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15 PROVEN Ways To Get Better Sleep

Have you been trying to get better sleep?

Stop your tossing and turning. This post shares 15 dos and donts if you are wondering how to sleep better at night (or whenever you choose).

These tips are proven suggestions doctors share with people dealing with poor sleep for various reasons.

These days we work all hours. Your job may be stressful - and sleep is one of the ways to recover (that's free, of course!).

get better sleep thumbnail with animated insert of a tired looking woman.

Are You Sleeping Right?

That's an easy one, right? Everyone knows that when you don't sleep well, you're grumpy, drained and have poor focus. All this affects how you can perform - at work or study.

However, apart from these obvious reasons, there are some other reasons why you should care about quality sleep.

Did you know poor sleep can affect your weight (causing weight gain), and affect your ability to recover from mood problems?

And poor sleep can affect recovery from a host of other medical problems including heart attack or surgery.

So hopefully all that should convince you to continue the post below and learn our recommended ways to get a better night sleep.


Ways To Get Better Sleep

Section 1 - Activity that affects Sleep

  • Do not do some vigorous physical activities just before bedtime.
    • A strenuous physical routine like sprinting, football or basketball that raises your adrenaline levels should be done 2-3 hours before your scheduled bedtime. This allows your body to calm down gives your body the time to calm down before sleep.
    • Activities that don't push up your heart rate so high for an extended period, like yoga, weight lifting or having sex, will not interfere with sleep and can be relaxing.

  • Avoid stressful, stimulating activities close to bedtime, like in the final hour before you turn in.
    • Examples are —doing work, discussing emotional issues and so on. You can keep a bedside journal to write ideas down then close it till later.
    • Active, stressful thoughts increase Cortisol production, which keeps you alert and prevents sleep.

  • Avoid staying in bed to sleep when you are not tired.
    • For example, if you have been in bed for about 20 minutes and have not slept, leave the room and do something else relaxing like reading or listening to music for 30 mins to 1 hour, then get back into bed.

  • Never have late evening naps! The best time to nap if you are into that is early in the afternoon.
    • Having a rest after 5 pm may make it harder for you to sleep well later in the night.

Alarm clock in the foreground with blurry photo of man asleep on bed behind

Section II - Food/Meals/Drinks

  • Avoid heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bed.
    • A very bloated stomach can lead to heartburn and excess acid, making it to get a restful night and sleep.

  • Keep away from spicy foods, including hot curries, spices or similar food in the hour before you sleep.
    • They can also cause excess acid pain and bloating that prevent sleep.

  • Reduce the stimulants you take in your evening drinks if you want to sleep well. This includes caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks and cola.
    • Since caffeine affects your ability to fall asleep and prevents deep sleep, you are better off with warm milky beverages before bed. 

  • If you are fond of a bit of alcohol before bed, don't make your nightcap too close to sleep because alcohol can affect your brain in ways that reduce your sleep quality.

Avoid smoking. Studies indicate that Nicotine exposure, including from second-hand smoke, can lead to problems falling asleep, interrupted sleep and sleep dissatisfaction.

More Reading


Section III - The Environment

  • Keep the room in which you sleep a little cool and airy instead of warm and stuffy. The former is a lot more likely to help you relax and drift off easily.

  • Place any wall clocks in your room turned away from your line of vision in bed, so you are not constantly gazing at the time or checking how many hours before you need to wake up.

  • Don't lie on stuffy, smelly bedding! This needs planning but is important to het better sleep. Change your bedsheets and pillowcases regularly. Fesh bedding scented with essential oils can help you relax and promote sleep.

  • Don't wear uncomfortable clothes! Sleep clothing should make you feel relaxed. Choose clothes of stretchy, natural and breathable material.
    • Avoid anything tight or restricting. Sleeping naked if possible is recommended, especially in warm weather.

Half naked pregnant lady staring at the ceiling wondering how to get better sleep

Section IV - Whats On Your Mind?

  • You can avoid going to sleep with worrying thoughts by writing them out. Journaling the worrying thoughts can help relax your mind enough to get some restful sleep.
    • You may also draw up a schedule of activities for the following day, creating a sense of direction and progress.

  • Keep from going to sleep with a full headspace. You can do so by unwinding for about 30 mins after watching TV or some other stimulating activity.
    • For example, you can read a book, listen to gentle music or white sounds and journal. You can also write out any plans or tasks you need to do the next day. Doing so empties your mind and allows you to relax better in a sleep-friendly environment.

So that's it my friends, these are 15 things to watch out for to keep your sleep regime smooth and encourage nighttime bliss!

If you are still struggling to get a restful night- drop us a line here to chat about things more. Happy Dreams!

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through

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