Did you know that you will spend roughly a third of your life asleep?
Well, you will if you are lucky. Unfortunately for many of us, sleep is something that never comes. When insomnia strikes, it strikes hard.
A poor night of sleep can lead to a lack of motivation, depression, lethargy and all manner of health problems. In extreme cases sleep deprivation can lead to death.
If you are looking for a solution to sleep better then you have come to the right place. Below you will find 101 snooze solutions. With so many tips and tricks to fall asleep you are bound to find the right one for you.
So without further delay, let’s start at the beginning of the list.
1. Your bed is for sleep and sex only
Your mattress may be your go to location to read a book or play on your tablet. And who could blame you? Mattresses are super comfortable. But doing so can actually make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
You want your mind and body to associate your bed with sleep and sleep alone. When you lay yourself down to sleep at night you want your brain to think:
Oh, I’m on a mattress, it’s time to shut down for the night!
If you watch television, talk on the phone, eat, write or even work from the comfort of your mattress; you risk disrupting your sleep. Your brain will associate your bedroom with being mentally alert, not something you want as you are preparing for sleep.
So unless it’s catching some Z’s or performing the horizontal monster mash, you probably shouldn’t be doing it in your bed.
2. A slick coat of paint
The solution to your sleep drama could actually be as simple as painting your room. A fresh coat of paint may calm you, helping you to unwind before you go to bed.
A 2013 study by Travelodge suggests that there is a correlation between the color of your bedroom and the quality of sleep.1. Those with a blue room not only slept the longer but also reported waking up happier. Yellow came in second and while green came in third, those with green rooms also reported the least positive response when waking in the morning.
Renting? While you may not be able to paint you can still decorate. Blue décor may also promote the same calming feelings as a painted room. Go on, your bedroom needed a new look anyway, right?
3. Block that clock
We are all guilty of it. Waking up in the middle of the night to check the time.
Glancing at your clock in the middle of the night can lead to anxiety and stress. And once this starts it can be nearly impossible to fall back asleep.
I only have that much time left until work?
Definitely a midnight thought you can do without and one that can kickstart all manner other irrational 2 am worries.
If you use a clock as an alarm then turn it so it faces away from your bed. Even better, place it out of reach so you cannot turn it around. If you use a clock radio then you may even want to cover it with a towel, to prevent the light that the digital numbers give off from disrupting your sleep.
If your mobile phone is also your clock then you are only going to make matters worse. Not only are there more things to trigger stress, such as late night work emails or an overdue bill, but the blue-light given off by the screen can stimulate your brain making it harder again to fall off to sleep.
In the case of your mobile, set a loud but gentle alarm and place the mobile outside of your room.
You know the saying; out of sight, out of mind.
4. Create a stress free sleep utopia
What is one of the top ten causes of stress in your life? Chances are you said work.
If you take your work home with you then the mere sight of it can send your brain into a state of mental alert. Unsurprisingly, an alert brain is the opposite of what you want when you are trying to fall asleep.
A quick glimpse of your work project just before bed is all it takes to send your mind into a thought frenzy:
I should have finished that project by now
I wonder if I have enough time to finish it before the due date
And after a hundred erratic thoughts later you arrive at:
I should really do something about the starving kids in Africa
it’s a vicious thought train that once started is hard to get off. And the whole time you have been having these thoughts you haven’t been falling asleep.
The same is true of other stress inducing items such as late bills, your school project or bank statements. If it causes stress move it out of your bedroom.
Your room should be a place of peace. Once you step into your bedroom the only thing your brain should be focused on is sleep, something that it simply can’t do with anxiety inducing objects in the room.
5. Orange is the new light
Whether you are, brushing your teeth, getting changed into your sleepware or just stripping off to go commando, you are going to turn a light on so that you can see what you are doing.
The problem is that your roof mounted light will burn as bright as a thousand suns. Turning on your light switch at night can leave your room glowing brighter than your local Walmart, shocking your body awake
Your body is programmed to sleep when it is dark. If your body confuses night with day then you can kiss your restful night of sleep goodbye.
A dimly lit bedroom is a pro-sleep bedroom. If your bedroom has dimmer lights, keep them on a low setting; just bright enough so that you can see what you are doing while preparing for bed.
My personal favorite way to light up the bedroom is to skip the ceiling lights altogether. A lamp beside your bed should give off more than enough light to illuminate your entire bedroom. Even better, you can simply turn it on and off from the comfort of your bed. You hated turning the lights off then stumbling to bed anyway, right?
Older style incandescent globes cast a soft, warm light making them a suitable choice for bedside lighting. But these days incandescent globes are being replaced with more energy efficient solutions, such as LEDs.
Light color is measured in Kelvin (K). Look for a LED lamp between 2700K and 3000K. The closer to 2700K the better. This color is similar to the warm orange glow given off by incandescent globes.
Also, skip compact florescent lamps (CFL) since these not only take longer to turn on but can give off an annoying buzzing sound.
6. Set the perfect temperature for sleep
Temperature plays a major role in both how well and how long we sleep. If your body temperature is uncomfortably hot or cold your body will struggle to achieve a comfortable sleep.
While the recommendation for the sleep temperature varies from 60 to 72 degrees, it is important that the temperature is comfortable for you.
Relying on your thermostat can be costly in summer, leaving the air conditioner running can add up to a hefty power bill. Why not try opening your windows or using a pedestal fan. The sound of a pedestal fan doubles as white noise and can also assist with falling to sleep.
On the flipside, wearing socks to bed or piling on the blankets is a quick and cheap way to raise your body temperature when the nights are cold.
7. Say sayonara to screens
If you are having trouble sleeping then the first thing to remove from your room is the screens. Tablets, phones, laptops and even that television that you fall asleep in front of.
All of these electronic products emit a blue-light that disrupts melatonin production, which can lead to trouble sleeping and broken sleep.
By removing these objects from your room you won’t be tempted to do one last pre-bed Facebook stalk or check your work emails.
While you may view these devices as a way to relax while laying in bed, they will cause more harm and good to your sleep pattern.
8. Your bedroom is not a doggy hotel
As comforting as it can be to cuddle up to your four-legged friend at night, your pet may be the very thing responsible for your poor sleep.
A pet can disturb your sleep in a number of ways from snoring and whimpering to wandering around your room or worse, needing to do outside pet business.
And don’t get me started on doggy farts making you gag in the middle of the night.
But it’s not just restlessness, pets can set of their owners allergies, resulting in a poorer overall sleep. If you have asthma or allergies then you should not be sleeping with your pet much less allow them into your bedroom.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to make your bedroom a pet free environment.
With your pet out of the room it is time to clear up any fur and skin flakes left behind. A vacuum with a HEPA filter to suck up any remaining allergens and give your sheets a good wash.
Now if your dog has slept on your bed his entire life then being booted is going to come as a shock. You may even find that your poor puppy whines or howls until he gets his way. Those wide puppy dog eyes can be difficult to resist. Stay strong!
Buying your dog a comfortable pet bed will not be enough, you will have to train him to sleep on it. Set aside the time to do this, reclaiming your bed and sleeping better will be worth the small sacrifice.
9. This mattress ain’t big enough for the both of us…
While a cuddle before sleep can bring you closer to your partner, falling sleep right next to each other will cause you to feel every jerk, bump and twitch the other gives off in their sleep.
Even worse is the humid exhale that brushes past your fast as your partner wheezes through their mouth or the drool that rolls down their chin and onto you. And then there is sleep farting. Sleep ain’t pretty.
If you share a small bed then this is almost unavoidable and may be the cause of your broken sleep.
A larger mattress may be just the solution to not only escape your partner but allow you to comfortably spread out. And comfort is the key to sleep!
While a full sized mattress can accommodate two sleeping adults, it can get a bit squashy, particularly if you are of a larger build or like to spread out during your sleep.
If your bedroom can squeeze it in, a queen should be the minimum size that you should aim for. If you want the maximum amount of sleeping space, or share your bed with children or pets then you may want to size up again to a king or California king sized mattress.
10. Sleep is a team sport – Play fair
If you share a bed then you wont just have to find a fix for your insomnia but your partners as well. Chances are that if your partner doesn’t sleep well then neither will you, particularly if you are light sleeper.
Whether it’s snoring, twitching, hogging the blankets, rolling onto your side of the bed or getting up in the night to pee; your partner is the ultimate sleep disruptor.
But don’t just explode into a midnight rage, wait until the morning and have a genuine discussion about the problem. You may even find that your partner is unaware that he or she is keeping you up at night. Communication is key in any relationship!
Once you have both agreed that there is an issue that needs to be addressed it is time to come up with a solution. Lucky for you, there are a whole bunch of sleep tips to take advantage of on this very page.
11. Hello darkness my old friend
When it’s dark the pineal gland in your brain produces a hormone called Melatonin, which not only makes you sleepier but also regulates your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle).
Guess what stops melatonin production? That’s right. Light.
So it goes without saying that you want to make your room as dark as possible.
So how dark should your room be? According to Dr Kryger, Director of sleep medicine research and education at Gaylord Hospital: .2
You should not be able to see details in your room at night even after your eyes habituate [get used to] the darkness.
So that means that you must eliminate all light sources. Not just the ones that come through your window like daylight and street lights, but also anything coming from inside your house.
Light blocking blinds or shades can take care of the light coming through your window. With that done you will need to eliminate light coming into your room from the inside. It may be your hall light – shut the door or it may be your clock radio – cover it with a towel.
Remember, the solution you use to block out light doesn’t have to be pretty, just functional.
12. The sound of silence
I know this one seems like a no-brainer but you would be amazed at just how many people forget to put their phone on silent when they go to bed.
With your phone on loud you will hear every Facebook message, tweet, email and phone call from those that stay up later than you.
Not can these message alerts wake you from your sleep, but also tempt you to look at your phone; which will expose your eyes to sleep disrupting blue light.
