10 Tips for Better Sleep

May is Better Sleep Month and it offers an opportunity to reflect on the benefits of getting an adequate amount of sleep and learning about the health issues that can arise or be made worse when we don’t get enough sleep.  Some benefits from getting enough good sleep include getting sick less often, obtaining a healthy weight, lowering risk for diabetes and heart disease, reducing stress, improving mental health and mood, better work products with clearer thinking, healthier relationships, and avoiding accidents and injuries. So how much sleep is enough? And what are some tips to get GOOD sleep? See below for guidelines and tips.

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Even try to keep this routine on your days off from work. 
  • Create a comfortable sleeping environment that is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a good sleeping temperature.
  • Limit your exposure to screens and gadgets at least one hour before bed, including TVs, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Try to limit your caffeine intake during the day but especially within three hours before bed.  Also try to avoid large meals and alcohol right before going to bed.
  • Institute a regular exercise routine and get physical activity during the day. It can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep during the night.
  • Make a habit of meditating before bedtime to help manage your most immediate worries. It may help to do a brain dump and write out all of your thoughts before going to bed.
  • Take a warm bath or shower to relax before bed and get to sleep quicker. This can lower your core body temperature which sends signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
  • Limit daytime naps. Napping during the day does not count toward your needed sleep at night. Frequent long daytime naps can actually interfere with your length and quality of sleep at night. Try to limit the number of naps you take and limit them to 15-30 minutes.
  • Aromatherapy can help relax you depending upon the quality and scent of the oil. Lavender oil has been used to improve quality of sleep.
  • Listen to soothing sounds to help you get to sleep. You can try sleep aid apps and music playlists for gentle sounds, including white, pink, and brown noise. Try to put it on a timer and keep it at a low volume to protect your hearing and allow your brain to rest and repair.

This of course is not medical advice, but tips we wanted to share. For more personalized information, check with your medical provider! 

One important aspect to remember is that often the ability to get enough good sleep is a privilege. Some systems and conditions like low wages and housing insecurity can impact the quality of sleep that people can get. We need to keep fighting for a world where livable wages, safe homes, nutritious food, and peace of mind are attainable by all.


Tips for Better Sleep | CDC

Guidelines for Sleep by Age | CDC

9 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep | Gaiam

A Warm Bedtime Bath Can Help You Cool Down and Sleep Better | NLM

Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work? | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Inhalation Effects of Aroma Essential Oil on Quality of Sleep for Shift Nurses after Night Work | NLM

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