In the realm of our health, getting a good quality night’s sleep is crucial. Poor sleep habits can put you vulnerable to various medical issues, like diabetes, heart disease or lower life expectancy, and overweight1. Additionally, if it’s not enough it could make you extremely unhappy.

For the majority of us having a good 7-8-hour good sleep each night is much easier to say than accomplished. Here are some helpful tips supported by science to aid you in getting better sleep.
Tips for improving sleep quality

No caffeine before 6 hours going to bed
Make sure you are exposed to sunlight.
Avoid alcohol
Find the ideal temperature
Block out any external noise
Create a safe and healthy environment for sleep
Avoid looking at screens before you go to bed
Stop taking long napping
Make sure you adhere to a strict sleep schedule
Do not eat too much or snacking too late
Practice relaxation techniques
Improve your bed
No fluids for the first 1-2 hours prior going to bed
Make sure it’s not a medical issue.
Don’t exercise too late
Relax in a hot tub or shower
Avoid lie ins
You can sleep in darkness
Stop smoking
Learn strategies to return to your sleep
Be sure to avoid working in your bed

Food & Drink

No caffeine for 6 hours prior to going to bed

Sleep is a crucial aspect of self-care, which is why it is essential to prioritize it. Although caffeine can provide many advantages, such as increasing your awareness and alertness also a stimulant that’s been shown to hinder your body’s natural process of resting at night.

Caffeine may remain within your body for up to 6-8 hours, which is why it’s suggested to avoid drinking it for a few hours before going to bed. Particularly if you’re having difficulty sleeping, drinking coffee at 3pm or later should be avoided. Opt for a decaf instead.

Avoid Alcohol

Sleep and alcohol do not go well together. In addition to disrupting the rhythm of your sleep and disrupt the production of melatonin, which can disrupt the circadian rhythm. It can also increase the signs of sleep apnea as well as snoring. The idea that alcohol can send you to sleep, however in actual it can cause poor quality sleep.

Beware of snacking and eating too late

Beware of eating late because this could increase the blood sugar levels, which can make your body less ready to go to bed. If you can, consider having dinner earlier in the evening and avoid snacking for between two and two hours prior to going to bed. Avoid eating sweet snacks particularly.

No fluids for the first 1-2 hours prior going to bed

In the night, excessive urination is known as nocturia which can disrupt sleep. The majority of us do not need to go to the bathroom in the night and go to sleep for between 6 and 8 hours, but some are affected by multiple disruptions.

Drinking too much fluids especially before bedtime is a frequent cause of this. You can try limiting your consumption of fluids during the evenings.

What do you do during the day?

Get more exposure to natural light

The circadian rhythm of your body is an inherent phenomenon that regulates your sleep-wake cycle, assisting you to manage your sleep patterns5. It is influenced by light and dark.

Natural sunlight can maintain your circadian rhythm and boost your energy levels throughout the day as in your quality of sleep at night. Exposure to bright lights is also proven to aid insomnia sufferers.

Of course, there are times when your natural rhythm could be out of synchronization due to:

Working shifts at night
Stress
Medication
Drinking and eating late into the late into the night

The habit of having a regular bedtime helps improve sleep quality as well as spending in the outdoors during the time when the sun is out. Make sure you stick to a schedule and make sure you’re getting regular exercises too.

Make sure it’s not a medical problem.

Do you feel like you’re doing everything perfectly already? Even with the perfect temperatures and the best mattress for you, there are issues are beyond your control. There are a variety of sleep disorders that could be the root of your issues, for instance:

Sleep Apnea
Narcolepsy
Parasomnias
The syndrome of restless legs (RLS)

It’s worth a look to determine which of these are the reason for your sleeping issues.

Don’t exercise too late

Studies have shown that exercising can help you sleep faster and enhances the quality of your sleep. But, doing it at a late time of the day could result in the opposite, because it boosts alertness, raises the temperature of your core and increases the release of endorphins.

The endorphins stimulate the brain and can keep you alert. Therefore, you should refrain from exercise for at least two hours prior to bedtime.