The easiest way to put your phone on silent is to have your phone do it automatically. iPhones have a “do not disturb” mode which silences all alerts after your set time each day. Android phone shave a similar feature.
13. Quiet but not too quiet
Logically, a quiet room will lead to better sleep and it may seem like complete silence is the ideal scenario. But did you know that a room that is too quiet can actually leady to broken sleep?
In a completely silent room you are able to hear every little inconsistent sound. From footsteps on the path outside your home to your partner flushing the toilet, these sounds are magnified because there is no “background noise”, causing you to jolt awake.
While heavy sleepers might not have a problem with a dead quiet room, lighter sleepers may find that they frequently wake during the night after hearing sounds in the dark.
If your room is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop then try adding some background noise. A simple way to do this is to turn a fan on or invest in a white noise machine. You could even try listening to binaural beats.
14. Do what your mama told you, keep your bedroom neat and tidy
A clean room is a sleep-friendly room. Mess causes stress and dust can set off allergens in your sleep. Ideally you should aim to eliminate both entirely.
Did you know that hoarders take longer to fall asleep? 3
The first thing you are going to want to do is to get rid of the clutter. The less pointless objects you have the easier it will be to clean your bedroom. Sorry clutter junkies, but some of that stuff has to go.
Even if you aren’t inclined to hoard, there are likely objects around your room that don’t need to be there. Get rid of anything that is unnecessary for rest, by doing so you will move items out of your bedroom that may have trapped dust and dirt.
Dust and clean regularly. This means all surfaces including carpets, shelves, and under your bed. If you have allergies or asthma then maintaining a dust free environment is a must.
Maintaining a clean bedroom will also improve other areas of your life. Use this time to also kick the habit you have of not folding and hanging up your clothes or leaving dirty clothes around your room.
15. There’s nothing better than clean, crisp bedsheets
A clean freshly made bed may lead to improved sleep. A survey of 1500 randomly selected adults found that bed makers were 19% more likely to report a better nights sleep than their messy counterparts. There was also a correlation with longer sleep and fresh sheets.4
It doesn’t take long for your sheets to get dirty; oils in your skin, sweat and dead skin to build up quickly. And then there is your pillow case; he has it worst of all. That waterfall of drool flowing down your chin and onto your pillow will quickly lead to pillow marks.
Ideally you would want to wash your pillowcase and sheets one to two weeks.
However, due to busy schedules; it can be quite difficult to find time to wash your sheets so regularly. I take the stance of even once a month is better than never. While this is far from ideal, at least your sheets are getting washed. When you slide into your freshly washedwrinkle free bed sheets, you will be thankful that you took the time to clean them!
16. Make your bed sheet-hog proof
A sheethog may be responsible for your broken sleep. The sheethog’s natural environment is the bed, just off to the side of you. Sheethogs prey on blankets and sheets, often cocooning themselves making it impossible to separate them from their victim.
If you awake in the middle of the night, shivering cold, because your partner has stolen the bed sheets then it is time to put an end to it. Your sleep depends on it.
One solution to outsmart a sheethog is to buy sheets a size larger than your actual bed. If you sleep in a queen bed, buy king sheets. The extra size will allow your partner to the sheets while still leaving enough to cover you.
Other solutions include clipping the sheets to the side of the bed or sleeping with a sheet each.
While many of you will gain sleep benefits from making adjustments to your lifestyle, this is not a hard and fast rule for everyone.
I am sure you have heard the recommendation that you need eight hours or so of sleep. It is important to remember that this is just a guideline.
If you sleep for 6 hours a night then do not worry!
As long as you awake from your sleep feeling refreshed and functional then you are obviously getting enough sleep for you.
Everyone is unique and it is important that you do what’s right for you. Don’t go looking for problems where there are none. You will sleep better for it.
Also, don’t panic if you are waking up at 4 am and can’t go back to sleep. If you go to bed early, your body will wake up earlier. Waking up early does not necessarily mean you have insomnia.
17. Get more sunlight…
When you first wake up, going outside or even looking out the window can not only make you feel more alert, improve your mood and may even help you fall asleep at night.
The morning light helps to regulate your biological clock, letting your body know now is the time to be awake. The opposite is true at night, darkness let’s your body know that it is time to fall asleep.
This is why jetlag and shiftwork take such a heavy toll on your body, it messes with your biological clock.
So try to get outside each day to keep your wake/sleep cycle in check. The light from the morning will benefit your sleep at night.
If you are unable to expose yourself to morning sunlight then there are light boxes that simulate sunlight. Simply sit in front of the light while you eat, sleep, watch tv etc. to receive the benefits. This practice is referred to as phototherapy.
18. …But not too much sunlight
There is nothing wrong with spending a day in the sun but if you are not careful you will take a souvenir home with you. Sunburn.
Getting comfortable while falling asleep with sunburn is nearly impossible. Your sensitive skin is going to feel every single movement of the sheets sliding over your skin as if they you are sleeping between sheets of sand paper.
Obviously the easiest way to deal with sunburn is to prevent it in the first place. Be sun smart wearing protective clothing and applying a even coating of sunscreen.
But if your reading this then it may be too late for that…
To remain comfortable at night you will want to keep your sunburnt skin moist. Aloe Vera is a great solution, not only is it quickly absorbed into the skin but also provides a cooling sensation, providing much needed relief at night.
The only downside to aloe vera is that it can leave your sheets a sticky mess. Fortunately, there are numerous aloe vera gels and creams that moisturize without leaving a residue, keeping your sheets clean.
19. And no light at night
While ‘no light at night’ may be a little extreme, it is important that you consider the effect that certain types of light can have on your sleep. Many studies have proven that blue light can mess with your sleep cycle. 5
Blue light is the same light found in daylight. When exposed to blue light your body suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for telling our brain that it’s time to go to sleep. This is why we feel more alert during the day than at night.
To put it simply, blue light signals your body remain awake and alert. Obviously, being alert is not something you want to encourage before bed time.
Now you may be thinking:
So what, there’s no blue light when the sun goes down.
While you would be right, electronics give off this same blue light . Your computer screen, mobile phone, tablet and television all give off this same stimulating blue light that stimulates your body. Even energy efficient lighting can have disrupt your sleep cycle.6
There are numerous solutions you can use to remove blue light from your bedtime routine. Because all of us lead very different lifestyles, you may find that some of these solutions are less practical than others. Just stick with what works for you, eliminating blue light can go a long way towards a better night of sleep and will be more than worth the sacrifice.
- Use a lamp with orange/red lamp globe for bed time lighting
- Wear amber colored glasses
- Give up the screens an hour or more before bed
- Download apps that reduce blue light (but not cancel it) for your electronic devices
20. Break a sweat
There is a direct link between physical activity and sleep. In a study of over 2,600 men and women aged 18-85 it was revealed that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week resulted in a 65% improvement in sleep quality. 7
So this one is simple. Exercise more for better shut-eye.
I just don’t have the time to fit exercise into my daily routine
It’s all about making time. Over seven days that 150 minutes of exercise is just 20 minutes each day. That’s not long at all and given all the other health benefits associated with exercise this is definitely a sleep solution you should consider.
If you are particularly time poor you will have to get creative about squeezing exercise into your daily schedule. Aerobics in front of the TV after work or parking a little further from work and walking are two examples of clever ways to squeeze exercise into your busy schedule.
Did you know that stretching can actually lead to a better night of sleep?
A study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle revealed that stretching could be a valuable weapon in the fight against insomnia. Women doing upper and lower body stretches for about 30 minutes each day experienced 30% less problems with falling asleep. 8
The best news is that you can stretch while you perform other chores. Stretch while you cook, stretch in front of the TV. No one says you have to do it in a 30 minute block!
22. Sleep and hunger don’t mix
The sharp pains of hunger are more than enough to keep anyone awake at night.
But in addition to the discomfort of your empty stomach, you also have to compete with your brain. Hunger pains have actually been shown to keep your brain mentally alert. And being alert is the last thing you want when you are trying to sleep.
This one is an easy fix. Don’t skip meals, even if it’s what that crazy new diet recommends. It’s not worth sacrificing sleep over.
In stark contrast to this point…
23. Don’t eat too close to bed
Eating dinner too close to bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. While it may be difficult to manage with a busy schedule, it is recommended that you eat your last meal a couple of hours before you hit the sack.
Snacking too close to bed can activate the digestive system, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you do have to eat closer to bed, your best bet is to stick to carbohydrates which may promote sleep. And as always, eat light.
Eating too close to bed is a particular problem for those that suffer from acid reflux or GERD which, if triggered, can keep you awake with an uncomfortable burning sensation.
24. Watch that last sip
There is nothing worse than waking in the middle of the night with a bursting bladder. Once the feeling strikes there is absolutely no going back to sleep until you empty the tank. Unfortunately this means a bleary eyed stumble to the bathroom.
If you find yourself constantly waking for that midnight pee-run then you may find the problem is drinking too close to your bed time.
Rather than have a big drink before bed, try to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Another trick is to go to the bathroom before bed, even if you don’t have to. Going to bed with a full tank will just see you wake up to empty it later at night.
25. Minimize stress
If you are stressed or anxious then falling asleep can prove to be next to impossible.
The cause of stress will differ dramatically from person to person. It may be an upcoming work interview, a late bill, a sick family member… The list goes on.
Whatever the reason for your stress, it needs to be eliminated for the sake of your sleep.
But as you may have guessed, with so many things that can cause stress, there is no single solution eliminate stress from your life. As a result only you can come up with the solution to your stress.
You will need to take a long hard look at the cause of stress in your life and if not eliminate it, at least make it manageable so that it does not keep you awake at night.
26. Relax with a soothing scent
Your best sleep ever may be a scented candle away.
