalized recommendations based on your results. These suggestions may include adjusting your sleep schedule or updating your sleep environment. Some apps even offer guided meditations or sleep sounds to help you drift into restful sleep.

A word of warning, be sure to choose an app that is proven to be reliable and accurate. This ensures the data collected is useful and informative.

Practice the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

As you’re lying in bed at night, your mind has a way of hyper-focusing on things that can keep you awake for hours. Learning how to manage your mental load while easing into sleep is essential. That’s why we love exercises such as the 4-7-8 breathing technique!

This is a relaxation method that can help you fall asleep faster while improving the quality of your sleep. It has three easy steps!

  • 4—Inhale through your nose for four seconds.
  • 7—Hold your breath to the count of seven.
  • 8—Exhale slowly through your mouth as you count to eight.

Repeat this cycle four times or as many times as you need to feel relaxed and calm. You can practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique anytime, anywhere. It’s best to start by sitting or lying down in a quiet and comfortable place.

The 4-7-8 technique works by stimulating your body’s relaxation response. As a result, your slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. By practicing this technique regularly, you can improve your overall well-being.

It is recommended for anyone who wants to improve the quality of their sleep, especially those who struggle with stress or anxiety at bedtime. It can also be helpful for people who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea.

Other effects include:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • Fewer food cravings
  • Emotional stability

Use the Military Method for Falling Asleep Quickly

The Military Method is a technique developed by the US Navy to help pilots fall asleep quickly even in noisy and uncomfortable environments.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Relax your whole face, including the muscles inside your mouth.
  2. Drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go, then relax your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other.
  3. Take a deep breath and relax your chest.
  4. Relax your legs, starting with your thighs and moving down to your lower legs and feet.
  5. Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.
  6. If you’re still awake, repeat the process.

The Military Method is effective because it combines relaxation and visualization techniques to help your body and mind enter a state of relaxation. By relaxing the muscles in your body and clearing your mind of racing thoughts, you’ll be able to fall asleep more quickly.

Reduce Stress With These Techniques

Here are some stress-reducing techniques that can help improve sleep:

  • Deep breathing: Practice slow, deep breathing techniques to help calm your mind and body.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: This involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group in your body to help reduce tension.
  • Mindfulness meditation: Focus on the present moment and let go of racing thoughts.
  • Yoga: Gentle yoga poses can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Guided imagery: Visualize a peaceful scene or situation to help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Tai chi: This is a gentle form of exercise that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Massage therapy: Massage can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Aromatherapy: Certain scents, such as lavender and chamomile, can help promote relaxation and improve sleep.
  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help reduce stress and clear your mind before bed.

Try a Weighted Blanket

Do you remember way back when you were a kid, and your parents would “tuck you in tight” before you drifted off to sleep feeling all warm and cozy? That’s a weighted blanket!

Weighted blankets are typically stitched quilt style, with each pocket filled with materials like glass beads or pellets. They are designed to provide a deep pressure touch (DPT) that simulates the feeling of being hugged or swaddled. This creates a sense of calm while reducing stress and anxiety.

Studies have shown that the use of weighted blankets can lead to improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia symptoms, particularly in individuals with anxiety or sensory processing disorders.

Weighted blankets come in various sizes and weights. They typically come in weights ranging from 5 to 30 pounds. It is recommended to choose a blanket that is 10% of your body weight, plus or minus a pound or two. When selecting your blanket, choose one that is made with high quality materials that are rated to be safe and effective.

Before choosing to invest in a weighted blanket, please note that they may not be suitable for everyone. Those with breathing or circulation issues should speak to their doctor before using one. Additionally, if you are unable to move the blanket on your own, it may be best to choose other sleep solutions instead.

Experiment with Your Sleeping Position

Some people have no idea that the position they’re sleeping in is triggering discomfort both overnight and during the daytime. Experimenting with different sleeping positions can be a simple yet effective way to improve your sleep quality and avoid morning stiffness.

Certain positions can help alleviate snoring, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and other common issues. Each position has its own benefits.

