How to sleep comfortably?
Comfort is the main factor that can improve the quality of sleep to a great extent. What are the proven tips and tricks that can help you build the most comfortable sleeping environment for your routine?
It does not matter how much time you spend on the bed if you are not getting the good quality sleep you will wake up feeling exhausted the next morning.
The most effective solution to this problem is to make your bedroom environment better and do a couple of activities before bedtime that will make you feel refreshed and relaxed. This article will be discussing proven tips to sleep better at night.
Use some of these tips to make your bedroom cool and comfy, also plan a bedtime routine that can help you fall asleep faster and improve the sleep quality to get the most out of an 8-hour sleep.
One thing to note is, if you are suffering from chronic insomnia or severe anxiety these tips can help you to some extent, but it is good to consult with a doctor if necessary.
Set a Comfortable Sleep Environment
1. Keep the Room Cool Still Comfortable
Setting a low room temperature can help you fall asleep faster.
As much as it feels basic, it is a proven technique that one can experience. Just try to sleep in a cool room, you will feel much more relaxed as compared to sleeping in a well-heated room. The reason is that an optimal temperature sends relaxed sensations to the brain and when one gets wrapped in a weighted blanket, it feels like getting secured under great comfort and coziness that will lead you to a relaxed feeling making you sleepy much faster.
The optimal temperature for a comfortable room environment can be between 60° to 67°F or 15.6 to 19.4°C. The above values are generic and are ideal sleeping temperatures. Most of the people will fall in these ranges however, personal preferences may differ. Just try to set a cool room temperature and see what happens.
You can use bed cooling options like cooling mattress topper or active bed cooling systems to get the optimal cooling temperature as you sleep.
Infants and toddlers sleep well at a slightly warmer temperature. Keep your baby’s room cool, let him feel comfortable by swaddling with baby blankets. The optimal temperature for babies sleeps ranges from 67° to 70° F or 19 to 21°C. (1)
2. Get Sound and Light Isolation at Bedtime
Research shows that people sleep well under dim or no light and sound isolation. People who are light sleepers often get disturbed by outdoor noises. The simply cannot get hold of a snoring partner, road noises coming from a nearby freeway, or a noisy neighbor who just loves to party. To get an ample amount of noise isolation it is recommended to wear high fidelity noise-canceling earplugs.
You can also use eye covers that are used as light barriers and prevent sleepers from getting up in the middle of a good night’s sleep. Moreover, if early morning light wakes you up, it is also a good option to use blackout curtains to avoid morning sunlight. (2)
3. Consider Use of White Noise
Using white noise devices and even simple household appliances producing white noises is a good way to relax the mind and body at the time of sleeping. When avoiding outside noises become inevitable, relaxing ASMR or background noises are the way out. You can buy a dedicated white noise machine that can help you at the time of sleeping or you can concentrate your mind of the whirring noise coming from a table fan or soothing noise of an Air Conditioner.
If the weather is dry, you can also use a good quality humidifier that can solve two problems in one deal. (3)
4. Choose the Most Comfortable Sleeping Position
The position you sleep in is quite important as far as comfort is concerned. It becomes even more promising when the sleeper is suffering from chronic back pain or neck pain (4). Anyone can nurture the benefits of getting themselves into the right position and arranging their pillows in a way that gives them necessary back and neck support.
Here are some sleeping positions that one can try;
- While sleeping on your sides move your knees towards the chest and place the pillow in the middle of the knees, this will keep the spine and lower pelvis aligned straight.
- We do not recommend sleeping on the back if your mattress is less supportive and old. However, to enhance the support put a pillow under the lap and another pillow under the hollow back.
- Sleeping on the stomach can cause breathing issues and neck pain, thus it is not at all a good option to sleep on the stomach. By doing so, your stomach gets pressed throughout the night and may cause vomiting sensations if you have eaten food close to the bedtime. However, if sleeping on the stomach is your habitual sleeping position then sleep on the edge of a tall pillow in this way you can slightly tilt your head for airflow.
5. Keep Testing Different Pillow Arrangements
Some people love to sleep without any additional pillows for the extra support, they prefer to sleep with the under the head pillow and avoid tall pillows. While others prefer to sleep with tall pillows, one or two soft pillows. However, go with the option that suits you the most that keep your neck and shoulders stress-free throughout the night.
If your neck and shoulder feel stressed up and stiff, then it is time to either try a different pillow arrangement or simply get a new pillow. As you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t find any pillow that can provide comfort; get a towel, roll it up, and place it under the neck. Get a new pillow that can give optimal support. The towel roll-up hack is not a permanent solution. (5)
Looking for a good quality pillow take a look at our reviews of Best Tempurpedic Pillow Reviews and Buyers Guide.
