How to Get Better Sleep: Developing Healthy Sleeping Habits
A healthy sleep habit is essential to your health emotionally, cognitively, and physically. How you spend the hours before bed can set you up for a good night’s sleep, or contribute to sleep problems that keep you tossing and turning.
Today, we’ll cover 10 tips on how to get better sleep. We’ll show how to make a few adjustments to support your circadian rhythm and set yourself up for better sleep, and a few things to cut from your daily routine.
Get your paper and pen – you’ll want to make some of these a to-do-tonight list!
Rule Out Sleep Disorder
The first thing you need to do if you have sleep problems is talk to your doctor. A sleep disorder could be disrupting your sleep, which requires diagnosis by a medical professional.
If chronic sleeplessness is a problem interfering with your daily life, talk with your doctor and get that support you need. Feel better knowing you are not alone in this struggle, and that there is help.
Do Not Drink Alcohol to Help You Sleep
Did you know that alcohol actually impairs your quality of sleep? The Sleep Foundation reports that though alcohol is a sedative and may help calm you, it actually can delay sleep onset or even exacerbate some common sleep conditions like sleep apnea.
Eliminate Factors that May Cause You Trouble Sleeping
Setting the stage of your room for uninterrupted sleep is called having good sleep hygiene. Many things can disrupt your sleep, from that light on the side of your laptop, to the room being too warm or too cold, to that whirring sound your cat makes when they snore. Try to find out what’s annoying you when you lie down to sleep, or what seems to be stirring you from the lighter stages of sleep.
Eliminate these common annoyances and make your sleep space as comfortable as possible.
It’s also helpful to remove mental distractions from your sleeping area, like your laptop or cell phone, games, your work, and hobby materials. Your sleeping area should tell your body this is time to sleep.
Stabilize Your Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is the body’s natural way of keeping a sleep-wake cycle that is regular and consistent. The circadian rhythm is based on your internal clock and governed by exposure to light (mimicking the sun’s rising and falling) which can be interrupted by all the artificial light to which we are exposed.
Here are our best tips for improving and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm:
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Wake up at the same time each morning.
- Cut out all sources of artificial light in the last hour before bed, to prompt your brain to create the melatonin you need to lull you to sleep.
Exercise Earlier in the Day
It’s thought that regular exercise helps you feel more sleepy in the evenings, but that it may also help prolong the deeper stages of sleep. It is widely believed that exercising regularly helps with sleep, although there seems to be a bit of discrepancy about what time of day you should exercise if you want to sleep well at night.
The Sleep Foundation addresses this and agrees that choosing the right time of day for your exercise can also be important, though this may differ depending on your natural circadian rhythm and sleep chronotype. The general consensus is to exercise earlier in the day for your best sleep at night. This is likely due to how our bodies produce certain hormones while working out that might make sleep onset a little more delayed.
ACSM’s Health Journal suggests that though exercising earlier in the day is recommended, exercising any time of the day is better than not exercising at all when it comes to good sleep.
Note: “About 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Lack of sleep is associated with injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and well-being, increased health care costs, and lost work productivity.” – CDC
Choose Calming Activities Close to Bedtime
What you do in those hours before bed is so important to your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Choose calming activities to do before bedtime (in lieu of playing on the phone or laptop, or watching TV). Here are some great options:
- Mindfulness Meditation – Harvard Health reports that Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, coined the term ‘relaxation response’ which is like the opposite of a stress response. Dr. Benson recommends mindfulness meditation as a way to help evoke this response.
Dr. Benson advises how to practice mindfulness meditation: Focus on your breathing and then bring your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future.
- Read a book. Reading can help to calm the mind and distract you from ruminating over the day’s stresses. If you use a book light, purchase one that does not contribute blue light, a common disruptor of sleep.
- Aromatherapy can help. Try lavender and chamomile for a relaxing experience that prepares you for sleep. Relax in a warm bath with aromatherapeutic CBD Bath Bombs that come in relaxing scents such as lavender.
Sleep Aids You Can Trust – CBD for Quality Sleep
There are lots of sleep medicine options and natural sleep aids. Here at cbdMD we specialize in creating naturally effective CBD sleep aids so you can fall asleep better without worry over addictive components found in many sleep aid options. Here are the ones we think you’ll love to use should you need a little help with your snoozing:
Take one to two of these delicious gummies for a sleep-enhancing boost of calm before bed. Fortified with our Superior Broad Spectrum CBD formula, along with melatonin, L-theanine, GABA, and a selection of soothing herbs. This soothing nightcap is the perfect way to relax into dreamland.
The CBD tinctures are the easiest way to get the perfect amounts of CBD that work quickly. Infused with melatonin, these dreamy drops are there when you need them. Take the same amount each evening at the same time for best results.
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Superior Broad Spectrum hemp extracts, melatonin, and calming herbs are packed into each capsule. Take one or two with a full glass of water and relax your way into a dreamy sleep.
Cut Out the Caffeine and Nicotine
Getting better sleep means cutting out the things that keep you awake – and we’re sorry, but this includes your favorite cup of joe and sources of nicotine like cigarettes or nicotine vaping products. While these vices are tempting, they can wreak havoc on our health and our sleep.
OK, so the cuppa joe can be all right – just keep it reasonable and restrict it to the morning hours. This way the caffeine has a chance to be fully metabolized before bedtime. Limit those caffeinated soft drinks as well.
If you’re wondering how to sleep better – you might need to take a look at your stress levels. Especially if your sleep issues began around the same time as a new stress or stressful turn of events.
Medical News Today reports, “Stress and sleep are closely linked. Stress can adversely affect sleep quality and duration, while insufficient sleep can increase stress levels. Both stress and a lack of sleep can lead to lasting physical and mental health problems.”
Try Sleep-Enhancing Foods
Did you know that some foods and drinks can help you sleep? (No, not alcohol – that actually impairs your sleep.) Here are some of our favorite sleepytime foods and drinks:
- Oats for L-tryptophan. How about a relaxing bowl of warm oatmeal before bed?
- Melatonin – Put some bananas in that oatmeal! (Yes, bananas have melatonin!)
- Try sweet potatoes or avocado with your dinner – for good sources of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).
- Chamomile tea can help soothe you to sleep.
Support for Your Healthy Sleep
That’s it today for our curated tips for how to get better sleep. We hope with cbdMD on your side – with blog tips on how to get better sleep, award-winning CBD sleep aids, and supportive care to help you maintain your healthy sleep habits – you’ll soon start getting the sleep you need. Take care and sleep well!