How to Get Better Deep Sleep
Establish a Sleep Routine
Establishing a consistent sleep routine can be the first step towards a better night’s rest. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is key to getting into a deep and restorative sleep. This will help your body to become accustomed to the routine, allowing it to become relaxed and ready for sleep at the same time each night.
By setting a sleep routine, you can help to improve your overall quality of sleep.
Set a consistent sleep schedule
Developing and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most effective ways for establishing quality, restful sleep. When it comes to our circadian rhythm (our ‘body-clock’) – when we go to sleep, when we wake up and even when we take naps – consistency plays a major role in determining how well you’ll be able to settle into deep sleep and stay in REM throughout the night.
Creating a regular routine by going to bed and waking up around the same time each day helps signal your body that it’s time for rest, allowing you to naturally fall asleep easier than if you were trying to shift your sleeping times constantly. If possible, strive for consistent wake up times arise among weekdays and weekends as well: while flexible sleeping times on the weekends are allowed, drastic changes can affect your ability to fall asleep come Sunday evening.
Additionally, planning short naps during the day can be beneficial in promoting quality nighttime rest; depending on preferences anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes should do the trick! However, as with any type of routine you establish – ensure there is flexibility within it; feeling obligated or tied down by a predefined schedule will have counter-intuitive effects on long-term improvement. In sum, balance is key!
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea should be consumed earlier in the day rather than late at night to ensure a good night’s sleep. Drinking hot beverages late in the day can keep you stimulated and awake, making it difficult to drift off to sleep. Caffeinated beverages are also a diuretic, which means it can increase urination and disrupt nighttime sleeping patterns.
It is recommended to limit caffeine consumption after 3 pm or 4 pm in the afternoon as this is when your body naturally starts winding down for the evening. The stimulating effects of caffeine can take up to 8 hours so if you are drinking coffee or tea past this time frame it will be much harder for you to rest. Try drinking other decaffeinated drinks such as herbal teas that contain soothing ingredients such as chamomile, valerian root or lavender that may give you some relief from stress without stimulating your body too much.
Regular exercise plays an important role in achieving good quality sleep. Exercise reduces stress levels, relaxes the body, and helps make it easier to fall asleep. It’s especially beneficial for those who have difficulty falling asleep or have insomnia. Research has also demonstrated that even moderate exercise can help improve sleep quality and duration over time.
Doing aerobic or strengthening activities a few times a week can lead to better sleep patterns.
When planning your fitness routine, avoid exercising within two hours of bedtime as physical activity may make it harder to fall asleep afterwards. The best time of day to get regular physical activity is either in the morning or in the early evening. If you plan to work out at night, try and keep it light; vigorous activity could still interfere with your sleep quality even long after the activity has stopped.
You may also want to avoid exercises that are particularly stressful; heavy lifting, aggressive sports or intense activities like running can increase cortisol levels which can be hard on the body and mind late at night and make it difficult for your brain to switch off once you have gone to bed.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
The environment you sleep in is a key factor when it comes to getting a better deep sleep. There are certain environmental conditions that can help improve sleep quality. Taking the time to create a sleep-friendly environment can have a positive effect on your sleep and help ensure that you’re getting the rest you need.
Let’s look at some tips for creating a sleep-friendly environment:
Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool
Deep sleep is essential to restful and energizing sleep, but it can be difficult to achieve in a brightly lit environment or one that’s too warm or cool. To create an environment conducive to deep sleep, try to make sure your bedroom is kept dark and cool.
The ideal temperature for your bedroom should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the evening and early morning hours. Draw blackout curtains or wear an eye mask to block out any light coming from outside your windows while you sleep. Avoid using screens (phones, tablets, TVs) within an hour of bedtime as the blue light they generate can interfere with melatonin production and make it hard to fall asleep quickly or stay asleep through the night. Dim any remaining lamps in the room and consider using a red-light bulb – blue wavelengths are known to have a stimulating effect on our brains, while red light found in nature helps us wind down before bed.
For additional comfort, invest in quality bedding like breathable sheets that keep you warm without overheating – many materials now on the market wick away moisture from the body; allergens such as dust mites can thrive in moist climates so choose hypoallergenic material like bamboo when selecting new sheets and pillowcases for best results. Add supportive pillows plus layers of cozy blankets and lightweight comforters to complete your luxurious sleeping space for ultimate relaxation when it’s time for lights out!