If you don’t have a tall pillow to hold and cuddle with your arms, use a king-size soft pillow, roll a towel like a big capsule, or get a big stuffed animal.
6. Use Weighted Blankets for a Sense of Security
Using Heavy weighted blankets provide a sense of security and make you feel cozy in a cool bedroom. It stimulates the production of melatonin, the natural hormone that helps the brain to identify the right time to sleep.
The therapeutic advantages of weighted blankets can help our brain and body to feel relaxed which will eventually help in falling asleep faster and stay asleep for an optimal duration. Weighted blankets work on a principle Known as Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS). The warm and cozy environment inside the blanket stimulates the nervous system and has been used for treating sensory disorders, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and depression. (6)
7. Stay Cool and Comfortable in Hot Weather
If your sleeping setup is not cool and comfy, summer is the right time to change it. As the weather gets warmer, people frequently experience hot flashes and sweats. In such a situation, trapped in bedclothes is a nightmare. Thus, in summer it is quite common to sleep naked under the blanket. However, if you feel shy it is recommended to wear light and breathable cotton clothing during bedtime.
We highly advise taking a cold-water bath before going to bed. You can also use peppermint soap, the mint-infused within the soap provides a cooling sensation and help your body to cool down.
Turn on the fan or air conditioner 1 hour before bedtime so that the room becomes cool and ventilated as the bedtime approaches.
Don’t have an Air conditioner. There are still several things that you can do to sleep cool. Take a spray bottle full of water, spray some water on your face, hands, and feet. Get a wet cloth or a paper towel, put them on the face and arms. You can also spray some water on the bed when going to bed or you can just get a fine mist spray gadget that can spray water continually as you sleep. (7)
Do Relaxing Activities Before Bedtime
1. Use Bed Only for Sleep
Reserve your bed only for sleep. Avoid doing office work, watching Netflix, or playing video games while laydown of bed. Most of you will get confused on why this is so. The reason is that if you associate bed with sleep then your mind will automatically get trained to perceive going to bed as an indication that it is bedtime.
You can also perform bedtime activities that will calm your mind and will help trigger sleep hormones so you can sleep faster and better. Bedtime activities can be doing some light breathing and stretching exercises, some meditation, or writing some positive things in your daily journal. (8)
2. Plan Some Bedtime Rituals
It is important to perform some soothing bedtime rituals to wind down each night. They put you in a relaxing mindset that will encourage drowsiness and help your mind to identify these rituals as a green signal for sleeping if you do them regularly. (9)
I have practiced different bedtime rituals but the most effective is; stop using a smartphone or laptop 1 hour before bedtime, take a cool shower, perform some light stretching, apply essential oil on hand and feet, dim the light of the room or turn of lights, use noise-canceling earplugs and perform a bedtime prayer and go to bed. You can try these activities, or you can make the bedtime ritual that suits you the most.
Remember do not force sleep if you are not falling asleep 15 to 20 minutes after going to bed, there is no good in tossing and turning in the bed.
Just get out of bed start reading a good novel or a storybook (I will not recommend reading business, finances or marketing books as the main motive is to feel stress-free and calm), start listening to some podcast or light music with your eyes closed (It is recommended to listen to white noises or ASMR audios), or just get a small snack if you are feeling hungry (drink a glass of milk, a banana or a small bowl of low-sugar cereal).
3. Go to the Gym or Perform Exercise at Daytime
Going to the gym and performing some cardio in the afternoon is a great way to burn some fat and pushing your body to a fatigue level that you start feeling tired during bedtime. Another thing is that a tired body not only helps you snooze faster it also helps in getting restful sleep. Note that do not perform any heavy cardio or exercises close to bedtime as doing workout enhances human metabolism and can prevent you from falling asleep.
4. Finish your Day With a Light Meal
As you go near bedtime and your body is feeling tired, it is an indication that you will get a good night’s sleep. When you feel drowsy, not only your body unwinds but the metabolism also slows down. If you eat a heavy meal just before bedtime the bloated stomach and low metabolism can make you uncomfortable or can produce unwanted energy that can keep you awake even when the body is tired. Get a light meal just before bed so that your stomach keeps quiet, and you can enjoy 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Things to do, preventing restless sleep
1. Avoid Hot Bath and Walk Before bed
After a tiring day your body transits from the active state to resting state. As the bedtime approaches, your metabolism slows down and the temperature of the body drops. Taking a steamy bath just before bedtime will increase the temperature of the body. On the same token doing heavy cardio or intense exercises will also do the same. Raising temperature will slow down the snoozing process and make it difficult to sleep.