Be sure to avoid working in bed

If you work from home as your new norm it’s essential to have a separate space or room that you can work in. The fact that you’re surrounded by work makes it harder to rest and relax there.

Stop taking long napping

Although short naps can provide a beneficial effect when encouraging healthy sleep, prolonged afternoon naps can be detrimental. It could confuse your body clock and disrupt your natural rhythms off, which can cause you to be unable to sleep in the evening.
Optimise your bedroom

Find the ideal temperature

It is essential to set the right temperature. Warm and comfortable at the night is one thing, but being overheated and having your sleeping disturbed is another. Are you finding yourself getting colder than asleep?

Although it varies from depending on the individual however, the optimal temperature for sleeping is 18.3degC. Anywhere between 15.6 to 19.4degC will give you the most peaceful sleeping. If you’re having trouble to have a restful night’s sleep Perhaps it’s time to change your setting of the radiator.

You can sleep in darkness

A lot of light can negatively affect the levels of melatonin in your body. Make sure that all lights are turned switched off and there isn’t any lighting coming in through blinds or windows. Blinds with blackout shades and eye masks can be useful in assisting.

Additionally, if you are forced to rise in the evening for any reason make sure the lights are low so that they don’t disturb your sleep too much.

Block out outside noise

It is not surprising that sleep quality improves significantly when there is less noise. It could be due to traffic, for instance. If you live in the streets that are noisy and you need to sleep, earplugs can aid you in getting a good night’s rest.

Make sure your bedroom is a healthy one

A few tips to create the best sleep environment are:

Finding the perfect pillow and mattress
Decluttering
You can try the aromatherapy
Hiding your alarm clock

In essence, you need to create a space which makes you want to go to bed, and take your mind off sleep and the pressures that come with the daily grind.

Improve your bed

Are you resting on a lumpy mattress that’s uncomfortable and has had better days? Do you feel your mattress is worn out? Are your bedsheets old and scratchy?

It could be time to refresh the space that you sleep in. The mattress needs an overhaul at the end of 10 years. Pillows every 1-2 years, sheets every 2 years and duvets at least every 15 years.

Learn strategies to return to your sleep

Are you waking up at night, only to find it difficult to fall asleep? Some suggestions include:

Do not look at your phone.
Do simple breathing exercises.
Read quietly
Be calm, avoid focusing too much on sleeping – you’ll strain yourself out.
Concentrate on the feelings that are within your body
Enjoy a relaxing playlist

Lifestyle Changes in lifestyle

Make sure you adhere to a strict sleep schedule

Consistency is essential for long-term quality of sleep. If you have an irregular bed time, and later wake times, and consequently an unbalanced sleep schedule are more likely to be prone to sleep problems.

Avoid lie ins

The temptation to sleep in on weekends is a tempting option that can be difficult to resist. But, it could cause symptoms of jet lag, especially when your sleeping pattern for the week and weekends differs significantly.

Stop smoking

Similar to caffeine, nicotine can be a stimulant that doesn’t just disrupt sleep, but increases your risk of aggravated conditions like sleep apnea. Therefore, it is recommended to stop smoking cigarettes, or at a minimum limit the amount you smoke cigarettes.
What should you do before bed?

Enjoy a hot bath or shower

Bathing in a hot tub or shower is an excellent relaxation method and will assist you in falling asleep quicker. Shower for a couple of hours prior to going to bed to get the best night’s sleep. You don’t have to be there for longer then 10 minutes (but you could if you would like!)

Avoid looking at screens before you go to bed

It’s not only children that are at risk; technology can disrupt sleep for adults as well. Watching the television, or on your mobile when you’re trying to fall asleep could cause the opposite. The reason is that electric devices emit blue light that reduces or hinders our body’s natural production of melanin and diminishing tiredness.

Practice relaxation techniques

The act of relaxing prior to bed has been proven to increase sleep quality and also reduce effects of insomnia. Even if you’re not especially stressed, this could be beneficial. A few strategies you can try include:

Exercises to breathe
Imagine calming stories or scenes
Meditation
Relaxing and listening to quiet music
Reading