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11 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night


1. Increase bright light exposure during the day

Your body has a natural timekeeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration

Ay helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration

Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially if you have severe sleep issues or insomnia.

2. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening

Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect Again, this is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This reduces hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep

Blue light — which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit large amounts — is the worst in this regard.

3. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day

A single dose can enhance focus, energy, and sports performance. However, when consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. In one study, consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed significantly worsened sleep quality

Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours. Therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping

4. Reduce irregular or long daytime naps

While short power naps are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night In fact, in one study, participants ended up being sleepy during the day after taking daytime naps

5. Try to sleep and wake at consistent times

Your body’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself with sunrise and sunset.

Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality

One study noted that participants who had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends reported poor sleep.Other studies have highlighted that irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signal your brain to sleep If you struggle with sleep, try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm.

8. Don’t drink alcohol

Having a couple of drinks at night can negatively affect your sleep and hormones.

Alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and disrupted sleep patterns. It also alters the nighttime melatonin production, which plays a key role in your body’s circadian rhythm. Another study found that alcohol consumption at night decreased the natural nighttime elevations in human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in your circadian rhythm and has many other key functions.

9. Optimize your bedroom environment

Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement Numerous studies point out that external noise, often from traffic, can cause poor sleep and long-term health issues. In one study on the bedroom environment for women, around 50% of participants noticed improved sleep quality when noise and light diminished

To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.

10. Set your bedroom temperature

Body and bedroom temperature can also profoundly affect sleep quality.

As you may have experienced during the summer or in hot locations, it can be very hard to get a good night’s sleep when it’s too warm. One study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise

Other studies reveal that increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness

Around 70°F (20°C) seems to be a comfortable temperature for most people, although it depends on your preferences and habits.

11. Don’t eat late in the evening

Eating late at night may negatively affect both sleep quality and the natural release of HGH and melatonin

That said, the quality and type of your late-night snack may play a role as well.

In one study, a high carb meal eaten 4 hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster Interestingly, one study discovered that a low carb diet also improved sleep, indicating that carbs aren’t always necessary, especially if you’re used to a low carb diet.


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Renee VanHeel

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