According to the Sleep Foundation, adults, 18 to 64, need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. An adult over 65 will only need seven to eight hours of sleep.
Getting the average sleep doesn’t mean you will get the quality of sleep you need. Ensuring you hit each of the stages of sleep is pertinent to boost and stabilize your mood, improve your immune system, and provide long-lasting energy throughout the day.
So, how can you help yourself to sleep soundly each night? Many people have trouble sleeping due to stress, distractions, and sleep disorders but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with poor sleep or interrupted sleep night after night. There are many sleep habits you can use to make your bedroom, your mind, and your body more ready for a long night of sound adequate sleep.
Let’s dive into ten ways to sleep more soundly that might just astound you when you wake up from your first good night’s sleep the next morning.
1. Increase Your Bedroom Airflow
Too many bedrooms are designed poorly for airflow making it hard to keep a comfortable temperature. The human body knows when air is fresh or stagnant, and sleeping in still air can actually reduce your sleep quality. A room that is too hot will cause you to toss and turn in the night while a room that is too stuffy will cause you to wake up again and again messing with your sleep patterns.
So, get that air moving. Place a small fan near the ceiling or a large fan on the floor to help move air around your bedroom. If you need to close all the doors and windows (as so many of us do), then internal airflow is essential. Make sure your HVAC vent is open and, if necessary, wear a hair covering to keep those fly-aways from tickling your face.
2. Play Soothing White Noise
Many of us sleep ‘on the alert’ for sounds of pets, children, or intruders in the night. It’s just something the brain does for you. Unfortunately, this means any little sound in the night can wake you up or keep you from getting to sleep. If your neighborhood is noisy or you have house-mates on a different schedule, this can kill your sleep patterns.
One of the hottest life-hacks for sleeping more soundly is white noise. Play soft swooshing in your bedroom with the base and mids turned up (this might be worth a bedroom sub woofer)to help block out little noises and allows you to get adequate sleep in a consistent sound environment.
3. Choose the Right Mattress and Bedding for Your Body
The right mattress and bedding is absolutely everything for the amounts of sleep you get. If your mattress is old and lumpy, those lumps can cause you to wake with aches and pains. If your mattress is too soft, you may wake constantly with a literal sinking feeling. If the mattress is too hard, you won’t be able to transition to sleep. Don’t be shy about finding a new mattress. Most people keep their mattresses for far longer than they are still comfortable decreasing their benefits of sleep.
As for bedding, remember to swap out seasonally. Cool sheets in the summer, warm sheets in the winter. Find soft, breathable sheets and never use too much (or too little) blanket for the temperature.
4. Go to Sleep at the Same Time Every Night (and Wake at the Same Time)
Your body runs like a clock. How does your stomach always start growling around your regularly scheduled lunchtime, or you start getting restless around the end of your work shift? It’s the patterns we built for ourselves. Sleep works the same way. You can train your body to get sleepy on-time (and then fall asleep on-time) by going to sleep at the same time every night. This is called your circadian rhythm.
Once your body is used to the same light-levels and time of day being bedtime, you’ll start to get that bedtime feeling about an hour before bedtime. It also really helps to sleep the same amount of time and wake up at the same time every day. Do this, and you can even skip the alarm clock as your body starts to wake about 5 minutes before ring-time.
5. Build a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Speaking of bedtime, train yourself to relax before bed. Build sleep habits that tells your body that you’re about to sleep. Watch an episode of something soothing or read a book chapter. Take a bath or do some yoga each bedtime. Drink the same cup of tea every night, then always remember to comb your hair and brush your teeth. By the time you’re changing into PJs (or whatever you wear to bed), your body will know it’s time to sleep. This is a neat trick for when you’re bedtime schedule or bedtime rituals are off schedule and you need to sleep at an unusual time.
6. Cool the House Down at Night
Ever notice how it’s easier to sleep when the house is cold and you’re snuggled up under a blanket? The human body relates heat to energy. When it’s warm, the sun must be up and it’s time to be energetic. When it’s cold, the sun must be down and it’s time to sleep. This means manipulating your home’s temperature can absolutely trick your brain for sleep.
Turn down the thermostat at night as one of your activities before bedtime for a nice crisp cool. Let your body cool down with the house, then slip between your cozy covers to help your body know it’s time to sleep. Ensuring your bed stays cool throughout the night is key. A bedroom window AC unit might also do the trick at a lower cost for hot climates in the summer.
7. Take a Hot Bath or Shower Right Before Bed
You can also tell your body it’s time to cool down and sleep immediately – by heating up first. Why does a warm bath before bed help you get ready for sleep? It’s not just that you doze off in the steamy water, it’s also that shock of cold when you get out. Heat up your body in a bath or shower, then step into your chilled house air. That shivering feeling that makes you want to dive into bed? Dry off and dive. You’ll be diving into sound sleep and deep dreaming soon.
8. Stay Away from Evening Caffeine
There are tons of things you shouldn’t eat or drink when you’re trying to get to sleep. We know, some people can quaff an espresso and fall straight to sleep with a calm mind. But if you’re reading this, that probably isn’t you. For sound sleep in the face of sleep difficulties, stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and spicy heart-burn foods right before bed – each for their own reasons, but mainly to stop a busy mind. Caffeine will keep you up, alcohol prevents you from sleeping with true depth-quality, and hear-burn just plain keeps you up at night.
9. Hang Heavy Curtains and Sound-Proof the Door
Light plays an important role in sleep, as well. While morning light streaming in through your blinds may wake you up in the morning, streetlights (or a non-diurnal schedule) can keep you up when it’s time to sleep. If you don’t use an eye mask, as not everyone can or wants to, then hang heavy curtains instead. Blackout curtains also do the double-duty of helping block outside sounds. Especially if you stuff the window and secure the curtains to the wall all the way around.
You can also sound- and light-proof your door with foam weather-stripping around the inside of the door frame and foam sound panels on the door itself.
10. Exercise 2-3 Hours Before Bed
Last but certainly not least, know when to exercise! You may have noticed that days where you work outside or hit the gym, you sleep more soundly. That exhaustion earlier in the day spends energy and tells your body to rest up for another busy energy-filled day tomorrow. Bright sun exposure does help you sleep later on, but exercise is even more important. Work up a sweat and get really tired once a day to sleep much more deeply at night. Just be sure you stop exercising 2-3 hours before bed so your body has cooled down and is ready to relax.
Sleeping more soundly is a quest shared by millions every year. From stressful lives to naturally light sleepers, we know it can be tough to sleep deeply through the night and wake up truly feeling refreshed. But with these techniques, you can improve your sleep quality with each personalized step. For more insights on getting the best possible sleep and sleeping more soundly, contact us today!