Surrounding yourself with a smell that you find comforting can help to relax you prior to bed time. One study even found that smells can have an influence on your dreams.9
Lavender is one of the most commonly scent to promote relaxation. However, any smell that you associate with calming thoughts is also a good choice.
. Incense, aroma sticks, vaporizes and candles can all allow your favorite aroma to waft gently through your home; spreading the calming effects with it.
Even the worst multi-tasker can still smell and do something else. For this reason many people combine a calming scent with other relaxing sleep solutions such as a massage or taking a bath.
27. Indulge in a rub down
Numerous studies show that a good massage at the end of a tough week can help improve sleep, reduce anxiety and decrease depression levels.10
Massage therapy can even help ease pain, another cause of poor sleep. People with lower back pain who had a 30-minute massage twice a week reported a decrease in pain and fewer sleep disturbances.
Obviously professional massage sessions can be costly and not an option for everyone. That’s where your partner comes in. Recruit them as a substitute massage therapist. It doesn’t even have to be a long massage, a three minute rub down on your back can help you relax and lead to a deeper sleep.
Having trouble getting your partner on board? Motivate them by doing a chore they hate or offering a massage in return.
28. Hypnotize your insomnia away
I am sure you know the old cliché: a hypnotist pulls out a pocket watch and waves it in front of his captives face and utters the following four words:
You are feeling sleepy
As if by magic the person being hypnotized enters a deep sleep….
Obviously this is all make-believe, but there is an underlying grain of truth. Hypnotism can help you sleep better at night.
A recent study on women who listened to a sleep promoting audio-tape containing hypnotic suggestion spent less time waiting to fall asleep and 80% more time in deep sleep.11
Sleep hypnosis audio-tapes generally consist of slow and varied sounds while a narrator with a soothing voice guides you through falling asleep.
Want to see the benefit for yourself? There are numerous hypnotic audio available on Youtube, Spotify or to purchase online for you to test out. Search for “sleep hypnotism”
Simply follow the instructions of the narrator. You will be able to listen to many of self-hypnosis tapes laying down in your bed with your eyes closed.
29. Write your worries away
If anxious thoughts and worries keep you up at night then you will likely have noticed a pattern. You will keep repeating the same troubles in your head over and over and over.
Not only is this unproductive but it can also ruin your sleep.
The reason these thoughts are worries are because you cannot act on them in this instant. And over thinking definitely isn’t the solution.
So rather than take your troubles to bed, write them all down in a journal; taking stock of everything that is on your mind before you go to sleep. No matter how insignificant or embarrassingly trivial you think it is, if it’s keeping you awake at night, write it down.
There is no need to censor yourself, let it all out. Your worry journal is private.
Use the exercise as a way to let off steam. When you close the cover of your journal, your worries stay inside.
30. Nap smarter
If you are tired from sleep deprivation then a power nap can help you feel refreshed. By having an afternoon nap you can relieve sleepiness, keep you alert and improve your mood. And adding caffeine to your nap can actually make it more effective!
The best part is that you can even sneak in a short nap on your lunch break, allowing you to return to work refreshed and focused.
If you enjoy a good nap then there is nothing wrong with that. But believe it or not, a siesta can have a negative impact on your night time sleeping pattern.
The key to a good nap is to keep it short and sweet. A 15 to 20 minute nap is all it takes to enjoy benefits. Any longer and you will hit a deeper sleep which will cause you to feel groggy when you awake. This groggy feeling is often referred to as a sleep hangover.
A longer nap can also prevent you from feeling tired when you lay down to rest for the night.
Since it is quite easy to over-nap you might want to consider setting a nap alarm to ensure you don’t over sleep.
The other thing to consider is the time of day that you nap. Obviously you want to choose a time that is not too late. A nap in the early afternoon will give your body plenty of time to build up a desire for sleep. Napping too close to bed may result in frequent awakenings at night.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of a nap than others. If you are a habitual napper and suffer from insomnia at night, try skipping the nap. You may just find that your quality of sleep improves.
31. Ditch caffeine
What’s the best thing to wake you up after a poor nights sleep?
Consumed daily by 54% of adult Americans, it’s very likely you said coffee. Full of caffeine, this beverage gives a seemingly instant energy boost wiping away your morning sluggishness.
But did you know that your caffeine dependency may also be the very thing responsible for the restless sleep you had last night?
A study in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that taken up to 6 hours before your bedtime can disturb your sleep pattern. Caffeine in large doses has even been linked to anxiety and insomnia, neither of which are particularly sleep friendly.12
But it’s not just coffee you need to watch out for. Caffeine can be found in tea, energy drinks, sodas, protein bars, diet pills and chocolates among other foods.
Watch for hidden caffeine – A food label will only declare that a product contains caffeine if it has been added in the manufacturing process. Ingredients that naturally include caffeine such as tea leaves, coffee beans and cacao (used to make chocolate) do not have to list that they contain caffeine.
While people who have a caffeine sensitivity should steer clear of coffee altogether, most people will be able to sleep just fine if they limit their coffees and other caffeine products to the morning.
32. Cut back on the booze
Do find yourself reaching for the bottle of alcohol after a stressful day of work. You are not alone. Many people find that a glass of wine or cold refreshing beer to finish the day helps them take their mind off their troubles, helping them to relax.
While it may feel like alcohol makes drowsy and fall asleep quicker, it affects the quality of your sleep. Not only can drinking alcohol before bed cause you to wake easier in the middle of the night but can also lead to less restful sleep, causing you to wake up still tired.
If that is not enough reason to ditch your night – alcohol is a diuretic (makes you pee more frequently), which lead to waking up with a bursting bladder. There is nothing worse than leaving the comfort of your mattress to stumble through the dark on a midnight toilet quest.
Finally if you are taking prescription sleeping pills or other sleep aids then alcohol is absolutely of limits.
Having trouble giving up the booze? There is no need to go cold turkey. Why not start off slow and replace the booze with non-alcoholic beer or wine? Your body will associate the familiar color, taste and smell with the beverage you previously used to relax. If you have identified that you may have an alcohol addiction then Alcoholics Anonymous has support groups all over America.
33. Smokes are a drag on your sleep
Let’s face it, it’s not like you needed another reason to give up smoking. While smoking may appear to help reduce stress and relax you, it actually does the opposite and in severe cases has even been linked to insomnia and sleep apnea.
The reason cigarettes disrupt your sleep can be put down to one ingredient in the tobacco – Nicotine. Nicotine acts as a stimulant, similar to caffeine, to keep you alert and awake. Obviously not something you want to experience as you are trying to doze off to sleep.
The nicotine from smoking 2 hours before your bed time can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Smokers also experience a lighter sleep and wake up easier than those who skip the pre-bed cigarette.2013 University of Florida Study”>13
In addition to tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, there are some other nicotine sources to watch out for. Nicotine can also be found in the e-lquid that is used by e-cigarettes (vapes) as well as nicotine gums and sprays, which are often used by smokers to give up traditional cigarettes. Just be mindful that these products, particularly those with larger levels of nicotine, can also contribute to a restless night of sleep.
Need more reason to give up the smokes? Cigarettes may be responsible for your snoring. A European study has linked Cigarette smoking to snoring with frequent smokers much more likely to snore than those who didn’t smoke.
Can’t beat the withdrawals? Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has a amazing resource dedicated to helping you quit. Remember, you are not alone when it comes to quitting. There are many online support forums where you can discuss your day to day struggles with other people trying to quit just like you.
34. Create your own sleep friendly routine
You can use abed time routine to ease the transition from being awake to being asleep.
Your bedtime ritual can be as simple or as complicated as you want, using as few or as many sleep preparation tips found in this list as you like.
My personal nightly bedtime ritual is as follows:
- Dim the lights
- Turn off all electronics
- Take a bath
- Drink a sleep tea while…
- Reading a chapter of my book
- Brush my teeth
- Lay in bed
As I progress through this nightly routine I notice my body becoming more and more relaxed. Come the end of it I am ready to fall asleep.
My ritual will likely differ from your bedtime ritual. Stick with what works for you.
35. Beep beep, it’s time for sleep
It is highly likely that you set an alarm to wake up in the morning. But how many of you set an alarm to go to bed?
A bed time ritual can be difficult to enforce with a bust schedule, you may find yourself glancing at the clock and thinking “is that the time” and skip your bedtime routine altogether.
Setting an alarm to go to sleep reminds you that it is time to begin a pre-sleep routine, giving you time to unwind from your day and relax.
Set an alarm an hour before bed. When you hear your alarm go off it’s time to relax and begin your bedtime routine. Take a bath, read a book, avoid electronics, whatever helps get you in the relaxing and sleep ready mindset.
It goes without saying that you should choose a calming sound or song for your alarm tone. Save Darude’s dancefloor classic, Sandstorm, to pump you up in the morning.
36. Snooze doesn’t help you snooze
We have all been there. Your alarm clock jolts you from that beautiful serene sleep you were having.
Instinctively you reach out for the snooze and are rewarded with 9 more minutes of sleep, allowing you to go back to sleep and wake up feeling rested.
While it sounds good in theory, what actually happens inside your body is completely different. After you hit snooze and drift back off to sleep your brain begins your sleep cycle all over again.
When the alarm goes off a second time you awake in an earlier part of your sleep cycle which can result in you feeling worse than you did when your alarm originally woke you up.
Some people even deliberately set their alarms earlier than they need to, just so they can hit snooze a couple of times before getting out of bed. Needless to say that this technique will not make you feel more rested than if you just got out of bed at the sound of the first alarm.
37. Take your position!
The most common types of sleep positions are on your back, side or stomach. It is highly likely that you favor one position over all the others. You may be surprised to learn that your favorite sleeping position may be responsible for your broken sleep.
Backsleeping is considered the overall best and most supportive sleep position and should definitely be considered if you awake in the middle of the night from back pains. Because changing your sleep position your natural sleeping position is a hard habit to break, we put together a guide on how to train yourself to sleep on your back.
