Sleeping is an essential function for the human body. After a long, hard day, your body needs some time to rejuvenate itself and that is what sleep is for. Knowing that, it is pretty easy to conclude that your body will suffer if you do not get enough sleep each night.
This is an especially serious problem for those focusing on their physical fitness. In the case of those individuals, their bodies need the rejuvenation time more in order to build their muscles and not end up hurting themselves working out.
Now, some of you might be thinking that you are functioning just fine with three or four hours of sleep. The problem with that is that you are on the opposite side of science with that line of thinking. A scientific and health consensus put the optimal amount of sleep at eight hours, so you are not doing your body any favors by getting less.
Perhaps you try to get eight hours of sleep and your body just will not let you. Well, fear not. I have compiled this list especially to help those of you who struggle to get eight hours of sleep. And none of these are pseudoscience alternative practices or anything of the sort. Every tip on this list is backed by hard science.
Let’s get started, shall we?
27 Top Sleeping Tips & Restful Nightime Relaxation Hacks For More Energy:
1. Cut down on consuming alcohol before sleeping
I am not going to tell you to stop drinking all together, although that would not be a bad move for your health. What I am telling you is that you really should not drink before bed.
Not only are you consuming empty calories that you will not be able to burn off since you are asleep, but you are also more likely to wake up way before the eight hours are up. Going to bed right after you feel your buzz fading is a recipe for disaster and you will end up waking up tossing and turning all night.
2. Try not to work out before going to sleep
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, but I will explain it anyways since people think that tiring themselves out right before bed will make it easy to sleep. The opposite is actually true.
Getting all hyped up and getting your blood flowing so close to bedtime will make it especially hard for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Do your final work out at least two hours before you plan on going to sleep.
3. But, make sure to work out a lot during the day
One of the many health benefits attributed to regular exercise is the ability to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, when the National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll of all kinds of different people, it found that those who worked out more often slept better than those who did not.
Even just allocating an extra ten minutes of your schedule for working out will tremendously improve your ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.
4. Do not drink a lot before bed
You are probably thinking that I already mentioned this. But this tip is different. Drinking any beverage close to bedtime is not a smart choice. Why? Because you are increasing your chances that you will end up interrupting your sleep by having to go to the bathroom.
5. Buy new bedding material
When I was having trouble sleeping, one of the last things I considered was that my pillow and sheets were the cause. It turns out that my pillow had my neck at an uncomfortable angle and that caused me to toss and turn a lot during the night.
On top of that, if you keep using the same pillows and sheets for over a year, they can become so dirty and germ-ridden. It is not an expensive investment to get new and clean bedding materials to get a better night’s sleep.
6. Set a certain time to sleep and take measures to remind yourself to sleep
One measure that I have tried and had success with was actually using my alarm clock. I would have the alarm go off at the time I determined to be “bedtime” and then obviously set the alarm to go off again when I need to wake up. It is a good way to keep yourself from accidentally staying up too late and screwing up the eight hours that you have allotted for sleep.
7. Make up and follow a routine
Your body works best when it gets used to a routine. This is especially true when it comes to sleep. Your body’s internal clock will go all out of whack if you sleep at different times each day and it will be hard to actually get a healthy sleep.
This is why I recommend creating a strict daily routine to follow. Make sure to go to sleep and wake up at the same times each and every day. This, along with the above tip, will keep you from staying up too late and it will also keep you from oversleeping or not getting enough sleep.
8. Cut off caffeine consumption during the middle of the day
Caffeine is the reason why we drink coffee in the morning. To give us that much-needed jolt of energy to start the day. It is pretty obvious why you would not want to consume anything with caffeine before going to bed.
9. Go to a doctor and ask for a sleep apnea examination
If you are having trouble sleeping and your significant other is complaining about your constant snoring, you might have sleep apnea. Get it checked out by your doctor. If it turns out that you do have it, that explains why you are having such trouble sleeping and your doctor can help you treat it.
10. Use different pillows and see which one works best
Before I went out and bought a new pillow, I tried out different pillows that I had in my pillow stack to see if any would help. Unfortunately for me, they were all old and flat and pretty much useless so I had to buy a new one. P
erhaps it will be different for some of you. If you hate spending money, this is a good approach to take since you probably would not want to buy something that you might not need.
11. Sleep on a different mattress
If changing the pillows does not help, it might end up being the bed itself. If you have had the same mattress for over five years, it is probably time for a change.
12. Do not make a habit out of using the snooze button
The snooze button on your alarm clock is your worst enemy and I really wish alarm clock makers would get rid of it. Seriously, waking up just to hit your snooze button and go back to sleep does way more harm than good.
Because once you wake up to hit the snooze button, your current REM sleep cycle ends. And then when you go back to sleep, a new REM cycle starts and when your alarm goes off 10 or 15 minutes later, that cycle ends even more abruptly. This ends up making you feel much more tired than you would have been if you just got up when your alarm went off the first time.
13. Power naps are not a bad idea
If you can train your body to take a half hour nap during the early afternoon, then I strongly recommend you do so. But do not take two to three hour naps during the day and then expect to be able to sleep for eight hours later at night.
That said, a half hour nap will actually help boost your mental faculties and get you more concentrated and energetic. On top of that, it will not disrupt your ability to get a full night’s sleep later on.
