For a much needed good night’s rest.
Estimated read time: 5 minutes
Let’s face it—sleep is a wonderful thing. Sleep is so popular, in fact, that the average person spends 26 years of their life partaking; what isn’t as wonderful, however, is how difficult and complex the human relationship with sleep can become.
Though varied across geography, employment, marital status and more, 1 in 3 people in the US report difficulties getting enough sleep—a statistic which grows increasingly alarming in recognition of how sleep so directly affects almost every facet of one’s daily life and bodily function. That’s without even considering the additional sleep-related difficulties those with sleep disorders, psychiatric disorders, or physical disabilities, struggle with.
How to improve your relationship with, and eventually improve the quality of your sleep
The silver lining here is that there are a multitude of ways to train your Z-catching skills. Similarly to how an athlete trains their body to lift heavier weight or run faster, one can improve their sleep patterns through actionable tips and investments, to increase their chances at having a great sleep on a nightly basis. Behavioural changes can offer relief, like turning your phone on silent through the night, but there are tools out there to make things easier.
We’ve compiled some of those tools here, to save you from losing sleep over this—literally.
#1: Eye masks & earplugs
One of the easiest and most cost-effective methods to improving your sleep quality is to block out light or sound which can interrupt a night’s rest. Picking up an eye mask and a set of earplugs can reduce light and sound deterrents respectively, without compromising comfortability or breaking the bank. Just make sure to find a pair of earplugs that fit snugly within your ears, or an eye mask which doesn’t allow any pesky light to intrude. A larger-scale investment to ensure optimal darkness in your sleeping environment would be to set up blackout curtains over natural light sources, as well.
#2: White noise machines
A white noise machine can play an important bedroom role by contributing to a more relaxing, comfortable sleeping environment. White noise contains all frequencies at equal intensity, helping level potentially disruptive sounds, and setting a consistent audio level to help you get some rest. If you find yourself struggling to get to sleep, consider picking one up—you won’t be disappointed.
Many white noise machines also offer ambient or natural sounds—perhaps you’ll find your eyes feeling heavy when surrounded by chirping birds or waves crashing on the shoreline.
#3: Herbal tea
Herbal teas can encourage relaxation and drowsiness, heavily contrasting from their stimulating caffeinated brethren. Enjoying a hot cup of herbal tea before bed can be just enough of a nudge to transport you comfortably into a good night’s rest. You can find specific tea recommendations online, and experiment to find the beverage that hits just right for you. Bottoms up!
#4: Room temperature
Optimizing your room temperature is one of the most important and effective ways to increase your sleep quality and consistency. Many prefer a cooler, lower temperature—we recommend around 20 degrees celsius (68 degrees fahrenheit). Options to lower your room temperature at night may include leaving a window open for a while, or utilizing fans or air conditioning. Don’t underestimate the power of heat!
#5: Gradual light-up alarm clock
Do you prefer a natural, gradual exposure to light in the morning over the harshness of a room-spanning blast of brightness? If so, you might be interested in a sunrise alarm clock, which mimics the gradual brightening of a sunrise. Employing gradual lighting into your morning environment helps replicate a natural sleep cycle, utilizing human biology itself. If you hate mornings, this one’s for you.
#6: Black electrical tape
Many of our sleep environments consist of multiple electronic devices essential to our daily living, particularly with an increasing proportion of jobs operating remotely. Black electrical tape can turn walls of pesky LED lights to dust—by covering the smaller lights on your devices you can darken your sleeping environment significantly. This particular tip is one of the least expensive
#7: Sleep meditation
Sleep meditation describes a sensation between being awake and asleep, enabling enhanced relaxation without compromising mental awareness. There are various guided audio experiences available online, with public resources offering tips and steps to perform sleep meditation effectively. When successful the practice often leads to an increase in sleep quality. Best of luck reaching that state of zen!
#8: Calming music
Listening to relaxing music helps some people sleep better. Slower-paced, melodic tunes can turn to lower the listener’s heart rate and slow their breathing. You can find more information about different genres or specific song recommendations, but at the end of the day, this one isn’t purely scientific—find whatever music works for you.
#9: Invest in your bed
So far we’ve been offering product suggestions for the environment around your sleep, or tools to help your brain and body get some rest. None of these address the place where you actually lay your head at night: your bed! Investing in higher quality, more comfortable bedding can make a world of difference in achieving better sleep. Ensuring you have a good pillow is obvious one, but there are additional options to explore, like swapping your cotton sheets with microfiber ones. The most important and expensive component is your mattress, so if you’re willing and able, we recommend investing in a high quality one. When you consider how much time you’ll be spending in bed, these become all the more worth it.
#10: Essential oil diffuser
Essential oils are less widely researched than many other facets of improving sleep quality, but offer a plethora of different benefits. Utilizing a diffuser will release the scent into your living space, granting you the benefits of its aromatic effects. There are cheaper options including dropping essential oils onto your pillowcase, or in some cases, directly onto your skin—just be sure to consult your doctor or a healthcare professional before doing those.
Time to catch up on some much needed sleep
There you have it! These 10 suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding sleeping strategies that work for you. Do you use any of them already? Is there a genius sleep solution we forgot to mention? We’d love to hear from you—after you get your recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, that is.