On the flipside, back sleeping is a no-go for those of you suffering from sleep apnea or snoring. Likewise sleeping on your right can cause heartburn to become worse while sleeping on your left hand side can relieve it.14
The position you sleep in can aggravate your medical condition resulting in poor sleep. However, unless there is a primary health concern for you needing to swap out your favorite sleep position you can stick with what you find comfortable.
38. Dress your feet up for bed
Do you have colder than normal extremities? If you live in a climate or are suffering through winter, you may notice that your hands and feet are constantly cold.
According to a 1999 study, the temperature of your hands and feed can determine just how quickly you fall asleep.15
To put it simply, if you are laying in bed with cold hands or feet then you will take longer to fall asleep than someone with warm hands and feet.
The solution is simple: Slip on a pair of socks to warm your chilly feet. By warming up your extremities you will fall asleep much quicker.
39. You can’t fight sleep
If you are laying there wide awake and have tried all the relaxing techniques on this list then it’s time to get out of bed.
Yep, leaving your bed may be the solution to you falling asleep.
You see, laying in bed awake and alert thinking about falling asleep is just going to stress you out more. And when the stress strikes, sleep is impossible.
So get out of bed and find an activity that isn’t stimulating or involve bright light. One way or another your body is eventually going to want to sleep. Head back to your mattress when your body finally craves sleep.
40. Progressively relax your muscles
Another popular relaxation technique that you can try while laying in bed is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This technique is designed to improve overall sleep quality by reducing anxiety, a common cause of insomnia.16
As the name suggests, progressive muscle relaxation requires you to tense and relax your muscles, one at a time giving each your full attention.
Start at your feet and focus on each muscle that you can flex before moving up your body to the next one. By the time you have finished you will feel much more relaxed and ready for sleep.
41. Visualize a calming scene
I am sure you have heard the phrase “Counting sheep” in which one imagines sheep jumping over a fence, counting each one as it passes.
What you probably are unaware of is that this is a mental distraction technique known as visualization. Visualization can help you relax while you are laying in bed, giving you something calming to think about instead of “I can’t sleep, I can’t sleep, I can’t sleep…” 17
Visualization can feel a little silly the first time you try it.
The first thing to do is lay in bed in your natural sleeping position. It is important that you are comfortable.
Then come the thoughts. The idea is to imagine yourself somewhere calm and relaxing. It can be a place you have visited or a made up place.
The beautiful thing about this technique is that you won’t even notice it working. You will simply go from your serene imaginative place to the land of nod.
42. Go naked for sleep
Ditching your pajamas or other sleepwear could result in better sleep.
By going commando there are no drawstrings, extra layers to get tangled in the sheets or shirts getting twisted. Without these distractions you may find that you wake up less throughout the night.
Sleeping naked also allows your skin to breath, keeping your body at an even temperature. If you awake from summer sweats then don’t be afraid to ditch the sleepwear.
And as if you needed another reason, skin on skin contact with your partner is awesome. This will turn those bumps in the night from ‘ow!’ to ‘oh!’.
So don’t be a prude, sleep naked!
43. Check your medication!
It’s funny how life can be give and take. While your medication may be treating one area of your life it may be the very thing responsible for your insomnia.
Prescription drugs that are used to treat asthma and depression often have a negative impact on sleep.
Likewise, prescribed stimulants that are designed to remedy daytime sleepiness can cause insomnia if taken too close to bedtime.
If you suspect your medication is responsible for your poor sleep then you will have to consult your doctor. Your doctors will not only help to identify which ingredients are causing your insomnia but may also be able to suggest an alternate medication, one without the nasty sleep-busting side effects.
44. Use a second pillow to support your body
You only need a single pillow to support your head. But if you awake in the middle of the night with aches and pains, it may be because your back, hips and knees are not getting the support that they need.
A second pillow is all that is needed to help keep your knees, hips and back aligned and supported, allowing you to sleep comfortably through the night.
The correct place to use the second pillow will entirely depend on your sleeping position:
Back Sleepers – A pillow placed under your knees helps to reduce pressure on the lower back.
Stomach Sleepers – A pillow under your feet can help to alleviate knee pain.
Side Sleepers – An extra pillow between your knees will not only align your hips but also reduce lower back pain.
The good news is that you don’t have to steal your partners pillow to use as a support for your aches and pains. There are purpose made pillows available that contour to these specific areas. These pillows don’t move or fall out while you adjust your sleeping position in your sleep.
45. Understand your sleep patterns
While it can vary, some humans sleep in a 90 minute cycles.
To be able to use these 90 minute cycles to your advantage you will need to understand how they work.
This 90 minute sleep cycle is broken down into 5 stages. The first three stages are non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep). The final stage is Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
Let’s take a closer look at each stage:
Stage 1 NREM Sleep – 3-5 minutes. While your eyes are closed and you are drifting in and out of sleep, you are easily awoken.
Stage 2 NREM Sleep – You enter light sleep. In this phase your heart rate and body temperature decrease it prepares to enter deep sleep.
Stage 3 NREM Sleep – The deepest period of sleep that you will experience. This deep sleep state makes waking much more difficult. If you do wake, such as by your alarm, you will likely feel dizzy and disorientated for a bit.
Stage 4 REM Sleep – The final stage of sleep. This is when dreams that occur.
Since these 4 stages take roughly 90 minutes to complete, you will go through the cycle multiple times through the night. Interestingly, as each sleep cycle completes you will continuously experience longer periods of stage 4 sleep (REM sleep) and shorter periods while stage 3 (deep sleep) reduces in length. By the time morning comes your sleep cycle will almost entirely consist of 1, 2 and 4 sleep. This is why many people experience their most vivid dreams right before they wake in the morning.
To take advantage of your sleep cycle you can set your alarm so that it awakes you at one of the 90 minute intervals. By doing this the aim is to wake in a light sleep stage, allowing you to awaje feeling refreshed without the disorientating effects.
Need to be up at 7 am? Going to bed at 11:30 will give you 7.5 hours of sleep and will wake you up at the beginning of your cycle. But because you don’t fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow, be in bed by 11pm.
46. Use acupressure to pressure yourself into sleeping
Studies have shown that acupressure can help you fall asleep at night. As the name suggests, acupressure requires you to press gently but firmly on certain points in your body. Dr Idzikowski, Director of the “Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service” suggests that acupressure can be used to induce drowsiness.17
Want to try it yourself? Here are some sleep inducing pressure points to get you started.
1. Between the brow – Press your thumb in the space between your eyebrows and hold it for 20 seconds. Release it for a few seconds before reapplying the pressure for another 20 seconds. Do this three times.
2. Between your toes – Gently press the area between your big toe and the one next to it. Hold it for 20 seconds before releasing it. Repeat three times.
Acupressure is commonly used by those suffering from back pain. By practicing acupressure before bed they can achieve temporary relief from the pain, allowing them to fall asleep easier. There are even acupressure mats available that you can lay on that poke these pressure points for you.
47. Don’t work when you should be sleeping
If you have ever worked the graveyard shift you will know exactly how difficult it can be to keep a balanced sleep routine. Your body just wasn’t meant to sleep in the day.
Our bodies are made to be active during daylight hours. As you might have experienced, this makes falling asleep during the day an incredibly difficult task, even if you are tired!
The best solution is to skip the shift work altogether, whether asking your boss to work dayshift or finding a new job. Unfortunately the best solution is also the most impractical, and many people who work the graveyard shift find themselves in a poor sleep cycle that they cannot escape.
Fortunately there are a few things that you can do to help achieve better rest during the day:
- Make your sleeping area pitch black
- Invest in a sleep mask and ear plugs.
- Turn your mobile off
- Make yourself inaccessible to others during this time
- Get your family to help out, keep the tv out, only use the washer and dryer when you are awake etc.
48. This is how we roll
Here’s a quick and simple trick that many people swear by. Rolling your eyes. Yep, all that training you had as a teenager is about to pay off.
Interestingly there are two different tricks that people use:
1. Quick – Close your eyes and roll your eyes back and forth in quick succession three times
2. Slow – Close your eyes and slowly roll your eyeballs backwards in your head.
Sound too weird to be true? Well the theory is that these eye exercises imitate the actual movements that your eyeballs make when you are fast asleep. By doing it while you are awake you can trick the body into releasing more melatonin which in turn will make you feel sleepy.
49. Put a pin in it
Yep, being treated like a pin cushion could actually result in a better sleep.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine where needles prick the skin to alleviate pain, and treat carious physical, mental and emotional conditions.
And before you ask: No, it doesn’t hurt.
Studies have linked acupuncture to an increase in melatonin produced and overall sleep time. If you are looking for a natural solution then acupuncture may provide relief for your insomnia. Acupuncture can also be used to treat chronic pain, another sleep buster.18
Acupuncture is not an instant win. You won’t feel a major improvement after your first visit. People who have experienced the sleep boosting benefits of acupuncture often state that it takes a few visits before they saw results.
If you are interested in exploring acupuncture as a sleep solution then be prepared to stick it out.
50. You may not be Fred Flintstone but you can still make your bed rock
It’s one of the simplest sleep inducing remedies, and one that we do naturally: rocking a baby asleep.
Well it turns out adults are no different. A Swiss study found that a gentle rocking motion can have significant sleep benefits including falling asleep quicker and lead to deeper and more restful sleep.19
To achieve the same rocking benefits, why not try sleeping in a hammock? The gentle swaying motions can help lull you off to sleep. Got a bit more cash to splash? Check out floating beds for the ultimate rocking experience.
51. Eat your way to sleep
I’m sorry to say it: it’s a myth that milk and turkey can actually help you sleep. But there are some foods that you can eat across the day that have vitamins and minerals essential to sleeping well at night. And the good news is, they’re delicious.