14. If you are having trouble sleeping, do not just lay there
Look, you are just going to make it harder to fall asleep if you lay in your bed and panic about not being able to fall asleep. What you should do if you are experiencing this is to get out of bed and partake in an activity that will calm you down and allow you to slip into bed a little later feeling cool and relaxed.
15. Stress will not help you sleep
This piggybacks off of #14. Stress has many negative effects on your health and one of those effects is hurting your ability to sleep. And it is a two-fold issue if you are stressing about not being able to fall asleep while trying not to fall asleep. If you are experiencing stress, I suggest setting up your routine in a way that allows you to do something that relaxes you right before your bedtime.
16. Take a nice dip in the hot tub
This can be the relaxing activity that I recommended in #15. Studies and surveys have shown that people who take a dip in their hot tub and just relax there for a little while find it easier to fall asleep.
The scientific explanation for this is that when you get out of the hot tub, your internal body temperature obviously drops to adjust to the change from the hot tub temperature to the temperature of your room. Interestingly enough, this temperature drop is no different than the drop that occurs when you are about to go asleep.
By soaking in a hot tub before bed, you are already getting your body ready for sleep, which will make it easier to fall asleep.
17. Wear socks to bed
Yeah, I know that this is taboo for reasons I can’t imagine why. Anyways, it can be pretty hard to sleep if your feet are cold while the rest of your body is at a comfortable temperature. Put on a nice warm pair of socks before bed and see if they help you sleep.
A study done back in 1999 shows that people who have tried this did have an easier time sleeping, so it is definitely worth trying.
18. Turn the heat down or completely off
When your body is on the extremes of both ends of the temperature spectrum, you are not going to sleep easily. Keep your room temperature between 60 and 65 degrees.
19. Save your smallest portions for nighttime
For those who are serious about their diet, you should already know this. Eating your biggest portions during the day is the smarter and healthier choice because it allows you the whole rest of the day to burn off those calories.
Eating big meals before bed makes your body exert energy in breaking down those meals while you sleep when it should be using that energy to heal your body.
20. Stop smoking!
This is a tip that can be added to any healthy tip list because there are no health benefits from smoking. On the flipside, there are a mountain of health drawbacks from smoking. One of those drawbacks is not being able to sleep well.
Not convinced? Try these statistics on for size: those who are active smokers have a quadrupled chance of waking up groggy and exhausted than non-smokers.
The reason for this is the same reason you do not want to consume any caffeine before bed. Both substances stimulate your body and obviously, bedtime is not the time you want your body to feel stimulated.
21. Soundproof your room
Okay, do not literally do that (unless you have the means). But do your best to mitigate any noise pollution that might be disrupting your sleep. If you have an analog clock that goes tick tock all night, it is high time to invest in a silent digital alarm clock. People find it much easier to fall asleep when there are no noises constantly jolting them awake.
22. Turn the electronics off!
I used to be the type of person who could only go to bed with the TV on. That habit was not doing me any favors as I ended up falling asleep two to three hours later than I should have. This tip applies to any electronics, including those smartphones that people have way too hard of a time putting down.
Besides being interested in what you are looking at, the light from these electronic devices tells the brain not to make any more melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us fall asleep.
My best advice would be to turn everything off at least one hour before your allotted bedtime. This will allow your brain to produce enough melatonin so that when you are ready to sleep, you will fall right asleep.
23. Wind down by starting a diary
Yes, I know, this sounds like a sissy thing to do. But, the science has spoken and it is actually a great idea. Why? People find that writing down their thoughts is a good way to reduce stress.
And as I mentioned earlier, stress is a serious inhibitor of proper sleep. Jotting down your daily thoughts in a diary before bed can be that relaxing activity I mentioned in #14 to help you fall asleep easier.
24. Get some therapy
This is probably the most expensive tip on this list, and it should be one of the last resorts. Going to a therapist who can study your habits and tell you what behaviors are inhibiting your ability to properly sleep is not a bad idea if you can spare the expense.
25. Go outside and soak in the morning sun
If you want a healthy and more effective way to wake up in the morning than sipping down a morning joe, this is it. Right after you wake up and get dressed, go outside and take in the sunlight.
It has been shown that just 20 minutes of exposure can make you feel super refreshed and awake in the morning. If you absolutely must drink a cup of coffee in the morning, the least you can do is take that cup with you outside and drink it there.
26. Do not lay on your bed casually during the day
Your body recognizes patterns and adjusts itself accordingly. If you casually lounge on your bed during the day, your body will not see the bed as a place where you sleep and it will make it harder for you to fall asleep. If you train your body to recognize that when you lay down on your bed it means sleep, then your body will adjust and you will fall asleep easier.
27. Take sleeping pills
Another one of those last-ditch efforts, at least it should be. Unfortunately, people would rather turn to sleeping pills instead of adjusting their daily habits and they wonder why they still have trouble sleeping. You should only resort to taking sleeping pills if nothing else on this list works for you.
27 Top Sleeping Tips & Restful Nightime Relaxation Hacks For More Energy Wrap-Up!
I hope these 27 top sleeping tips & restful nightime relaxation hacks for more energy will be able to help the many of you out there who have trouble getting a proper night’s sleep each night. I have personally tried many of these and can vouch for their effectiveness. But you do not have to take my word for it, all of them are backed up by scientific studies and surveys.
I feel the need to reiterate that #24 and #27 should only be considered if all else fails. Good luck!