Invest in comfortable bedding
Having the right bedding is essential to a good night’s sleep. Since the average person will spend an average of eight hours per night in bed, it’s important to invest in comfortable mattress, pillow, and sheets. It’s best to opt for materials that are not only comfortable but also promote good breathability, such as cotton or linen.
Make sure you choose a mattress that fits your body’s unique needs so that you can rest with no discomfort. Additionally, consider making sure pillowcases and sheets are regularly washed in order to reduce moisture and dust exposure. Depending on the room temperature, use quilts or blankets made from breathable materials like cotton or wool to ensure your body is neither too cold nor too hot during sleep.
Block out noise with earplugs or sound machines
Block out noise with earplugs or sound machines. If there is a lot of noise in your home, whether it’s due to street traffic or roommates talking late into the night, soundproofing or masking the noise with some white or other soothing sounds may be necessary for a good night’s sleep.
Ear plugs can help block out most loud sounds, but if there is ongoing noise, try a sound machine that emits white noise set at an even level throughout the night. Many machines give you the ability to customize the type and volume of your preferred soothing sound. Additionally, you can purchase “sleep” pillows that add a comforting layer of sound to block out any external unpleasant noises.
Wind Down Before Bed
A good night’s sleep starts with winding down in the hours before bedtime. This may include activities such as turning off screens, having a warm bath or shower, meditating and journaling. All of these activities can help your body relax and reset for several hours of uninterrupted sleep.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can wind down before bed and improve your quality of deep sleep:
Avoid screens and bright lights
Between social media, streaming television and news that can often bring worry into our lives, it can be hard to give yourself permission to close your laptop or turn off the TV. But it’s important to limit excess exposure to electronic devices shortly before bedtime. Blue light from screens can suppress the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and make it more difficult for your body to fall asleep.
In addition, dim the lights in your house about an hour before you hope to drift off. This will signal your brain that it is time for rest and create a peaceful environment for you to relax in. Dimmable lamps or nightlights offer a pleasant glow that won’t stimulate wakefulness, while blackout curtains can ensure any natural light from outside is blocked. Soft music can also provide a soothing accompaniment as you wind down for bed rather than more stimulating soundtracks like podcasts or talkback radio programs.
Take a hot bath or shower
Taking a hot bath or shower prior to bed can significantly improve your sleep quality. The warmth of the water increases your body temperature and when you emerge from the bath or shower, the drop in temperature helps trigger sleepiness and relaxes the body. Be sure not to take a hot bath right before bed, as it needs time to cool down.
Moreover, adding lavender essential oil to the bath or shower can further enhance relaxation as lavender is known for its calming aroma. Taking a warm bubble bath with lavender may help you de-stress before bedtime and also promote better rest during the night.
In addition, adding Epsom salts with lavender essential oil can also reduce muscle tension and lead to better sleep – Epsom salt removes harmful toxins from our bodies, relieves aches and pains and promotes relaxation in both mind and body.
Practice meditation or yoga
Meditation and yoga can be powerful tools to integrate into a nightly routine. Practicing deep breathing, mindfulness and guided imagery are proven to reduce stress, improve sleep quality and provide better overall health.
To practice meditation and yoga at home, start by finding a comfortable area in the bedroom or living room. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and remove any distractions in order to stay focused on the quiet activity ahead.
For beginners, try closing your eyes while you focus on simple rhythmic breathing: inhale for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, and then exhale for four counts before repeating the cycle again. If possible, invest in online video tutorials or yoga-themed relaxation music for some extra guidance. Through repetition, you can train yourself to reach a deeper level of relaxation every night that leads to more restful sleep.
Address Sleep Disorders
Before looking at strategies to get better deep sleep, it is important to identify and address underlying sleep disorders that could be affecting your sleep quality. Common sleep disorders can include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy. Consulting a doctor can be a great place to start if you think you may have an underlying sleep disorder. Working together with a healthcare professional can help you determine the best strategy for addressing it.
Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping
If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it is important to talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to diagnosis a sleep disorder and recommend the best course of treatment for you. Sleep disorders affect the quality and amount of rest we get each night, so it is important to take these issues seriously.