Walnuts – Contain melatonin, the chemical released in your body to prepare you for sleep.
Honey – When taking just before bed, honey can prevent your blood sugar from dropping in the middle of the night, keeping you sound asleep.
Almonds – High in magnesium, a nutrient that can help ward off insomnia.
Passionfruit – Contains Somniferum, a chemical that can induce sleep.
Bananas – Not only contain magnesium but also potassium, a mineral that may assist sleep patterns and vitamin, and vitamin b6 for raising serotonin levels.
It is important to note that if you are looking for any of these vitamins or minerals in a concentrated dose you will be better served by taking a supplement.
52. Make the sexy time
You are sexy and you know it. So prove it, for sleep’s sake.
Sex can be the ultimate sleep inducer. And best of all, it feels amazing. Seriously, there is an extensive list of sleep busters that sex can solve; including:,
- Relieving stress and anxiety
- Block pain of arthritis, menstrual cramps and headaches
- Cure the common cold
On top of that, your brain releases a hormone called prolactin after an orgasm, making you feel relaxed and sleepy in the time following sex.
Don’t have that special someone? It’s time for a good old fashion solo session. Don’t be embarrassed; exploring your own sexuality is both natural and encouraged by health experts. We are well and truly past the chastity belt era.
53. Stay in position
When you awake at night do you toss and turn and try to get comfortable?
believe it or not, moving around may serve as a ‘wake-up call’ to your body and brain, causing your to become more awake and alert. Obviously neither of these traits are beneficial for sleep.
If you awake at night, remain in your natural sleeping position and try not to move around. You may find that you will fall back asleep much quicker.
54. Check for bed bugs
Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite…
Forget monsters, their might be something much scarier hiding under your mattress. Bed bugs come out at night to suck on your blood before scurrying away into hiding.
Not only can bed bugs leave itchy bite marks but can also trigger allergies, especially in asthma sufferers. Yep, you can kiss that good night of sleep goodbye if you have a bed bug infestation.
But even if you don’t have an allergic reaction, do you really want to share your bed with a blood sucking parasite?
Solutions for bedbugs include sprays, traps and sealing your mattress
55. Don’t sleep on multiple pillows
A second pillow adds even more height to where you rest your head. While it may seem comfortable as you fall asleep, you are actually throwing your spine out of alignment.
This can lead to you waking in the middle of the night and even lead to a stiff neck and sore muscles.
If you find sleeping on a single pillow uncomfortable then it may be time to re-evaluate what you are sleeping on. Your pillow may have flattened and need replacing or the pillow may be too thin for your preferred sleeping position.
Stomach sleepers in particular should avoid multiple pillows. A low-profile pillow is all that is needed.
56. Nature holds the secret to sleep
It has been proven that nature has a calming effect on the body. Surrounding yourself with plants can reduce stress and feelings of anxiety; two big sleep busters.20
You don’t have to sleep in the woods to enjoy the calming benefits of nature. While you can use cut flowers in vases, a more permanent solution is to bring the outside indoors with potted plants.
My personal favorite indoor plants are ones with practical uses. Aloe Vera for instance is easy to grow and can be used as a remedy for sunburns and skin irritation. And herbs like basil and parsley can be used in cooking.
But the ultimate sleep inducing plant would be lavender. With it’s pretty purple flowers; lavender gives off a calming scent that has been proven to help calm the mind and induce sleep. A couple of lavender plants by your bedroom window will do the trick.
Don’t forget to water them! A dead plant won’t give you the same relaxing benefits. If you don’t have a green thumb, lucky bamboo is one of the easiest to grow indoor plants.
57. Use the right nightlight
If you sleep better with a faint light on then grab yourself a nightlight. Just be sure to choose the right one since a bright nightlight can actually disrupt your sleep cycle.
Choose an orange/amber colored nightlight. If you can’t find one use a regular nightlight and install a low-wattage halogen globe. This will give off the same sleep friendly amber colored light.
If you have to run midnight errands then consider expanding the nightlight empire. If you have to go to the toilet in the middle of the night or feed your child then install a couple of nightlights in these areas.
This will prevent you from turning on the sleep wrecking ceiling nights that suppress melatonin. Exposure to your bright ceiling lights for even a second can make it impossible to fall back asleep.
58. Avoid fatty foods
As if you needed another reason to skip that burger and fries. In addition to adding inches to your waist, a high fat diet has been linked to sleep problems and a higher chance of sleep apnea.21
This one is an easy fix: Put down that greasy food! Your sleep depends on it!
Skip the fatty foods for a week or two and look for any improvement in your nightly sleep.
59. Spice and heat are a bad dinner treat
Wait! Don’t throw out your hot sauce collection just yet. You can still use your taste bud nuke at breakfast and lunch and sleep fine at night. But when dinner time rolls around, reaching for something a little more mild for dinner you can be rewarded with a better sleep at night.
An Australian study noted that if you eat a spicy meal before bed you will not only take longer to fall asleep, but can also experience less sleep overall.22
While often not considered spices; Garlic, ginger, mustard, cumin, curcumin, coriander, tamarind, onion should also be avoided before bed. These ingredients are considered a which can also lead to restless sleep.23
Now here is where it get’s difficult, particularly if your diet revolves around spicy foods such as chilli or curry. Some people find that without spice, food tastes bland.
If you found yourself nodding along at that last sentence then here is a handy hint for you:
Flavor without the spice – The easiest way to add some much needed taste to your food is with herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme. Fresh or dried, these herbs add a powerful punch of flavor without affecting your sleep.
60. Give up Artificial Sweetener
You probably consume artificial sweeteners in the foods you eat each day and don’t even realize it. Aspartame is one artificial sweetener that may be responsible for a restless night of sleep.
Once in your body, Aspartame breaks down into Phenylalanine (50%); which in turn reduces serotonin levels. Serotonin regulates your sleep wake cycle and an imbalance may cause sleep disorders such as insomnia.24
You may be surprised at just what You more than likely have a bunch of aspartame sweetened food sitting in your pantry right now. If you have tried everything else to cure your restless sleep then it may be worth cutting these from your diet.
It is worth mentioning that products that contain artificial sweeteners can also contain other ingredients that are not too sleep friendly, diet cola for instance also contains caffeine and isn’t something you would want to drink before bed .25
61. Bath your way to sleep
Body temperature plays an important role in sleep. When your body temperature is on the rise you’re most likely to feel alert and awake. When it’s falling you are likely to feel drowsy.
Now recommending a bath may seem odd, since a bath will raise your body temperature. But it’s the cooling effect that happens after you get of the warm water that you are going to take advantage of.
The trick is to take a bath an hour before bed and have the temperature warm rather than hot. This way you will give your body enough time to cool down, bringing on feelings of sleepiness.
Add some calming essential oils to your bath water, light a candle or read a book. The best part about a bath is that it can be combined with other relaxing activities; allowing you to create the ultimate serene environment before bed.
Already showered that night or just not in the mood to submerge your entire body underwater? A foot bath is a quick and simple alternative while providing the same relaxing effects.
62. Read a book
I’ll be straight up: while reading a book can be a relaxing way to wind down after a hard day of work, it alone will not help fix your broken nights sleep.
So why is it on this list?
Reading a book is best used in conjunction as part of a good sleep routine. You can use a paperbook to replace the time you would otherwise spend staring at your TV, phone or tablet; a habit that has been proven to disrupt sleep.
By consistently reading a book before you go to bed your body will begin to associate reading with bed time and begin to wind down as you read through the pages.
Sipping on your chosen night cap or inhaling a relaxing scent while you read will aid the calming experience.
Now it goes without saying that you should pick a book that isn’t too stimulating. A murder mystery or thriller definitely isn’t the best choice for bedtime reading material.
The benefits of yoga are widely known. Not only can yoga improve your strength and flexibility, but also have a positive impact on your breathing and reduce stress.26
It won’t surprise you to learn that yoga has been used to treat chronic insomnia and other sleep disorders , leading to improvements in several areas of sleep including the time it took to fall asleep, sleep duration and overall quality of sleep.
In the half hour before you go to bed, squeeze in a yoga routine. It doesn’t have to take long, you will find many 15 minute pre-bed routines online. That really isn’t a whole lot of effort for a potentially greater night of sleep.
Just because you don’t feel the effects after a single session doesn’t mean that you should give up. Many people state that they don’t see the full benefits until after a week or two of consecutive yoga routines.
Not feeling yoga? Tai Chi and qigong exercises both have similar sleep benefits.
But it’s not just the stretches that help you relax. Controlled breathing plays a major part in yoga and can lead to a better nights sleep.
One popular yoga technique is Alternate nostril breathing. Simply place a finger on your right nostril and hold it closed. Breath deep and slow through your left nostril for 3 minutes before breathing normally again.
in fact, breathing is so important to your sleep routine that I had to dedicate a separate section to it below.
It turns out that breathing exercises can relax your body and help you fall asleep faster. That is, breathing through your nose, not your mouth.
Now you may be thinking
I breath all day, how can breathing help me fall asleep?
I’ll bet that until you started reading this section you had not thought about breathing today. By and large, breathing happens automatically without any input from us.
As you lay down to sleep at night focusing on your breathing can help prevent you get lost in stressful thoughts that would otherwise keep you awake.
One popular breathing technique is the 4-7-8 technique.
You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.
Quick, simple and can be done while you are laying in bed.
Unfortunately breathing techniques are not suitable if you are suffering from congestion. Check out these tips to sleeping with a stuffy nose.
65. Listen to calming music
I am sure you have heard the that music soothes the soul, well it also can also help people with both short-term and chronic sleep problems achieve a better night of sleep.27
It turns out that lullabies aren’t just for babies. Studies have shown that indulging in relaxing music for about 45 minutes before bedtime can help your body prepare for sleep.
