What Makes Sleep Better? 5 Suggestions

Lately I have been trying different ways to relax and unwind. I especially wanted to increase the amount of sleep I got. For me, I often have to do work until later in the evening and find it tricky to drift off. I also hate getting up in the morning and need to catch up on lost hours. This post is all about exploring ways to potentially sleep better.

So, there is nothing radical here but I do hope there will be even more suggestions in the comments below. It is always great to share ideas on a blog article. I learn so much this way and maybe you will pick up some tips along the way.

1) Make sure you do something physical

It sounds fairly obvious but it makes a massive difference. If you get some exercise during the day, you are much more likely to sleep more soundly.

I find that if I do have a sedentary day, catching up on admin and paperwork, I am less likely to sleep well. If I mix in a fast walk or quick gym session, the quality of sleep I get that night will normally be enhanced.

2) Create the right atmosphere

A dark room, with some calm music or a quiet soundscape should do the trick. I had some curtains that weren’t blocking out the sun in Summer. They were letting in that sunrise and waking me up far too soon.

Alongside good curtains, it is worth finding a suitable podcast or app to listen to. I love turning on the Calm app which has plenty of sleep stories, music and a variety of soundscapes. Sometimes I prefer a woodland backing and others I want flowing water.

3) Keep to a routine

Going to bed at different times every day can be disruptive to your sleep pattern. If you keep confusing your mind and body by having late nights and early ones, your sleep will be messed up.

As annoying as it can seem, I have found going to bed at the same time every night really helps. I try to make sure I squeeze in eight hours of sleep but often it ends up being more like seven.

4) Consider a scent

Sometimes having a fragrance in the bedroom can aid with better sleep. Often a diffuser with a scent that is not too overbearing will help to create that sleepy atmosphere.

Alternatively you can buy little sprays that you pop on your pillow before you lay down. They usually have lavender in them and are meant to promote nodding off.

5) Have regular naps

We all have busy lives and sometimes catching up on sleep is tough. Many people opt to have naps during the daytime and this can be very useful in making sure you get the sleep that you need.

I love to have an afternoon nap at the weekend and on Fridays when I work more flexibly from home. It is really beneficial to have an afternoon nap and can make you feel revitalised and fresh.


Final Thoughts

There are so many things that you could try if you want to improve the amount and quality of sleep that you get. These were my suggestions based on my own experiences and I would love to know your thoughts on this subject.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article about making sleep better. Please comment any tips you may have and consider following my blog for future similar content.

For another of my lifestyle articles about entertainment, have a read of Read, Watch, Listen which includes a book, TV show and podcast recommendation.

5 Ways to Sleep Better

Having trouble sleeping? Suffering from sleep apnea? Finding it hard to wind down after a stressful day at work? One thing that many of us have in common, if my friends are anything to go by, is the daily struggle to clear our minds and allow our bodies to properly rest. I had to try and find simple solutions for this myself, including using a Calm app for background noise and adding lower lights to help me get used to the darkness and fall into a rewarding night of rest. This post has five suggestions for finding ways of getting your body and mind prepared for a good night’s visit to the world of dreams.

Sleep is a reward and should be valued as such.

1) Relaxation Technique

For me, this is the most effective way that I can get into the sleep zone, especially when I am feeling stressed and finding it difficult to totally unwind. Although it sounds like an effort it doesn’t take long and it’s origins lie with yoga, so it has some credibility.

Make sure that you lay flat on your back with your arms by your sides. Then spend a few seconds tightening every muscle group in your body from bottom to top. Usually I start by flexing my toes towards the ceiling at a right angle to my legs, then holding my calves tight and following with my knees and thighs etc until I am pushing my shoulders up against my ears. You can then finish by holding your facial muscles tense for a short time and then let go of everything. Each time you clench, make sure you take a couple of deep breaths. Take your time end enjoy feeling those muscles let go after each squeeze.

2) Listen to a soothing podcast

Most podcasts involve a lot of chatting and usually play relatively quiet background music and so provide a prefect backdrop to fall asleep against. Often I listen to one of my favourites as I drop off to sleep and then find I need to have another proper listen the morning after, as the content usually encourages me to feel dozy and then fall into a deep sleep. This is no reflection on the performers as it is the podcasts that I love most which are best at relaxing me and I often find myself sleeping through great chunks of their content.

A podcast can be soothing and the sound of quiet conversation can encourage the mind to rest.

3) Milky drink

Now, having spoken to lots of people about this, there is a consensus that having a hot, caffeine-free drink before going to bed is a great way to ease your way into a sleepy mood. Hot chocolate or even just ordinary hot milk are frequently and successfully used to help us relax after a hard day’s work. I find putting a mug of milk into the microwave for a minute and a half is plenty of time to get the milk steaming and prepare my tastebuds for the cosy zone.

Hot chocolate or hot milk can be just the remedies for stress.They encourage the preparedness for a good sleep;

4) Gentle Stretches

This really works. I wasn’t sure it would make much difference but as soon as I started exercising again and feeling achy, I started to stretch before bed as well as after doing a workout. For me, the best stretches are arm ones, especially holding my arms low and then making a large circle so that my arms then move above my head as I take a deep breath in. I let them them gently fall and let out the air before repeating this movement. Similarly, sitting on the floor with legs bent under me, leaning forwards and allowing my arms to reach out, whilst my head drops into the mat also helps to get your body relaxed. In yoga, this is referred to as ‘child’s pose’.

Yoga – Child’s pose

5) My Favourite – A Good Book

Nothing beats a good book! For me it is the way I finish most days. I love to curl up in bed with a lamp on and read a chapter of one of my current easy reads before I slump back and get drowsy enough to sleep. Reading definitely has a relaxing effect on me and I challenge you to read in bed and not feel more sleepy. The only problem is that I often find the book falls off the bed as a I don’t manage to stop before sinking into the world of slumber. For bedtime, paperback books are better than ebooks as they don’t have that hypnotic back light.

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