How to Get Better Sleep [Essential Sleep Strategies]

how to get better sleep

Are you among the millions of people who have insomnia or poor-quality sleep? Are you looking for how to get better sleep?

If so, it’s time to take control of your night-time rest and tackle those pesky nights where a good night’s sleep just isn’t in the cards.

While some prescription methods exist for helping treat insomnia symptoms, plenty more natural options could help give your body and mind the deep rest they deserve.

In this post, we’ll explore essential wellness strategies to get better sleep—so if you’re ready to bring some sanity and refreshing sleep back into your tired evenings, read on!

Establish a Sleep Routine

sleep routine

Getting better sleep starts with creating a consistent sleep schedule. Our bodies thrive on routine, and this includes our sleeping patterns.

Making a habit of hitting the hay and rising at the same time daily can help control your body’s biological clock, otherwise known as its circadian rhythm.

This consistency helps signal your body when it’s time to wind down for sleep and when it’s time to wake up in the morning.

Sticking to a regular sleep schedule can simplify drifting off and having more restful nights over the long haul.

Sticking with it is crucial to establishing a successful and healthy sleep routine, even on weekends or days off work.

Sticking to a regular sleep itinerary, even on days off, is essential for keeping your body’s internal clock in check and ensuring restful nights.

The Importance of Regular Bedtimes

Studies show that individuals who maintain regular bedtimes fall asleep faster and experience less daytime fatigue than those with erratic schedules.

Morning Wake-Up Times Matter Too

Rising at the same time each day is just as critical as when you hit the hay.

Waking up at different times throughout the week disrupts your circadian rhythm, which could leave you feeling groggy or sluggish during the day. 

Research suggests that maintaining consistent wake-up times promotes alertness throughout the day.

Tips for Sticking With Your Sleep Schedule:

  • Create an evening ritual: This could include reading before bedtime, meditating, taking a warm bath, or any other relaxing activity that signals your brain that it’s almost bedtime.

  • Leverage natural light: Exposure to sunlight early in the morning helps reset our biological clocks every day.

  • Avoid screens close to bedtime: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, computers, and TVs interferes with melatonin production – making it more difficult to fall asleep.

  • If necessary, use alarms: If you’re having trouble adjusting initially, set the alarm for a going-to-bed time and a wake-up time until they become a habit.

key takeaway

Establishing a consistent sleep routine is crucial for getting better sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your body’s internal clock, leading to easier falling asleep and more restful nights. Creating an evening ritual, leveraging natural light, avoiding screens before bedtime, and using alarms if necessary are helpful tips for sticking with your sleep schedule.

Get Your Sweat On

aerobic exercise

Regular exercise not only keeps you fit, but it also helps you catch some quality Z’s.

The Sleep Foundation says that working out can reduce insomnia and kick anxiety and depression to the curb.

You’ll score more deep sleep when you do aerobic exercises like walking, running, or cycling.

This stage is like a superhero for your immune system and heart health.

Plus, it’s when your body repairs muscles, processes memories and does all that important stuff.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to exercising for better sleep, timing is critical. For the best restful sleep, exercise in the morning is typically recommended.

They rev up your metabolism early, helping your body’s internal clock sync for a good night’s rest.

Workouts That Work

  • Aerobic Activities: Get your heart pumping with brisk walks or jogs.

  • Resistance Training: Lift weights or do bodyweight exercises to build muscle and snooze like a champ.

  • Mind-body Practices: Yoga or tai chi combine movement and relaxation to combat stress and help you sleep like a baby.

If hitting the gym isn’t your thing or you’re stuck at home, don’t worry. Plenty of online resources have free workout routines for all fitness levels.

Check out this list compiled by Healthline.

Avoid Stimulants and Sleep Better

brain chemistry

Avoiding caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea can help us sleep better, as they are stimulants that interfere with our brain chemistry.

Caffeine is a sneaky little stimulant that messes with our brain chemicals and keeps us wide awake.

And hey, smokers, listen up. Nicotine from cigarettes or e-cigarettes also acts as a stimulant in our bodies.

Therefore, if you wish to have a restful sleep, it’s time to abandon smoking.

The Impact of Alcohol on Sleep Quality

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A nightcap before bed helps you doze off, right? Wrong.

Alcohol may knock you out initially, but it messes with your sleep cycle, leaving you groggy in the morning.

Tips for Reducing Stimulants Before Bedtime:

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks like the plague at least six hours before bed. Trust me, you won’t miss them.

  • If you’re having a tough time quitting smoking or vaping, reduce your consumption some hours before turning in for the night. Your lungs and your sleep will thank you.

  • And as for alcohol, go easy on the booze, especially close to bedtime. Those heavy drinks can mess with your dreams and leave you feeling less than refreshed.

In addition to avoiding these sleep-stealing stimulants, try incorporating relaxing activities into your evening routine.

You know, things like reading a book or taking a warm bath.

Your body will get the message that it’s time to wind down and get some quality shut-eye.

Remember, what you consume daily affects your sleep and overall health.

So, make enough sleep-smart choices and sleep like a baby.