Aim to play music with a rhythm of about 60 beats per minute (BPM) and avoid playing songs that cause an emotional reaction. Obviously your ex’s mix-tape is a bad choice.
Classical music, folk or jazz, music without words, are often the best choice; however you are free to experiment to see what works for you. Songbpm.com is a great service that allows you to see how many BPM your tunes play at, allowing you to put together your own personal sleep play list. Spotify also has their own pre-made sleep play lists that are popular among listeners.
Products to help you sleep
From point 66 and onwards this guide to sleeping better will focus on products. Often the best way to get a better night of sleep is to pay for it. And these products will allow you to do just that.
66. Magnesium supplements
Magnesium, a mineral found in low levers in many foods plays a crucial role in the deactivation of adrenalin (and a reduction in anxiety). While magnesium does not guarantee that you will immediately fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow and stay there, a deficiency guarantees that you won’t.
Fortunately magnesium supplements are not only readily available but affordable too. Pills are my preferred way to take magnesium, swallow with a bit of water and you can forget about your daily magnesium intake until tomorrow.
Just be careful that not all magnesium is the same. Some types, like magnesium citrate or oxide, can cause a laxative effect. I recommend Innovix Labs Advanced Magnesium, not only is it gentle on your stomach but eaily absorbed by your body.
Otherwise you can use a magnesium powdered supplement. Powder is easy to dissolve. Mix it through your smoothie or top on top of other foods. Again, I recommend either Magnesium malate or Magnesium Bisglycinate which are gentle on your digestive system while being easy to absorb.
Powdered magnesium has an unusual flavor that many people find unpleasant. It is best masked with other strong flavors. If you have a weak gag reflex then you should stick with magnesium capsules for sleep benefits without the taste.
If you are looking for a natural sleep remedy then chamomile should be your starting point. Used for thousands of years as a solution or insomnia, studies have indicated that chamomile can treat anxiety and provide a better night of sleep.29
The most common way to take chamomile is by brewing yourself a tea. Drinking chamomile tea 30-45 minutes before bed can help induce a deeper and more refreshing sleep. If you read the ingredients of any “sleepy time tea” mix you will most likely find that chamomile is the base ingredient.
Chamomile tea is quite affordable and effective, a hundred pack of tea bags will set you back just hundred pack of chamomile tea bags will last you over three months and set you back a little over $12.
If you have converted your whole family onto this sleep solution then you may want to invest in dried chamomile flowers. While it is a little more messy, and you will need to invest in an infuser, a pound of dried chamomile flower won’t cost a whole lot more than the tea bags and last a lot longer too.
But perhaps the easiest way to take advantage of by chamomiles relaxing properties is by sniffing it. Chamomile essential oil is a powerful relaxant. Add it to your aromatherapy diffuser and let the smell drift through your house calming not just you but your entire family. I personally add chamomile essential oil to my bath before I go to sleep, the steamy water causes the chamomile to waft through the air for the ultimate pre-bed relaxation.
Now neither of these solutions is particularly practical if you wake in the middle of the night. That’s where a chamomile extract can come in handy. A couple of drops under the tongue and you will be on the way to sleepy town. You can also add the drops to your evening drink in lieu of a tea. When choosing an extract I recommend choosing an alcohol free one like Nature’s answer Chamomile Flower.
Lastly you can take chamomile as a pill. Cost per serving, pills are the most expensive way to take chamomile and many users report they do not see the same positive effect on their sleep that the other chamomile products provide.
68. Valerian Root
Believe it or not, Valerian root has been used to ease insomnia, anxiety and restlessness for over 1000 years. Studies have shown hat this natural sleep remedy has a sedative that not only reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep but also improves the overall sleep quality.30 31
Some people are put off by Valerian root’s unusual odor and unique taste. The thing to remember is that the taste only lasts a moment and is a worthwhile trade off for a night of unbroken sleep.
Valerian can be added to your sleep routine in a number of ways:
A quick and simple way around the taste problem. Pop a pill and take with a drink. It doesn’t get simpler than that. this one is a popular valerian root brand that uses Vcaps (vegetarian friendly pill capsules) to hold the valerian.
Valerian Extracts and Tinctures
Liquid Valerian that comes in a dropper bottle. If you are feeling brave you can take the extract straight. If you can’t get past the taste mix it with your tea or other drink.
Because alcohol is used to in the extraction process, many Valerian extracts will contain alcohol (some up to 50%). As I covered earlier, alcohol is something that can have a negative impact on your sleep. Fortunately, there are alcohol-free varieties available like Herb Pharms Alcohol-Free Extract. Just be mindful that alcohol free extracts often have a much stronger smell and taste than alcohol based extracts.
Dried Valerian root that can be steeped, leaving you with a Valerian tea. Available in available in valerian tea bags for no fuss brewing or dried and loose which is cheaper per cup but also more time consuming and messy to prepare.
Because of the unusual after taste, many manufacturers mix other herbal ingredients to create a much more enjoyable tea while still providing the Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra is one of the more popular valerian tea mixes around and I can say that that from personal experience, it’s delicious.
Dried valerian root ground into a powder. Suitable for dissolving in an acidic juice, like orange juice, or making your own valerian capsules. Due to the strong flavor I do not recommend sprinkling the powder over food. Starwest Botanicals Sells it by the pound and is USDA Certified Organic.
Not feeling it? – If you fail to feel the calming effects of valerian then don’t give up. Valerian seems to be most effective when taken consistently, so mix it in to your bed time routine.
Studies indicate that L-Theanine is an effective supplement for enhancing sleep. It reduces anxiety, allowing those who are stressed to sleep.
Research suggests that 200mg of L-Theanine before bed can improve the quality of your sleep. Because L-Theanine can eliminate stress without making you feel drowsy or groggy, it can also be used throughout the day.32
While L-Theanine is naturally present in green tea, and will can still have a positive effect on your sleep, the most common way to take it is as a supplement. The main reason for this is concentration. While a typical cup of green tea contains around 8mg of L-theanine, supplements have over 5 times the amount. If you are looking for a concentrated dose of L-theanine then supplements are the only way you can do it.
You will often find L-Theanine blended with other natural stress reducing herbs. Sundown Naturals, for for example, mixes L-theanine with lemon balm, lavender and chamomile which have also been proven to help reduce stress and assist with sleep.
Not feeling it? – Up the dosage. Researchers noted that doses up to 2000 mg per day produced no significant negative effects.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body. It is responsible for regulating hormones and maintaining your body’s circadian rhythm (wake/sleep cycle).
Studies suggest that melatonin supplements can help those of you who with a disrupted sleep cycle, such as shift workers or travellers with jet lag, to sleep better. Seniors and people with schizophrenia, who often have low levels of melatonin production, can also use supplements to improve their quality of sleep. 33
There are a wide range of supplements available however one study concluded that a slow-release of melatonin performed better than a single big big dose.34 Off the back of this research you can now find supplements “time release” melatonin supplements.Natrol Melatonin, one of the most popular melatonin tablets on the market claims to release melatonin steadily to not only help you fall asleep faster, but remain asleep throughout the night.
To see the positive effects, follow the instructions on the packaging. Generally Melatonin is taken up to an hour before you lay down to rest.
71. Passion Flower
Passion flower helps improve your overall sleep time and reduces the chances of waking at night.
While the name indicates otherwise, passion flower is actually the stem and leaf of the passion fruit plant.
Adding passion flower to your sleep routine is simple and can be done using the following:
Passion Flower Pills
The no fuss way to take passion flower. Take a capsual with drink and you are done. Now Foods Passion Flower Capsuals are popular choice and use vegetable capsules, making them a safe option for vegetarians.
Passion Flower Extract/tincture
Passion flower liquid that comes in a dropper bottle. Take the drops directly or add them to your evening drink. Extracts often contain alcohol, which is used in the extraction process, which may impact sleep. Natures answer makes both a low alcohol and an alcohol-free passionflower extract.
Passion Flower Tea
Dried passion flower that can be steeped for a warm and calming caffeine-free tea. Available in tea bags or the cheaper per-cup but messier dried passion flower herb, which will require a tea infuser.
Passion Flower Powder
Dried passion flower that has been crushed into a fine powder. Sprinkle it on your food or mix it through your drink. Starwest Botanicals manufacturers a USDA Certified Organic passion flower leaf powder
Passion flower is often found in “sleepy time” tea blends with other natural sleep inducing herbs.
72. Tart Cherry Juice
Also known as sour cherry juice
A cup of tart cherry juice is a tasty way to drift off to sleep and is used by many as their go-to sleep aide. Cherry Juice is a great way to naturally manage insomnia.37
Let’s be honest, juice isn’t the first thing you would think of when hunting for a solution to your sleepless night. But Montmorency tart cherry juice contains naturally high levels of melatonin, which helps maintain your sleep and wake cycles. A cup of tart cherry juice half an hour before bed is all it takes to fall asleep quicker .37
Tart cherry juice is most commonly purchased as a concentrate. A little goes a long way; add a couple of teaspoons of concentrate to water and just like that you have a cup full of sleep inducing tart cherry juice.Dynamic Health’s Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate is one of the most popular brands on the market, not only is it organic but comes in a BPA-free bottle.
While research itself has only been done on the juice, there are two other ways that you can add tart cherry to your sleep routine:
Tart Cherry Capsules
Probably the most convenient way to take Tart Cherry is by popping a pill. Use just enough water to swallow the capsules and no more. Just be careful that some tart cherry pills are more potent than others. My grandmother takes Solgar Tart Cherry Capsules for her gout and believes that they also help her to sleep better too.
Freeze Dried Tart Cherry Powder
. According to Virgin Extracts, one of the very few manufacturers of freeze dried tart cherry powder, is that it takes 52 lbs of Montmorency cherries to make 1 lb of powder. As you can imagine, this makes the product incredibly potent, and a little on the expensive side. Tart cherry powder has very little taste allowing it to be easily mixed with smoothies without dominating the flavor. You can find Virgin Extracts’ tart cherry powder here.
