Are you a mother, a father or anyone that wants to know how to sleep better? In this post I will share with you my tips on how to get the best sleep and guess what? They WORK!
As a mother, since the night I went into labour; my sleep has been broken, ripped apart, torn to shreds! And even when my little one wasn’t waking me up, my body frequently broke me out of my sacred sleep.
As parents we are so used to waking up throughout the night that it becomes normal and even once our children start sleeping longer, our inner body clocks are still suffering.
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Why Is Sleep So Important?
While we sleep, our body has a chance to repair and restore. With at least 6 hours a night, sleeping will:
- Promote better performance: As the body repairs itself during sleep, it allows you to be strong for the following day. Not only this but with proper rest, your brain can function properly which will lead to better coordination and focus! Perfect for working out in the morning.
- Help calorie regulation: Research shows that sleep deprivation may lead to more calorie consumption during the day.
- Improve concentration: Lack of sleep makes us process things much slower. It effects the way we learn and memorise whilst also impairing our judgment.
- Reduce health risks: Sleep allows the body to regulate it’s blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a good night sleep is critical for heart health.
Tell Me How To Get Better Sleep At Night
Over the years, I have scoured for tips on how to sleep better and tried various methods to help me get the good night sleep that I deserve.
Here are my 12 secrets on how to sleep better- they have helped me tremendously and are perfect for all you sleep deprived parents out there.
Table of contents: How to get better sleep at night
Diet and Exercise Are Important If You Want To Get a Good Night Sleep!
When getting to know how to sleep better, it is very important to keep your health in check! Here are some ways to improve your quality of sleep through diet and exercise:
1. Exercise Regularly!
We all know how important fitness is for a healthy body but did you know that regular exercise can decrease insomnia!?
Getting hot and sweaty at the gym (or at home) in the morning or afternoon can improve your quality of sleep by getting you well…hot and sweaty. As your core body temperature increases during a workout, by the time you’re ready to sleep, the drop in temperature will have you passing out in no time.
But timing can be an important factor for many! For some people, you should avoid working out too late in the day if you want to have a good night sleep. This is because the body releases endorphins and those endorphins may just keep you up all night. As well as this, working out increases your core body temperature and your heart rate which then signals to your body that it’s time to wake up.
Other studies have shown that there are no negative effects for some people, and working out close to bedtime may just help you sleep better.
I suggest experimenting with working out at different times and seeing what works for you.
2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
It is no secret that caffeine does the complete opposite of letting you get a good night sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant and is regularly used to keep us up in the mornings.
Did you know that it takes your body around five whole hours to get rid of the caffeine consumed. One study showed that caffeine consumption can delay your body clock’s regular patterns which means it can be extremely hard to get to sleep even if you really want to.
Try reducing your caffeine intake overtime. Stick to decaffeinated coffee during the day and try leaving those cups of caffeine for the morning only.
This doesn’t only apply to coffee though, if you exercise and take pre-workout, make sure you don’t leave it too late in the day (Also refer to point 1).
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3. Don’t Give In To The Midnight Munchies!
Whether it be a heavy meal at 9pm or snacking at midnight, when and what you eat effects your quality of sleep.
Eating a full meal late at night may cause heart burn and indigestion that will interrupt your sleep and most definitely cause discomfort throughout the night.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene!
If you’re wanting to know how to get to sleep, you need to make sure that you practice good sleep hygiene. (That’s sleep hygiene not personal hygiene, although you should be practicing both to ensure you stay healthy).
4. Drink Chamomile Tea Before Bed
Not only does chamomile tea taste great but it also works as a natural tranquilliser! Chamomile tea makes us so sleepy due to a plant extract called apigenin. Apigenin is known to reduce anxiety and calm your nerves and that may just contribute to inducing sleep.
Although this hasn’t been widely proved, a study from 2015 showed that after drinking chamomile tea, women postpartum showed a decrease in poor quality of sleep and fewer signs of depression.
Drinking chamomile tea at bed-time is definitely worth a try, it might just work for you!