  1. Sleeping on your back: This position keeps your face off of the pillow and exposed to the air. It can help prevent wrinkles and facial acne, however, it may worsen snoring and sleep apnea.
  2. Sleeping on your side: This is the most common sleeping position. It’s one that’s recommended most by experts. It can help alleviate snoring and sleep apnea. It can also reduce acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.
  3. Sleeping on your stomach: This position offers both pros and cons. It can alleviate snoring and sleep apnea, but it can also strain your neck and spine and worsen lower back pain. Most sleep doctors suggest avoiding this position, in most cases.
  4. Sleeping in the fetal position: This is a variation of sleeping on your side, but slightly curl up in a c-position. Similar to side sleeping, it’s recommended by experts as it can alleviate snoring, sleep apnea, and lower back pain.
  5. Sleeping on an incline: This sleep position isn’t necessary for everyone, but it can be incredibly helpful if you are pregnant, experience breathing issues, or experience acid reflux. You can create this effect by sleeping on several pillows or raising the head-end of your bed.

Experimenting with different sleeping positions can take some trial and error. But once you finally find the one that works best for you, it can greatly improve your sleep quality and overall health.

When to Check for Sleep Disorders 💖

If you’ve tried all of the tips in this article but are still struggling to sleep well, you could be living with an undiagnosed sleep disorder. These are quite common. It’s estimated that between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. The effects of this can impact not only your sleep health but your your general well-being as well.

The most common sleep disorders include:

  1. Insomnia: Insomnia involves difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early.
  2. Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing for short periods during sleep. It is often accompanied by loud snoring and daytime fatigue.
  3. Restless leg syndrome (RLS): urge RLS causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. It typically causes an uncomfortable sensations in the legs.
  4. Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep attacks, and sudden loss of muscle control.
  5. Parasomnias: Parasomnias involve a group of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams during sleep. Signs include sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and nightmares.

Your doctor may suspect that you have a sleep disorder if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  2. Waking up feeling tired or unrefreshed.
  3. Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
  4. Loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep.
  5. Restless legs or other unusual movements during sleep.
  6. Sleepwalking or other abnormal nighttime behaviors.
  7. Nightmares or vivid dreams that disrupt sleep.
  8. Frequent trips to the bathroom overnight.
  9. Grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep.
  10. Morning headaches.
  11. Difficulty concentrating or memory problems during the day.
  12. Psychological changes such as depression, anxiety, or mood changes.

Get Tested for Sleep Disorders Without Leaving The Comfort of Your Home

Do you suspect you may have a sleep disorder? If so, there is some good news. You can start your journey to overcoming it today with a home sleep test!

A home sleep test (HST) is a diagnostic tool that can help identify if someone is suffering from disordered breathing problems, for example, sleep apnea.


Get Tested for Sleep Apnea

The World’s Smallest Home Sleep Test

In as little as one night of testing, a SleepMedRX doctor can have all the information needed to diagnose your sleep issues.

Sleep apnea is a common condition characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. HSTs are often recommended if someone has tried various sleep tips and lifestyle changes but is still experiencing poor sleep quality or symptoms associated with sleep disorders.

If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, a home sleep test may be right for you.

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Frequent wake-ups during the night

HSTs can be conducted in the comfort of one’s own home and use a portable device that monitors your vital signs. The devices are easy to use and non-invasive. They provide valuable information that can be used to diagnose sleep disorders and develop effective treatment plans. A home sleep test typically tracks the following vital signs:

  • Oxygen levels
  • Breathing patterns
  • Heart rate

If your primary care physician or sleep specialist feels that your symptoms may be caused by sleep-induced breathing issues, they will likely refer you for an HST.

Home sleep tests may also be recommended for people who display high-risk factors for sleep apnea. These may include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history
  • Previous complaints of snoring or interrupted breathing

The benefits of a home sleep test include:

  • Convenience
  • Affordability
  • Ability to monitor sleep patterns in your natural environment

In addition, early diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders can reduce the risk of related health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, while improving your quality of life.

The Bottom Line

At sleeping.com, we’re committed to promoting healthy sleep habits. We’re honored to provide you with resources and tools to help improve your sleep health so you can always be at your best! This Sleep Awareness Week, we invite you to join us in prioritizing your sleep.

If you’re tired of waking up each morning and still feeling exhausted, please know that change is possible! Getting started may feel overwhelming, but by taking it one step at a time, you can heal your sleep cycle and reach your full potential! We look forward to continuing to share our tips for prioritizing sleep and practicing healthy habits. It’s time to start your journey to a better you, so let’s get started!