73. Lemon Balm
While lemon balm does appear to have sedative qualities, < scientific research tested it in combination with Valerian, a well know natural sleep inducer. Because of this it is difficult to say just how effective lemon balm is on sleep.38
So if that’s the case then why did lemon balm make this list? Because it has been linked to reducing stress and anxiety, both of which do have a direct impact on your sleep.39
However, Lemon Balm is not an instant win. You don’t just drink it and fall asleep – to take advantage of it’s calming effects you should include lemon balm in your diet morning and night.
Lemon balm is commonly consumed as a tea, unlike other natural teas it has a mild and pleasant flavor.
Don’t have time to wait for the kettle to boil?
Drinking beer before bed won’t do you any favors when falling asleep. But there is one ingredient inside beer that, when isolated, has a strong sedative action.
I am talking about hops. A recent study claims that hops is a sedative and it can be an aid nocturnal sleep.40
So how do you take advantage of the sleep inducing properties of hops? The same study suggests that an non-alcoholic beer will provide sleep relief without the negative impact of an alcoholic beverage.
But drinking a beer before bedtime might not be up your alley. You can also take Hops pills with just enough water to swallow. Alternatively you can take hops extract, either directly or by adding it to water.
75. Kava Kava
The last entry into our list of natural sleep inducers is Kava Kava. Kava Kava is a shrub found in the south pacific. Islanders have used kava as medicine and in ceremonies for hundreds of years and is traditionally consumed out of a coconut cup.
In concentrated forms, Kava Kava can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Users report that taking kava allows them to fall asleep much faster than without it.41
However, and it this is important, there are concerns about the safety of kava, namely its impact on the liver. Use of kava can lead to acute liver failure.42
Just like with all other recommendations on this list, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before using Kava Kava as a sleep aid.
76. Over The Counter Sleep Aids
As you can see, there are a whole bunch of different natural ingredients ready to be incorporated into your sleeping routine. But if you are having trouble deciding which one is right for you then why not try a natural Over The Counter (OTC) sleep aid?
Natural OTC sleep aids are essentially pills with a blend of the different natural sleep solutions found on the list. Different pills use different ingredients, and in different quantities, so be sure to look for an OTC sleep aid that contains the ingredients you think will be most beneficial.
If you are a vegan then keep a look out for sleep aids that use veggie caps to house their ingredients.
A great night of sleep starts with a good, comfortable mattress. While it will often feel like an afterthought, you mattress is one of the biggest factors in a good nights sleep. Covering everything you need to know about mattresses would be a monster guide in itself, so we will just cover the basics here.
The most important thing to do is choose a mattress that supports your body in a neutral position – maintains the curvature of your spine while making sure the rest of your body supported in proper alignment.
Choosing a mattress is a balancing act. Too firm and the mattress will exert pressure on your body, throwing it out of alignment. Too soft and your body wont be supported at all. Both of these scenarios can lead to an uncomfortable and restless sleep.
If you wake up in the morning with back pain that you can get rid of it after a good stretch then chances are you are using the wrong mattress for you.
Thanks to the internet, most products can be ordered from the comfort of your home. However, it is still best to shop for your mattress the old fashioned way, walking into the store and test it out.
The most important thing here is to spend at least 15 minutes laying on the mattress. Don’t be embarrassed, make the sales assistant wait. A mattress is a big and bulky investment, one that is not easily returned if you find out you made an incorrect choice.
Mattresses generally last 7-10 years before needing to be replaced. After this time your mattress will show signs of wear such as torn padding or sagging foam which can lead to a poorer overall sleep.
Have a think back to when you purchased your mattress. If George Bush or even Bill Clinton was president at that time then you should definitely upgrade.
Keeping your mattress clean and hygienic can also promote a good night sleep. You should aim to ress once every 6 months. Doing so will go a long way towards extending the life of your mattress. You can clean your mattress in six simple steps.
Almost as important as your mattress; a pillow is not only your best friend in a pillow fight but is also a large contributor to how well you sleep at night.
Your pillows primary purpose is to provide support for your head. Your pillow should keep your neck in line with your spine while you sleep.
Pillows come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. The right pillow for you will entirely depend on your sleeping style:
- Back sleepers – Thin or low fill/low loft pillow
- Side sleepers – Regular firm or high fill pillow
- stomach sleeper – Almost flat pillow
Whatever your sleeping position, there are a boatload of pillows to choose from. Did you know that there are over 25 different types of pillows designed to keep you comfortable and supported at night? There is definitely a perfect pillow out there for you.
Sleepers with sensitive ears should avoid pillows with a “crinkly” surface. There is nothing worse than hearing a loud crinkling sound every time you slightly adjust your head. Some pillow surfaces are so loud that they can wake you up at night!
The general consensus is to replace your pillow once every 12-18 months. If your pillow is past it’s prime it will likely be a drool stained mess. You not only risk mold and mildew but all of your old skin flakes can attract dust mites. Those of you with allergies should look in a hypoallergenic pillow.
Remember – just because a pillow is more expensive does not mean it is better. All that matters is how the pillow feels to you. Your pillow is going to spend it’s life covered in a pillow case, no one is going to judge you for buying a cheap but comfortable pillow. You can even sleep without a pillow if that makes you more comfortable.
You can’t have a bed without sheets. Not only do sheets help keep the mattress underneath clean and tidy but also keep you comfortable while you sleep. The right sheets can help you to sleep better at night.
Your body temperature may be preventing you from getting a good night of sleep. Too hot or too cold and you may find yourself struggling to drift off to sleep or worse, waking in the middle of the night.
Choose temperature appropriate sheets. Synthetic and flannel sheets will help contain heat, keeping you warm and comfortable through the winter nights. But when summer rolls around natural fibers such as cotton or cotton blends are not only breathable but will also wick away sweat.
Also, don’t get caught up in the thread count hype. While higher thread counts feel luxurious, the extra fibers prevent air from freely flowing through the sheet – trapping heat. If you don’t want to sweat through the summer heat, stick to thread counts below 400.
Then there is texture. Be sure to feel the sheets before you buy them. Your whole body is going to be wrapped in these sheets and you don’t want to toss and turn throughout the night because you are irritated from the sheets. Egyptian cotton is typically the softest but also come at a cost.
80. Ear Plugs
There is nothing worse than loud noises jolting you awake in the middle of the night. Whether you have a snoring partner, a dog barking all night or are just trying to sleep during the day. If there is noise while you sleep, ear plugs are a simple but effective way to drown out annoying sounds.
Ideally you would want to try to eliminate the source of the noise, since ear plugs can also drown out important sounds like emergency phone calls, your crying baby and even smoke alarms.
But if you can’t silence the noise responsible for breaking your sleep then a pair of properly fitted earplugs can provide the quiet and relief you need to drift off to slumber town.
Earplugs are all about comfort. When it comes to ear plugs, back sleepers have the most choice. If you are a back sleeper you will be able to get away with ear plugs that stick out past the flat of your ear.
Those of you who sleep on your side or stomach will want a shorter earplug that sits flush with your ear. Not only is this more comfortable when your head hits the pillow, but will also prevent the ear plug from catching on your pillow case and falling out of your ear in the middle of the night.
When trying to find the right ear plugs be sure to look for the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The highest rating of earplugs is NRR 33, which means they will block out 33 Decibels of sound. To put it simply that level of reduction could make a food blender sound like normal speech
In terms of materials, foam is the most comfortable option for sleeping. Wax ear plugs are an unusual feeling that not everyone enjoys and silicone earplugs can squash uncomfortably against your ear.
Ear plugs are a cheap and effective solution to blocking out loud noises at night, letting you sleep in peace. And we have a guide to the best and most comfortable earplugs for sleeping right here.
81. Sound Proofing
Sick of your noisy neighborhood keeping you awake at night? Why not try blocking out the sound completely?
It may be the most expensive option but sound proofing your room is the best way to drown out sounds. Whether it’s a noisy neighbor or busy street traffic, these sound proofing products will drown out any noise that disturbs your sleep.
Accoustic Pannels – Best used when the noise comes through a single wall, such as from your teenage child’s bedroom or from a neighboring apartment. They can even be placed on your ceiling.
Sound Proof Curtains – Replace the drapes in your bedroom with curtains made from a sound dampening fabric.
Replace your drywall – If your home is due for a renovation, consider replacing your drywall with something thicker. Soundproof drywall alternatives, such as Quietrock, can turn your bedroom into a studio quality soundproof booth.
82. Eye mask
Do you find yourself waking at the crack of dawn, even though you are still sleepy?
If you are anything like me, your eyes open up like a roller shade the moment light hits your face. And it doesn’t have to be daylight either, the light from a passing car, streetlight or even from the hubby going to the toilet is all it takes to disrupt my sleep.
Until recently I honestly believed an eye mask was something reserved for rich snooty people in movies. But having tried one I can now sleep well past the sunrise, something that would have been impossible prior.
The idea behind an eye mask is simple: Block out all light.
Simply place the mask over your eyes and secure the strap around your head.
If you sleep on your back then any eye mask will do, those of you who sleep on your side will want a thinner eye mask to prevent it digging into your face during your sleep.
Take a torch with you when shopping for an eye mask. If the eye mask can block out the direct beam of a torch then it is more than capable of blocking that ray of light that sneaks through the crack of your blinds.
Need help finding the right sleep mask for you? Check out our sleep mask review. We tested all the most popular sleep masks on the market to find the best of the best.
83. White Noise Machine
I always found the idea behind white noise machines funny. Combat the noise that is keeping you awake with more noise? It sounds silly, right?
I find that simple explanations are the best. Sleep Junkies does a great job of explaining how white noise works:
Imagine being in a dark room and you switch on a flashlight. You immediately notice the light source. But what if the room is already brightly lit? The flashlight is now barely noticeable because it has been “masked” by the brighter room lights.43
The same rings true of sound.
