Health and Wellness

Eric's Ten Great Recommended Sleep Improvement Tips!

By Eric Harry

We all have trouble falling asleep sometimes. I do. Too many repeating thoughts that don't stop, noisy environment, worry, stress and more. You can do something about it but sometimes it takes effort and discipline. Researchers from around the world have identified many habits called "Sleep hygiene" that help you achieve a better night sleep.

Here are some of my recommended sleep improvement tips.

Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

I to to bed every night at the same time. This is my daily ritual. This will help my train the body and mind to pattern itself into routine it can learn. This will help set your inner Circadian clock.

Wake Up Early at the Same Time Every Day

The early morning is a fantastic time. The sun is naturally rising and has a beautiful glow. This is your body's natural time to start the day. It is the most natural for your own Circadian clock according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Exercise

Exercise is so important at any age as it creates feel-good endorphins. Walking, running, Pilates, Yoga, dancing to name a few. It doesn't matter which activity as long as you work the muscle, lungs and heart. I prefer Pilates.

It is important to wind down at least 2 hours before bed. Let your mind slow its thoughts, worries, stresses of the day so that your body can benefit and relax more.

  • Start by writing down the events of your day. Start with the negative events, then the positive and happy events. Then say out loud, "Thank you day, goodbye day, see you tomorrow day"
  • Watch only light low energy and positive TV shows. No news. No negative political shows or news.
  • Turn off the computer. Bright lights suppress melatonin.
  • Have a small cup of herbal sleep tea. (Avoid too much liquid before bed)
  • Have a bath with epsom salts.

Do Some Meditation

Doing my meditation before bed can be extremely effective. It can help slow down your mind's thoughts, slow down your body to a more resting state.

  1. Put a Calm Radio channel like the Sleep" channel, or "Om", or a Sounds of Nature channel like Calm Radio's "Beach Waves".
  2. Get comfortable sitting upright on the floor, or in a comfy chair.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Try to follow your breathing over 2 to 5 minutes. Let it get slower with each rise and fall of your chest.
  5. Open your eyes for 30 seconds.
  6. Close your eyes.
  7. Try to tune out your thoughts for 2 to 5 minutes.
  8. Open your eyes and sit peacefully for as long as you like and say "Thank you me".

Go to Bed When You are Tired

It's important to not get frustrated or angry when you can't fall asleep as that will only make falling asleep worse and compound your issues. If I'm not falling asleep, I get up, change rooms, read a book or try sleeping in another bed. I avoid looking at the clock. That is just another reason to get me angrier and more frustrated.

Try Not to Nap During the Day

There are varying opinions on this, but we concur that it is best NOT to nap during the day. If you do need to, keep it short. Save up your sleep until night. I nap only if really necessary.

Make your Bedroom a Sleep Room

This is what works well for me. I keep all natural light out of the room, use blackout curtains if possible. try to keep your room as cool as possible...around 68F is ideal. Your body tends to hibernate like a bear at a cooler temperature. Also put tape over any LED lights on alarm clocks. keep all mobile phones, TVs out of the room.

Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes and Drugs

Alcohol, drugs and or cigarettes are unwanted ingestants in your body that can disrupt sleep. Let your body calm down as it rids your bloodstream and nervous systems of these foreign non-essential inputs.

Play Sounds of Nature or Light Music

I personally use Calm Radio Nature Sounds for sleep like Beach Waves. Beach Waves are cyclical and repetitive sounds...and considered one of the best nature sounds for sleep. I find it helps my ears tune out other external sounds and helps me focus only on the single nature sound I hear.

Some people prefer Calm Radio's Sleep channel. It is one of our most popular music for sleep channels. I personally curated this playlist with selections of low drones, very languid, slow, ethereal and without vocals.

I also highly recommend the use of an internet radio in the bedroom to play music or nature sounds for sleep. Internet radios are more reliable than a mobile devices or computers for playback as they only use wifi or bluetooth. You don't need an expensive internet radio since you will be sleeping...audio quality will not be important. I have used a Grace radio for years. The Calm Radio team can help set these up for you.

Recommended not-pricey radios:

Listen 24/7 to unlimited channels on unlimited devices

Enjoy your audio journey anywhere, even without internet. Calm Radio offers unique audio experiences – curated music, Sounds of Nature, relaxing ambience – so you can work, can focus, can relax, can sleep.

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Alexa
  • Sonos
  • Apple TV 4
  • Roku