Create a Relaxing Environment

relaxing environment

Your sleeping area should be a refuge to relax and obtain enough quality sleep and rest.

Let’s explore some factors contributing to sleep deprivation and a relaxing environment for better sleep.

Darkness is Key To Fall Asleep

The body’s inner clock, or circadian rhythm, is impacted by light and the absence of it.

When it gets dark, our bodies start producing melatonin, the sleepy hormone.

So, keep your room dark to promote better sleep.

Maintain an Appropriate Temperature

Your bedroom temperature can significantly impact your sleep quality.

If you have trouble sleeping, one of the first things you should consider is whether your sleep environment is too hot or cold.

This could disrupt healthy sleep habits and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

A cooler room aids in falling asleep faster as it helps lower body temperature, which initiates sleepiness.

A cool room temp between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for most people. Experiment with different temperatures to find your sweet spot.

The Science Behind Cool Sleeping Conditions

Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm, an internal clock regulating sleep onset, and our daily routine of wakefulness and drowsiness.

As part of this cycle, our body temperature naturally decreases during the evening hours in preparation for restful slumber—a process called thermoregulation.

Studies show that cool temperatures aid thermoregulation and promote deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stages associated with high-quality restorative sleep.

On the other hand, overly warm environments can lead to restless nights filled with frequent awakenings—indicating poor or insufficient sleep hygiene—and even potential chronic conditions like insomnia or other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Tips for Maintaining Optimal Bedroom Temperature

  • Create Consistency: Try maintaining consistent bedtime routines, including setting up the thermostat at the same time every day so your body gets used to falling asleep under those conditions.

  • Cool Down Before Bed: Lowering your home’s overall temperature about an hour before bed will give you enough time for your bedroom to reach its coolest point just when it’s time to hit the sack.

  • Dress Lightly: If adjusting thermostats isn’t possible due to shared living spaces, consider wearing lighter pajamas or using breathable cotton sheets.

  • Fans & Humidifiers: You may also want to use fans or humidifiers since these devices help control both heat levels and humidity within the room, thus providing a comfortable bed environment conducive to achieving better night-time slumbers.

Keeping these sleep tips back of mind would ensure a good night’s sleep and avoid piling up on unnecessary ‘sleep debt.’

Remember, each small step to improve nightly rests boosts daytime energy levels, ensuring healthier, happier lives!

Noise Control

Noise can disrupt your own sleep patterns or prevent you from falling asleep.

If noise control is out of your hands, try earplugs or white noise machines.

They can drown out disruptive sounds like a boss.

My favorite noise generator is the DOHM Uno.

My Pick
noise generator



Introducing the Dohm Uno, a revolutionary sound machine that brings tranquility to your environment by masking unwelcome noise.

Whether you’re trying to create a serene sleep setting or a productive workspace, the Dohm Uno is your ticket to an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

  • Classic Design
  • Travel Size
  • 1-Year Warranty


  • Limited Features
  • Not SUPER Loud

Create Comfortable Surroundings

Your bed is the sleep MVP. Invest in bedding, pillows, and a mattress that match your sleeping habits for an ideal sleep experience.

Also, keep your space clutter-free. A tidy room equals a serene environment.

In conclusion, these small changes can significantly improve your night-time sleep quality.

Create an optimal sleeping environment tailored to promote deep, restful slumber each night.

Watch What You Eat


Your diet can make or break your sleep. Stuffing your face before bed can lead to discomfort and indigestion, making it impossible to catch some Z’s.

I recommend abstaining from large meals within two to seven hours before bedtime.

Instead, go for lighter snacks that won’t leave you feeling like a bloated balloon.

Foods with tryptophan, like turkey, eggs, and cheese, can be beneficial for sleep since it helps produce serotonin.

The Dark Side of Sugary Snacks

Sugary snacks might seem like a sweet treat before bed, but they’re sleep saboteurs.

The sugar rush can give you an energy boost that keeps you wide awake when you should be counting sheep.

I recommend cutting back on sugary foods before hitting the hay.

They can disrupt your blood sugar levels and your sleep quality.

Diet Tips for Dreamy Sleep

  • Keep your meals balanced throughout the day: A well-rounded diet gives your body the nutrients it needs for optimal sleep.

  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can leave you with a dry mouth and throat, disrupting your sleep. But don’t chug a gallon of water before bed, or you’ll be making too many bathroom trips.

  • Add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet: Studies cited by PubMed Central (PMC) show that magnesium can improve sleep quality.

Avoid hefty meals and sugary treats near bedtime to prepare for a restful and better night’s sleep afterward.

Everyone’s different, so find what works best for you based on your own dietary needs and lifestyle.

The Quick Sleep Solution: The Military Method

deep breathing

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, it might be time to consider using a technique known as the military sleep method. 

This strategy has gained significant attention on social media platforms due to its effectiveness in helping individuals fall asleep faster and improve their overall sleep quality.

The military sleep method was first introduced in Bud Winter’s book “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.” 

It combines various relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and body scan practices, which are proven to promote better sleep hygiene.

Step 1: Prepare Your Space

You can begin by making sure your environment is comfortable and conducive to relaxation.