While white noise can technically only be produced by electrical devices, like TV or radio static, many people now use the term to refer to any type of background noise, such as the whirring of a fan.
White noise is a great solution for light sleepers or those that live in apartments and hear every little noise there neighbors make. Some people even use it to deal with their partners sleep-breaking snoring.
A white noise machine is a small device that can sit on your side table, producing a constant background noise. Most white noise machines sound similar to a whirring fan.
Some white noise machines, called sound machines, go a step further and allow you to select from a variety of preset sounds. Sound machines can play ocean noises, rainforest sounds, rain music and a variety of other relaxing melodies in addition to white noise.
For a cheap but effective white noise machine you can also use a pedestal fan or even turn your washing machine on as you fall asleep. The low pitched humming can help drown out background noises preventing you from falling asleep.
84. Amber Colored Glasses
While they may look ridiculous, wearing amber or yellow tinted glasses for three hours before bed time can lead to a deeper and more restful sleep.
Now I know it sounds like voodoo, but there is some science behind the matter To put it simply, the orange lenses filter out blue light (that prevents you from feeling tired) given off from the room-light, your TV, computer, phone or tablet. This is why many people call orange colored glasses “blue blockers”.45
The biggest hurdle you will face is that you will look like a mad scientist, roaming around the house in orange colored glasses. Don’t feel embarrassed wearing them, while you may look silly, the sleep will be worth it.
The next biggest challenge is finding a pair of orange lensed glasses comfortable enough to wear around the house. For many an orange pair of safety glasses will be affordable and get the job done.
But if you find that eyewear has a bad habit of pinching your face then you may have to splurge for something a bit more comfortable. Brands like Blublocker create a more comfortable, higher end product. Gunnar Optiks will even provide orange tinted prescription lenses.
Orange colored glasses have recently become popular with computer gamers. This is unsurprising given that gamers often stay up at night intensely staring at a bright screen, the perfect recipe for disrupted sleep.
85. Pillow Spray
If you are familiar with aromatherapy then you will be fully aware that certain scents can have a relaxing effect on your body.
While essential oils are a great way to take advantage of these relaxing smells, using a pure oil risks staining your sheets or pillow. This is a particular problem if you have light colored bedding.
That’s where pillow sprays come in. Pillow sprays have been specifically formulated so that they do not leave unsightly stains behind. All the smell without the worry.
Spray the mist just before bed and breath deeply as the calming scents drift you off to sleep.
86. Air Purifier
If you suffer from allergies then you will know just how awful it is to wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and blocked sinuses. Nothing ruins sleep faster.
Good sleep and air quality often goes hand in hand, particularly if you have easily triggered allergies. The problem is, allergens like dust, pollen and smoke are difficult to keep out of your home.
An air purifier is essentially an electric device that sucks in dirty air, filters it and spits out clean air.
By placing an air purifier in your room you can ensure that the air where you sleep is allergen free, allowing you to sleep peacefully through the night.
87. Mattress Protector
If sniffles or itchiness from allergies are keeping you awake at night, it might be your mattress at fault.
The average mattress lasts over seven years. Over this time your mattress can fill with mold, dust mite droppings, skin flakes and other allergy triggers.
Let’s be realistic, most of us don’t clean our mattresses as often as we should. While cleaning your mattress is simple it’s another task that many of us just don’t have the time to fit into our already busy schedule.
That’s where a mattress protector comes in. A mattress protector encases your mattress, sealing it from allergens, irritants and other sleep disrupting nasties. Some mattress protectors even repel liquid, preventing it from staining your mattress.
There really is an app for everything. And believe it or not there are numerous apps that can help you achieve a better night of sleep.
Apps to reduce blue light
Numerous studies warn that blue given off from electronic devices can affect both your quality and length of sleep. Numerous apps have been designed to filter out the bluelight.
While these filters do still let a small amount through, it is much better than the full frontal assault given off by the screens regular light.
Blue Light Filters include:
- Flux – For Android as well as apple and windows operating systems
- Night Shift -A built in setting on the Apple iphone and iPad.
Apps to create white noise
There are many apps that allow you to play white noise while you sleep. From rainforest noises to sounds of the ocean, if you need a relaxing sound there is an app for it. Our personal favorite here at the office is Rainymood, recreating the background noise of sleeping through rain.
Apps can also be used in conjunction with other electronic devices to monitor and improve your sleep. FitBit for examplecan be used to observethe quality of your sleep, allowing you to make changes to your pre-sleep routine and monitor for improvements.
89. Blackout Curtains
When it comes to keeping your room dark, window covering are a must. There is nothing worse than being awoken by a streetlight, the headlights of a car or the morning light peeping through your window.
The worst part is that you can even see the light with your eyes closed. When it comes to blocking out light, your eyelids just don’t do the job.
Whether you choose to use thick curtains, a solid roller blind or even garbage bags over your bedroom window, blocking out light is a vital part of creating a sleep safe room.
It’s pretty simple – if you are highly strung won’t be able to fall asleep. Below you will find some pre-bedtime activities to help unwind after a stressful day.
90. Lavender essential oil
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs used in traditional medicine. With it’s unmistakable purple flowers and pleasant scent, it is also a popular plant for home gardens.
91. Chamomile essential oil
While the most popular way to take advantage of the calming properties of chamomile it to steep yourself a pre-bed tea, you can see similar effects by inhaling it.
Roman chamomile essential oil has a sedative effect and can help treat insomnia, reduce nervous tension, and lower those stress levels.48You know, all the things that keep you awake at night.
92. Valerian essential oil
Valerian is another natural sleep aid that is commonly consumed as a night cap tea.
Inhaling valerian essential oil can have an overall sleep enhancing effect on your body. In short, valerian can not only help you fall asleep quicker, but stay asleep for longer too.48
93. Ylang Ylang essential oil
This hard-to-pronounce essential oil comes from the sweet scented flowers of a tropical tree of the same name that is native to the Philippines.
Inhaling Ylang Ylang can lead to decreased memory and cognitive processing. Perfect for those of you who are flooded with thoughts that prevent you from sleeping.49
94. Bergamot essential oil
Believe it or not; this ugly, wrinkly fruit is actually an orange. Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the rind of this fruit.
Bergamot essential oil is used to improve mood and treat anxiety and appears to have a sedative effect on the body, making this a suitable essential oil for bedtime use.51
95. Cedarwood essential oil
One of the few essential oils actually derived from a tree, cedar wood has a calming warm, woody scent.
Cedar wood is suitable for those that twitch and jerk in their sleep. Cedar wood has been shown to reduce motor activity which may prevent involuntary movements through the night.52
96. Clary sage essential oil
You have likely come across sage as an ingredient used in recipes. What you likely don’t know is that sage has a cousin, clary, who is there to support you while you fall asleep.
Clary Sage essential oil can help reduce feelings of grief, shock and depression. If unsettled emotions keep you awake then a sniff of clary Sage essential oil can be used as a natural anti-depressant.53
97. Jasmine essential oil
Jasmine is a wonderfully fragrant scent that is often used as an ingredient in floral perfumes. A great sleep solution for those of you who enjoy strong floral scents.
A study suggested that jasmine was a potent as Valium when it came to relieving anxiety and promoting sleep. A inhaling jasmine essential oil while laying in bed may hasten the onset of sleep.54
98. Sandalwood essential oil
Sandalwood is an Indian tree that has a fragrant timber. Due to it’s strong yet pleasant fragrance, sandalwood is often used in perfumes, air fresheners and incense.
Sandal wood essential oil contains santalol, a substance which has been found to have a depressing effect on the central nervous system. The result of inhaling sandalwood can lead to feelings of calmness promoting faster sleep and an increase in deep sleep.54
99. Essential Oil Blends
Above we just covered just a few of the different essential oils that can have a positive impact on your sleep pattern. The trouble for you now is, how do you pick which is right for you?
The good news is that you can mix different essential oils together to form what is known as a ‘blend’.
While you can buy different essential oils and create your own personal blend, finding the right balance to leave you with a pleasant scent can be tricky.
Fortunately many essential oil brands now sell pre-blended essential oils just for sleep. These blends allow you to enjoy the sleep inducing properties of multiple essential oils with a pleasant scent. Popular sleep blends include doTerra Serenity and Eden’s Garden Good Night Synergy.
100. Sleep journal
Sleep is a funny thing. While you will definitely feel the effects of your poor sleep the next day; it is unlikely you can remember how you slept last Wednesday.
Because of this it can be difficult to figure out what is and isn’t helping to make you sleep better. This is a particular problem when adjustments to your sleep routine to achieve better rest often come down to trial and error.
A sleep journal can be just the thing you need to narrow down what is having a negative impact on your sleep or what is aiding it.
Get in the habit of keeping a daily diary, recording how you slept the night before and any changes that you made to your routine.
Possible things to record include:
- How you felt when you woke up
- Whether or not you felt tired throughout the day
- How long it took you to fall asleep
- Calculate your nightly sleep efficiency score.
By keeping daily records of what you attempt and crossing off things that don’t work you will soon be able to tailor the perfect sleep routine for you.
101. See a doctor
If all else fails it might be time to see a doctor. There are numerous medical conditions that to be responsible for broken sleep or insomnia.
Medical conditions responsible for sleep disruption include:
- Idiopathic Insomnia
- Sleep Apnea
- Teeth grinding
And that’s just a few!
Your doctor may even recommend a sleep study, an overnight program where your heart-rate, brain waves, leg movements and breathing are all monitored to find the true cause of your insomnia.
Phew… That brings us to the end of our guide to better sleep. If you have made it this far then congratulations, I hope you have found the solution to your insomnia.
Do you have a sleep solution not on this list? Please share it in the comments below. I would love to hear it.