The amplified body temperature pushes the overall nervous system from passive to active state. If you want to take a walk or a hot bath to get comfortable, do it thirty to forty minutes before going to bed so that the temperature may go down as the time passes.
2. Avoid the Use of Technology and Brain Intensive Games
The blue light coming from the screen of devices interrupt the production of melatonin, the natural hormone whose production is responsible for the drowsy feeling. Exposure to blue light close to bedtime can make your brain cells active and it can also shift the internal body clock backward.
It is also advised to avoid playing chess, puzzles, or any memory-intensive game that can put mental stress on the brain and will make falling asleep even harder.
If it is very important to use a computer or mobile close to bedtime enable the eye care setting of the smartphone or install Flux on the computer that will make the screen color slightly reddish or pinker thus, will not interfere with the body clock.
3. Avoid Caffeine Beverages and Stimulating Supplements
You might have heard that caffeine and sugary drinks can keep you awake at night. But you might have no idea that taking stimulating vitamins (Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Creatine, Iron) and steroidal substances (Asthma medication, guarana, opiates, beta-blockers, and ginseng) can also become a barrier between you and good quality sleep. Thus, it is recommended if you use these regularly take them in the morning after breakfast or in the afternoon after lunch.
Note that we highly advise you to consult a doctor before changing the medication schedule.
Keep your body hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Although do not consume a lot of water right before bedtime as it may prove to be counterproductive and make you wake up at night to pee.
4. Get rid of alcohol and Cigarettes before bed
Smoking cigarettes or consuming any sort of tobacco can keep your mind anxious and may result in restless nights. It may seem very awkward that alcohol can disturb you sleep as people usually fall asleep after consuming alcohol. The thing is that alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep and can cause significant disruptions. In easy words alcohol damages, the quality of sleep you should get.
Consume alcohol two to three hours before bedtime otherwise you might wake up several times in the night and feel tired in the morning.
5. Use Sleep Aids if Needed
Getting a full night sleep without any disrupted wake up is very essential if you want to improve the quality of the sleep. Many people become the victim of a bad sleep schedule that often keep them tired and fatigued throughout the day. If you are having a problem following a particular sleep schedule daily it is the right time to fix your sleep schedule. In this case, the safe use of sleeping medications or melatonin can be a good option that will encourage drowsiness to sleep at a particular time.
The thing to note is that severe insomnia is a medical problem and it is highly advised to take doctor’s prescription before using any sleep medication. Daily use of sleep drugs may build dependencies on these drugs so consider the use of sleep aid drugs as a temporary option and try to use natural remedies or practices to stick to your sleep schedule. Do not use sleep medication daily, consult with a doctor, and skip the drug after a day or two to overcome the issue of being dependent on sleep drugs.
6. Consult With a Doctor about Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder and is identified as loud snoring. The potential issue causes occasional breathing shortage which means that breathing starts and stops periodically during sleep. Its symptoms can be loud snoring, heavy breathing during sleep, waking up with a dry mouth, and morning headache. (10)
It can cause insomnia (Difficulty in staying asleep) or hyper-insomnia (Aggressive daytime sleepiness) thus it may the root cause of your bad sleep hygiene. This issue often affects people that are overweight or have other breathing problems. So, consult with a doctor if you are experiencing sleep apnea. The most notable doctor will advise sessions at a sleep lab so to monitor your sleep cycles, issues, and patterns to find out more about the condition.
Some core tips for better sleep while suffering from chronic sleep problems
- Compile a sleep diary or use a sleep tracking system to keep a record of your daily sleep activity. Take note of what you ate before bed, the activities performed in the last 3 hours before going to sleep, note that how you felt at the time of bed, and how you felt after waking up. Compare the different days for a month or so and find the food and activities that help you the most in keeping a steady sleep schedule, help you sleep faster, and make you feel refreshed after waking up.
- For females also keep track of your cycles to see if hormonal changes are preventing you from getting restful sleep or not.
- Explore different sleeping positions to find out the most comfortable sleeping position that suits your body type. Each day be attentive when noting down how you sleep at that sleeping position. Replicate the most suitable sleeping position each day for better sleep.
- Gather sleep data for a month or two then visit your nearest SLEEP LAB and share your sleep data with a sleep professional and get to know more about your sleep patterns.
The main purpose of this blog is to tell people all they need to know about how to sleep better. And share some proven tips to sleep better at night. People usually don’t give a lot of importance when it comes to planning about their sleep routine. But if they do, some changes here and there can overcome the issue of restless night and frequent wake-ups in the middle of sleep. Compile a comfortable sleep plan or routine with the help of the above-mentioned points and then follow them to see results.
Share the results in the comments and do spread the content if you found it useful.