1. Clock Out
Blue light can have a detrimental effect on your circadian rhythm. In fact, any light can inhibit the secretion of Melatonin, the sleep hormone that is naturally produced within your body. You can still detect even the smallest amount of light through closed eyelids, such as your alarm clock. Clocks with red numbers are recommended over clocks that produce white, green or blue light. One trick to reduce the light produced from your clock is to face the clock away from your bed. If it's not pointed directly at you, you won't be absorbing as much of the excess ambient light as when the light is pointed directly at you.
2. White Noise
Newer research highlights the benefits of pink noise, blended sounds with a consistent frequency. 75% of research participants indicated a better sleep while using pink noise when compared to those trying to sleep or nap in silence. You can produce pink noise in your home with the use of a fan, an app, or a noise machine that will produce a steady and consistent tone such as rain, wind, or a crackling fire.
3. Get a whiff of Lavender
The essential oil Lavender has long been known to have sedative effects on people. What better way to utilize this all natural product than to help you fall asleep. Not only can a few spritzes on your pillow help you to transition to sleep, but it can also decrease your heart rate as well as your blood pressure! In fact, a Wesleyan University study found that women who used lavender oil before bed experienced, on average, 22% more restorative slow-wave sleep.
4. Hog your own Blanket
Using a single blanket for two people sharing a bed is not conducive to a good night's rest since it can amplify movement and hinder the distribution of body heat between both people. Why not try having your own blanket which you wouldn't have to share, or feel your bed-mate tugging for more of the blankets, or feel their body heat!
5. Make your Bed
People who make their bed everyday are 19% more likely to get a better night's sleep than those who do not. This is likely due to a few factors. The first, if you take the time to make your bed in the morning you likely are a routine oriented person. Sticking to a regimented bedtime routine helps your body and your brain learn when it's time to start winding down for bed time. The Second is that when you see a nicely made bed it sparks an alert in your brain that it's time to lay down. So make your bed for a better nights sleep!
6. Cool Temperature
Cooler temperatures make us drowsy, and a falling core body temperature will help you drift off faster. Specialists usually give a ballpark suggestion of setting the thermostat between 18-22 degrees celsius (65-72 degrees fahrenheit) or just chilly enough that you feel you need a blanket. One thing you can do is trick your body into off-loading excess heat is to take a warm bath just prior to bedtime. The warm water will heat your core and your body will automatically start reducing your core temperature. This can help you start the process ahead of time so that when you're ready to drift off you're already in the optimal body temperature zone.
Remember that sleep affects your whole life. If you aren't sleeping properly and you've been trying different tips and tricks to sleep better consider talking with your family Doctor about possibly more serious reasons why you're not able to get the ZZZ's you need.