Your doctor may refer you for additional tests or an overnight sleep study with a respiratory therapist if he/she believes you might have a sleep disorder. A sleep study or sleep test will monitor your breathing patterns and other biological functions during the night that could indicate a problem while you are sleeping.
During a doctor’s consultation, you should be prepared to discuss any medications, supplements or over-the-counter product that you might be taking as well as details about your lifestyle and diet. Your doctor may also ask questions about chronic health conditions like asthma, COPD or diabetes that could possibly play a role in any potential sleep problems. By providing full disclosure about all related medical issues, your doctor can make more accurate recommendations for the treatment of any sleeping disorders that might affect the restful deep sleep you desire each night.
Consider cognitive behavioral therapy
If you’re having trouble sleeping, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) could be a great treatment option. CBT-I is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping people to change the behaviors and thoughts that often lead to sleep problems. It’s been specifically designed to effectively treat insomnia, and it involves cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, sleep schedule restructuring, lifestyle modifications and more.
Research shows that CBT-I works best when combined with medication. Studies show that this type of therapy can significantly improve your quality of life and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, fatigue and irritability. The goal is to help you develop healthier sleeping habits so you can get a good night’s sleep every night. If you want to improve your deep sleep quality while increasing the quantity of sleep in general then cognitive behavioral therapy could be just what you’re looking for.
Prior to beginning your treatment plan with a clinician experienced in CBT-I it’s important to discuss any medical or mental health conditions like anxiety or depression as well as any medications or supplement use with them first.
Try natural remedies like melatonin or valerian root
If you’re trying to get better deep sleep, your first stop should be talking to your doctor. However, there are a few natural remedies that may be helpful in addressing certain sleep issues:
- Melatonin is a hormone naturally found in our bodies that helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and helps trigger the body’s production of sleep-regulating hormones like dopamine. Taking melatonin supplements can help you achieve a deeper sleep by allowing for higher levels of melatonin production in your body.
- Valerian root is another popular supplement that can reduce anxiety and induce sleep for those who suffer from insomnia or other waking disorders.
- Relaxation techniques have been known to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps bring on deeper states of relaxation.
- Other natural methods that can help address sleep related issues include engaging in regular exercise (which helps reduce stress and create endorphins) as well as using natural relaxation tips like meditation, deep breathing, stretching or yoga.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Getting a restful night of sleep is essential to maintaining good physical and mental health. And while there are some sleeping aids available, some of the most effective ways to improve sleep are through lifestyle changes. This section will focus on how certain lifestyle changes can help you get a better deep sleep.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is important to get deep, restful sleep. Obtaining the proper nutrition from whole foods like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins helps to promote relaxation and establish a regular sleep-wake cycle.
Avoid eating large meals late in the evening; this can cause disruption in your gut which can lead to insomnia. Reducing caffeine intake after lunch time, as well as limiting or avoiding alcoholic beverages before bedtime, allows your body to achieve the wind-down necessary for sleep.
Getting adequate hydration during the day is another way to promote good sleeping habits. When out of balance, dehydration can affect our hormones which can prevent us from falling asleep and staying asleep through the night.
Avoid alcohol before bed
Alcohol may help you to initially fall asleep by reducing activation of certain nerve cells in the brain and making it easier to drift off. However, the sleep this type of alcohol-induced sleep produces is not restful, high-quality sleep.
Consumption of alcohol too close to bedtime has been found to lead to more disrupted sleep as well as a decrease in rapid eye movement (REM) deep sleep. Therefore, it is generally recommended that you avoid consuming alcohol two or three hours before going to bed. Doing so can help create the conditions necessary for a better night’s rest.
Make sure you get enough sunlight during the day
Light exposure during the day is an important factor in improving the quality and quantity of your sleep. Try to get at least 20 minutes of natural sunlight a day by taking a walk during your lunch break or getting outside for a few minutes on your way to work. Your circadian rhythm needs light cues to stay in balance, and slowing down and getting that daily dose of sunshine can help you get better sleep at night.
Incorporating bright light – like sitting near a window – in the morning and gradually turning off lights when getting ready for bed will send messages to your internal clock that it’s time to be alert and prepared for sleep.