5. White Noise/Rain Sounds
This one is perfect if you share your bedroom with your child. I have used white noise for my daughter ever since she was born and I’ve noticed that it helps me sleep like a baby too!
Due to the frequencies, white noise creates a constant sound that masks any additional loud noises made around the house. It allows you to sleep constantly without any sudden interruption.
There are plenty of white noise and rain sounds videos available on YouTube. Also be sure to check out this list of white noise apps that you can download!
6. Listen To a Podcast
Listening to a relaxing podcast is a great way to sooth you to sleep. There are plenty of podcasts out there that are designed to target sleep improvement.
7. Listen To Some Relaxing Music
Just like singing lullabies to a baby, music can be a perfect way to help you fall asleep. Studies have shown that with the right calming music, you’ll be able to slow down your heart rate, and relax your muscles in preparation for sleep.
8. Make Your Bedroom a Place You Want To Be In
Reducing clutter and creating the ideal sleep environment are essential for good sleep hygiene. You want your room to be a place that you can relax and destress in. Here are some ways you can do so:
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- Comfortable bed: Having a comfortable bed to sleep in is absolutely vital to ensure you get a good night sleep. Make sure you choose a decent mattress and pillow for ultimate comfort!
- Essential oils: Experimenting with different calming scents may help promote sleep. Have you tried using a oil diffuser/humidifier? Add an essential oil (like lavender) to some water and turn it on before you sleep!
- Keep the room dark: Blocking out lights that may keep you awake is a great tip for better sleep. Using either blackout curtains or an eye-mask can help you get the most out of your night’s rest. (See point 11 for more)
9. Establish a Bedtime Routine For You
Establishing a bedtime routine helps your body set it’s internal clock. It is important to set a bed time that is natural and let’s you sleep when you are actually tired. With regular practice, your body clock will become used to this and you will be able to have a great night’s sleep. After time, you won’t even need an alarm clock to wake you up- how cool is that!?
If you’re a parent, it’s also super important that we create bedtime routines for our kids. This is to ensure they get enough sleep and don’t face sleep difficulties as they grow up. It is just as important for us as parents ourselves to create a bedtime routine.
10. Avoid Blue Light
We are all guilty of scrolling on our phones in the comfort of our beds at 12am.
But, did you know that the light coming from our devices may just be making it harder for us to fall asleep!? Most screens emit blue light which can confuse our brains into thinking it’s actually daytime! Even sunlight contains blue light which can help us stay awake and alert during the day. While this is great during the daytime, this is not at all helpful when wanting to her a good night sleep.
Have you ever noticed the “night mode” or “blue light filter” on your device? This is because your phones and laptops can change the light being emitted from them when you use them at night. You can usually find these options in your device settings however if not, there are plenty of apps out there that can do it for you!
11. Have a Warm Bath/Shower Before Bed
A warm bath or shower just before bed will relax your body and prepare you for the best sleep possible. As mentioned earlier, your core body temperature will signal when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. After you leave your warm bath or shower, your body temperature will drop, signalling that it is now night time- this may help you unwind and fall asleep faster.
12. Put your phone down atleast 30 minutes before going to sleep
On most days, I have no choice but to leave blogging till night time and I’m often up until the early hours of the morning doing so.
To allow your brain to wind down, put your phone down at least half an hour before you actually intend to sleep. Most posts I’ve read suggest putting screens down at least 1 hour before. But if you’re a parent, that is not too realistic so just do what you can!
Those are my 12 secrets on how to get the best sleep
Conclusion: How To Sleep Better
- Exercise regularly but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Avoid eating too late at night to ensure your sleep goes interrupted
- Have a cup of chamomile tea before bed
- Listen to white noise/rain sounds to block out sudden noises
- Listen to a Podcast
- Listen to relaxing music
- Make sure your bedroom is optimised for sleep
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine for you (and the kids)
- Reduce the amount of blue light being emitted from your devices
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower before bed to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep
- Put your phone down at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep
So there you have it, basically everything I have ever done to ensure I get a good night sleep. What are your tips on how to get better sleep at night? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear all your tips and tricks!