How to Improve Sleep Quality and Wake Up Feeling Rested
Do you often feel tired and groggy in the morning, even after getting the recommended amount of sleep? If so, you should pay attention to how restful your nights are. Some signs of poor quality sleep include needing over 30 minutes to fall asleep or waking up more than once during the night. But don’t worry—there are plenty of simple steps you can take to get deeper sleep and fall asleep faster.
Adopt Daily Habits for Deeper Sleep
How we sleep affects our day, so it makes sense that our daily habits would impact how we sleep. Don’t try to change everything at once, though—the best strategy to improve your sleep hygiene is to start with small manageable steps and see what works for you.
Stick to a schedule
Sleep schedules work for babies and children, so why wouldn’t they work for grown adults? One of the most straightforward ways to improve your sleep is to go to bed at the same time every night. If you wake up early for work during the week but sleep in until noon on the weekend, you’re likely to throw off your circadian rhythm. Need to catch up on Zzz’s on your days off? Napping may be a better option (once again, babies have it right!)
Even just 10 minutes of walking outdoors can improve how well you sleep. Moderate to vigorous exercise releases endorphins, which naturally alleviate stress and pain to help you sleep better. Plus, the better you sleep, the more energy you’ll have to work out. It’s a win-win!
Avoid (or reduce) alcohol and caffeine
While alcohol can make you sleepy and caffeine can make you more alert, they’re both detrimental to your sleep in the long run. It’s okay to indulge a little bit, but know that the impact of caffeine and alcohol on your rest can last up to 6 hours after your last sip.
Switch up your bedtime routine
As you know, the blue light from screens tends to mess with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Try setting up a bedtime routine that doesn’t involve your TV or phone to promote deep sleep. It could be as simple as enjoying a delicious cup of chamomile tea or as involved as a 10-step skincare routine. If done right, your bedtime routine can become a glorious moment of self-care that you look forward to every day!
Create a Restful Environment
Ever wonder why people sleep so well in luxury hotels? Learn the secrets of luxurious sleep so that you can recreate the perfect conditions for top-quality rest right at home.
Block out the light
Invest in blackout curtains or a sleep mask to filter out any source of light and keep your circadian rhythm in check.
Turn down the thermostat
A cool room encourages more profound sleep. On top of controlling the temperature in your room, choose a mattress, mattress protector, and bedding engineered to disperse heat and keep you at the right temperature. This is especially important if you (or your partner) tend to run hot at night.
Invest in a quality mattress
A great mattress does more than keep you comfortable—it eliminates pressure points, keeps you from tossing and turning, and stops motion transfer in real time. Remember—if you’re waking up during the night, you’re not getting the quality sleep you deserve.
Make your bedroom your happy place
The key words here are relaxing, clean, and enjoyable. Tidy up often and surround yourself with things that you find calming. Play rain sounds on a small speaker, diffuse essential oils, or use soft lighting to relax before bedtime.
Try Meditation or Relaxation Exercises
After a busy day, switching to rest mode can be tricky. Our bodies tend to hold stress and tension without us even noticing. For example, try unclenching your jaw and relaxing your shoulders, and see how different you feel!
Soften into rest with deep breathing
Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach, just below your ribs. Slowly breathe in through your nose and feel your belly fill with air, keeping your chest still. Gently exhale through your mouth as your belly contracts. Repeat for several breaths until you feel your body sinking into relaxation.
Release tension with a body scan
Settle into your natural sleeping position, and take a few deep breaths. Bring your attention to your toes and let go of any tension you may be holding there. Very slowly, move your attention to your feet, then your ankles, and keep moving up to your scalp, softening your body with every exhale. Pay special attention to the palm of your hands, your shoulders, your jaw, and your eyebrows. Feel the difference already, don’t you?
Note: While not as beneficial as actual sleep, deep relaxation shares many benefits with REM sleep. If you’re looking for a shortcut to deep relaxation, try a weighted blanket.
Deep, quality sleep gives your body a chance to repair muscles, organs, and cells. It helps your brain sort through your “brain clutter” and store important facts and memories so you can feel focused and alert the next day. Now that you know all the best tips to get quality sleep, you should feel more rested in no time. Happy snoozing!