This could be lying on your mattress or sitting in a comfortable chair.

Dim the lights, switch off distractions, and ensure the temperature is just right.

Step 2: Close Your Eyes

Gently close your eyes as you start to focus inward.

Allow yourself to disconnect from the outside world and become aware of your inner self.

Step 3: Deep Breathing

Start to notice your breath. Breathe slowly and deeply, filling your lungs with fresh air and releasing tension on each exhale.

Feel each breath entering and leaving your body, calming your mind and body.

Step 4: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • Begin with your face, consciously relaxing your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and jaw.
  • Move down to your neck, releasing any tightness there.
  • Continue to your shoulders, feel them dropping away from your ears as they relax.
  • Extend this relaxation to your arms and hands, feeling any tension melting away.
  • Move your awareness to your chest and abdomen, noticing and releasing any tightness.
  • Continue to your hips, allowing them to relax and sink into the mattress.
  • From there, move down to your legs and feet, imagining any remaining tension draining away.

Step 5: Visualization

To help clear your mind, engage in some visualization techniques.

You might imagine yourself in a peaceful place, like a serene forest or a quiet beach.

Or perhaps you could repeat a calming mantra to yourself, such as “I am calm, I am relaxed.”

Step 6: Consistency Is Key

Like any practice, consistency is critical for optimal results. Try to incorporate this meditation exercise into your nightly routine.

Over time, you’ll likely find it easier to relax and drift off to a calm sleep.

Remember, meditation is a personal journey. Feel free to modify this process to suit your needs and preferences.

Understanding the Military Sleep Method

This process involves several steps to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and tackle any underlying sleep problems that may disrupt your nightly rest.

The goal is to create optimal conditions for quality sleep by calming your mind and relaxing your body – key factors often disrupted by poor lifestyle choices or stressors leading to poor sleep or even more severe conditions like insomnia, off circadian rhythms, or rhythm disorders.

Falling Back Asleep: Handling Night-time Awakenings

falling back asleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping and waking up during the night, it’s important not to stress.

Stress can disrupt your sleep further, causing a vicious cycle of poor sleep quality.

Instead, focus on deep breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques to help soothe your mind and body.

Making Relaxation Your Goal

Rather than stressing over having trouble falling asleep again, aim for relaxation instead.

Visualization exercises, progressive muscle relaxation techniques, or meditation are all effective ways of achieving this without leaving your comfortable bed.

Even though these methods aren’t replacements for quality sleep, they can still rejuvenate your body and prepare it for restful slumber when the time comes.

The Power of Non-Stimulating Activities

If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes due to sleep problems like insomnia or circadian rhythm disorders such as sleep apnea, try getting out of bed and doing something quiet that won’t stimulate your senses too much.

Reading a book under dim light is an ideal choice – just remember not to watch TV as screen exposure could cue daytime energy levels in our bodies, thus making us stay awake longer.

Postpone Worrying And Brainstorming For Daytime Energy Boosts

Sometimes we wake up because we feel sleepy, tired, anxious about something, or have an idea that won’t wait till morning!

If this often happens, leading to significant amounts of lost good night’s sleep which may result in chronic conditions known as ‘Sleep Debt,’ make sure you jot down whatever is bothering you onto paper and postpone worrying until the next day when resolving issues would be easier with higher daytime energy levels after well-rested nights’ sleep!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective way to improve sleep?

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is the most effective way to improve sleep.

What are 10 tips to improve sleep?

  1. Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.

  2. Avoid caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.

  3. Create a serene sleeping environment.

  4. Limit napping during the day.

  5. Eat light meals at night.

  6. Exercise regularly but not right before bed.

  7. Avoid electronic devices before bed.

  8. Practice relaxation techniques.

  9. Use blackout curtains or a sleeping mask.

  10. Move your clock to the other side of the room to avoid checking the time.

What is the 10 3 2 1 0 rule for sleep?

The 10-3-2-1-0 formula recommends no caffeine ten hours before your bedtime routine, no food or alcohol three hours before bed, no work two hours before bed, no electronics one hour before bed, and zero the number of times you hit snooze in the morning.

You CAN Get A Good Night’s Sleep With Practice

Remembering the basics to get better sleep is important: establish a regular sleep routine and create a relaxed environment that encourages restful sleep.

Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and avoiding stimulants can also help manage stress.

Even if you adhere to all these tips, you may still experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

If this is the case, there are still options available to help.

Understanding how to implement effective strategies such as the military method are invaluable tools for resetting your internal clock and returning to a productive pattern of good sleep.

After all, proper sleep impacts our overall wellness, and sleep plays an integral role in creating a healthy lifestyle that starts with recharging your body every night.

Good luck!

Medical Disclaimer

Content on this blog is meant for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as medical advice from medical doctors or registered dietitians, as we are not qualified to provide such advice. It should not be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any medical condition. It’s important to talk to a doctor before beginning a new exercise plan, taking supplements, or making any other changes that could impact your medications, treatment, or health. Please note that the information provided on is based on personal experience and research, and we cannot be held responsible for how you choose to use it.

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