December 02, 2020 6 min read

Restless nights of tossing and turning can have a significant impact on understanding the true value of getting a good night’s sleep. Not only does sleep help you feel more refreshed during the daytime, but it can also affect your overall emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Your quality of sleep at night affects how you function during the daytime, and in turn, what you do during the day can affect how you sleep at night. Many people, including those with insomnia or other sleep disorders, are looking for ways to sleep better. We have some simple tips to help improve your quality of sleep. If you’re looking for ideas about how to get a good night sleep, the information in this guide has you covered.

Ways to sleep better

Before we dive into some ways you can get better sleep, let’s start with the basics. Remember these tips so that you can start to improve your sleep habits and hygiene.

Close up on charcoal grey linen bedding and books on the bed cream linen quilt and charcoal linen flat sheet
  • Same Schedule: Be consistent and stick to the same schedule, including going to bed and getting up at the same time, even when you’re tempted to sleep in on the weekends.
  • Dark: Keep your bedroom as dark and as cool as possible to help induce deeper, more restful sleep.
  • TV and screens: Stop watching TV or looking at screens (including your computer and smartphone) at least one to two hours before bedtime. Don’t use any electronic devices while in the bedroom.
  • Book and mindful activities: Read a book or do some mindful meditation and deep breathing before you head to bed. This can help your body and mind calm down, resulting in better sleep during the night.
  • White noise: Turn on a fan or use a white noise machine to help calm your nerves and relax your mind.
  • Light Meal: Try not to eat large snacks and heavy meals, and avoid consuming caffeine before bedtime.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

Blue linen sheet set and Grey Linen Quilt Green sage cotton sheets

The tips above will help you fall asleep faster and, hopefully, stay asleep longer. Here are some more helpful tips for a good night sleep.

  • Increase your exposure to bright, natural sunlight during the day as much as possible to keep your circadian rhythm working properly.
  • Get plenty of healthy exercise during the day, but not too close to bedtime, so that your body has time to rest and recover, so you can sleep better.
  • Taking a short nap during the day feels good, but avoid taking naps that are too long (usually more than 30 minutes), since it can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep later.
  • Consider taking natural supplements like melatonin, valerian root, or magnesium to promote better sleep. Always consult with your doctor before you begin a new supplement routine.
  • Take a hot bath or shower approximately 90 minutes before you go to bed. This may help to promote deeper, more restful sleep during the night.
  • Stay hydrated during the day and keep a glass of water by your bedside, so you don’t have to get up during the night if you get thirsty.
  • Add a cozy throw blanket to your bed in case you get chilly during the night and need another layer.
Modern bedroom view from outside

Create a Sleep-Inducing Bedroom

Research has proven that creating an atmosphere that promotes sleep can help sleep come faster, almost 80% of the time. Here are some sleep tips you can use to create a sleep-inducing bedroom close to bedtime:

  • Dim the lights: When you're ready to go to bed, put away your electronic devices, and turn off the lights. Also, close the curtains and blinds to block natural light. Make sure all appliances that blink are also turned off so that your body can wind down for sleep. Our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin when it's dark, helping us with relaxing and staying asleep. Light lowers melatonin production, which is why your bedroom should not be lit up at bedtime.
  • Avoid screens 1-2 hours before bedtime: Screens emit blue light that triggers and stimulate the brain to stay alert. Using a screen, including television, right before bed can hinder the process of falling asleep, and make you toss and turn in bed even when it's way past your bedtime. You want your mind to relax for sleep, so don't do anything that could trigger the mental cog works to keep turning right before bed.
  • Softness: The softness of your bedding determines how comfortable it feels against your body as you sleep. Look for hypoallergenic bedding made of exceptionally soft materials like linen that won’t irritate your skin. The softer your bedding, the more comfortable you’ll feel, resulting in a great night of restful sleep.
  • Help your mind associate your bed with sleep: If you're doing all kinds of activities in your bed like eating, watching television, playing with your kids, then your mind will not associate the bed with being a place to relax. As such, sleep will take a long time coming. To improve sleep quality, your mind needs to associate the bed with sleep.
  • Keep the lights switched off if you get up during the night: If you need to get up during the night, keep a flashlight ready to help you navigate in the dark. Or you can use a dim nightlight to keep the melatonin levels high, making it easier to fall back asleep.
Bed and Percale cream sheet set

Develop a Pre-Bedtime Routine

If you're practicing going to bed early and want to sleep better, try developing a relaxing bedtime routine just lying down, wrapped in a throw blanket. This might sound shocking, but start preparing for sleep two hours before heading to bed. Be sure to turn off your television, put away your devices, and dim down whatever lights you can. This will signal to your mind that it's time to end the day and help your mind prepare itself for sleep.

If you are not in the habit of exercising, try to incorporate some low-impact exercise into your routine at least an hour before bed. Avoid exercising too vigorously right before bedtime, as that alerts the brain instead of helping it relax. Practice some light exercises like stretching, yoga, or even meditation to help your body unwind and relax the muscles for a good sleep at night. But, if you have a vigorous exercise routine, try to get that done at least three hours before bedtime so that the hormones produced during exercise that stimulate the mind and body's metabolism do not affect your sleep cycle.

You should also try to eat smart during the day so that you can sleep well at night. Strictly avoid caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime because these chemicals disrupt sleep like no other! Having a heavy meal at night or too much liquid intake after the evening can also make your sleep restless. Either you'll be getting up, again and again, to go to the toilet, or your heavy meal will give you heartburn, preventing you from falling asleep.

It's also essential to have a relaxing activity as a bedtime routine, such as reading. Reading relaxes the mind and is a wonderful alternative to using your phone right before bed. You can also share the events of the day with your partner because unloading your worries also helps you relax and loosen up. Once your brain has sufficiently slowed down after a day of activities, you will finally fall asleep.

Why does sleep feel so good?

You may wonder, why does sleep feel so good? When you’re sleeping, your body and brain are recovering from the overwhelming stress and variety of different sensory inputs you experience during the day. A good night of sleep also helps you to feel more alert and clear-headed during the day, which also improves your mood. Sleeping may also promote optimism and better brain and motor functions. It can even help to improve interpersonal relationships with your partner, coworkers, and friends. Good sleep also helps to boost the body’s immune system to help you fight off certain illnesses.

Can the Type of Bedding I Use Affect Sleep?

Different types of bedding may have an effect on how well you sleep. For example, if you tend to get hot during the night, it’s recommended that you use bedding for hot sleepers made of materials like cotton, linen, or bamboo, which can help to regulate your body temperature and keep you cooler and more comfortable during the night. If you experience any type of allergies, look for organic bedding that won’t cause skin irritation. Breathable bedding that’s soft to the touch is always recommended. It’s also important to find bedding that will keep you warm and cozy without making you overheat so that you can stay comfortable while you slumber.

Final Thoughts on How to Get a Good Night Sleep

If you’re struggling to sleep better, the tips provided above are sure to help you. But remember that it may take some time for your body to get into the habit of relaxing at a specific time before bed. So don't give up! Keep building that routine and see how well it promotes a healthy sleep pattern.