15 Tips For Better Sleep & Creating Your Own Sleep Sanctuary

tips for better sleep

If you ever have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (and let’s face it, is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t??), then these tips for better sleep may be useful to you.  Everyone should be able to find at least one or two tips for better sleep in this list, to help them improve their evening routine and get more relaxed for sleeptime.

This includes various behavioural changes you can make to your evening routine, as well as actual physical changes to your sleep space.  Not to mention a few awesome tools for clearing stress, mind chatter and emotional blocks such as journaling, meditation and EFT.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at my collection of tips for better sleep and see what we can do for you…

15 Tips For Better Sleep

1  Read a book – It’s true that the oldest tips for sleep are certainly the best!  Reading a book before sleep takes your brain away from all the day’s stress into any literary world of your choosing.   Reading is wonderful for putting your mind into the state of relaxation it needs to switch off and fall sleep.

2  Do some pre-sleep journaling – Similarly, journaling is fab for processing all the days thoughts and emotions, and emptying your monkey-mind before sleeping.  You don’t even have to write stuff that makes sense, just pour out your thoughts onto the page and get rid of them.

3  Get to bed EARLIER –  If you try any of these tips for better sleep, make sure this is one of them! Some of the most regenerative sleep happens between 11pm and 1am, so ensuring you’re in bed and dropping off by then will make your sleep way more beneficial. You also give yourself LOADS more time to chill out and try all the other sleep tips!

4  Listen to relaxing music – Another of the old skool tips for better sleep!  Popping on your favourite relaxing music and sprawling out in a heap to wind down and switch off your mind.

5  Do a guided meditation – I can rarely do a meditation when I’m in bed without nodding off halfway through!  They are simply fab for switching off your brain.
Some of my favourite free guided meditations are on the Meditainment website.  Blissful.

6  Go to the toilet just before bed – this a no-brainer right?! This lessens the chance you’ll need to get up again in the middle of the night to relieve yourself. Simples.

7 Take a hot bath – Apart from being ultra-soothing, a good long soak in a hot bath raises your core body temperature.  The subsequent drop in temperature that occurs when you get out again, naturally signals your body to get ready for sleep.

8  Wear an eye mask to block out light – A good comfy eye mask is a boon for staying asleep, because it blocks out any light that can keep your brain aroused. In fact I’m so used to mine now, that I’d find it weird NOT to wear one!!
Seriously for less than a tenner, you can get some good-quality, very comfy eye masks to help you get a restful night.  Just try one.

9  Wear socks as well – Amazingly, research has found that your feet are the first part of you to get cold when you’re asleep and can even wake you up if cold enough.  So pop some bed socks on and keep your feet toasty.
And don’t forget, all sleep socks should be soft and fluffy – basically like wearing rabbits on your feet – like these cute Elle ones.

10  Don’t keep changing your sleep hours – Your body loves routine when it comes to sleeping and this is because of the circadian rhythm (the natural cycle of waking and sleeping) which your body follows within each 24hr period.
When you find sleeping hours that work for you, stick to them as much as possible!  This includes on work days, weekends and hols.  Try to go to bed and get up, at the same time each day.  This will help to set your body clock and reduce the chances of tiredness.

11  Eat a high protein snack or piece of fruit, a couple of hours before bed – These sorts of foods contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps promote both serotonin and melatonin production (your two sleep-cycle hormones).
Go for tryptophan-rich foods like organic eggs, spirulina, bananas, organic dairy, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, beef or lamb, and potatoes.

12  Cut out sugary foods before bed – Sugary foods will give you a blood sugar spike soon after eating and then a subsequent sugar crash several hours later.  But if you’re really unlucky this sugar drop will result in reactive hypoglycaemia and you’ll end up waking up again!

13  Don’t work right up until bed – Working late is no way to ready your brain for sleep!  A busy active brain, is not a sleepy brain.  Stop working at least several hours before bed and give your brain time to switch off.

14  No TV right before bed – In a similar way, TVs and screens emit blue light which disrupt the natural sleep/wake cycle and keep your brain in an artificial awake state.  Turn them off.

15  Do some gentle yoga – There are lots of sleep-promoting yoga positions you can perform shortly before bedtime.  The mindful breathing and stretching of muscles is relaxing and soothing to the body.
You don’t even have to spend hours on it, just 10-15 minutes will do.  And these days it’s super-easy to get started with a free yoga app or by popping over to YouTube.

How To Create Your Very Own Sleep Sanctuary

Creating an optimal sleep space within your home is one of the most important tips for better sleep!  The quality of your sleep sanctuary directly influences the quality of your sleep.  So, here are some key ways you can improve your sleep space…

1  Reserve your bed for sleeping only – Your bed is the most important part of your sleep sanctuary!  Be careful not to use it as a place to watch TV or sit and do work, as this creates an association in your brain that your bed is a less restful place, with non sleep-related uses.

2  Get it DARK, DARK, DARK – The darker you can get your bedroom, the better your sleep will be.  Use blackout blinds or curtains and cover up any synthetic light sources such as clock radios and LEDs.  Even tiny amounts of light will stimulate your brain during sleep.  If you’re using an eye mask too, then even better!
Try to make nighttime trips to the bathroom without turning on the lights, as this will also stimulate your brain to wake up again.

3  Keep your room at optimum sleep temperature – Studies have shown that there is an optimum room air temperature for sleeping, which falls between 15-21ºc (60-70ºF). Having the room too hot or too cold while you are sleeping, will disturb your sleep quality and make you more likely to wake up [3].

4  Remove sources of EMF (electro magnetic field) from your bedroom – There is a growing volume of research which is showing how damaging EMFs are not just for our sleep, but our overall health in general [4][4a][4b].
Household sources of EMFs include: clock radios, power meters, wifi devices (such as routers, mobile phones, ipads), cordless phone base units, laptops running on mains power and more.
You can get the full lowdown on EMF exposure in Dr Mercola’s article here.

5  Stop using loud alarm clocks – Jolting your body awake using a loud alarm is a pretty unnatural way to wake up and stressful to your nervous system.  You’ll know this is you’ve ever been blasted out of sleep by an alarm and felt your heart pounding with adrenaline!
Nowadays there are some great Wake Up Lights available, which bring you gradually out of sleep in an easy, natural way.  This one on Amazon is a great, inexpensive example.

6  Keep it QUIET – If you’re someone who’s a light sleeper and easily disturbed by noise, then take steps to make your sleep sanctuary as quiet as possible.  Wear ear plugs if necessary (these silicon moldable ones are great!) as they will dramatically reduce your noise disturbance.
And if you have a snoring partner, then seriously consider separate rooms to prevent you suffering chronic sleep deprivation and to spare your sanity.

And If You’re Still Having Trouble…

  • Try ‘tapping’ or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) – EFT has been an absolute saviour for me.  In recent months I’ve had some breathing-related sleep issues, which led to huge anxiety and insomnia.  Without a doubt EFT has helped to calm my nervous system, release blocked emotions and gently work through the problem.  It’s a simple, daily practice and never fails to make you feel better.
    Some of my favourite go-to tapping resources are Brad Yates tapping videos, The Tapping Solution and Gary Craig’s website EmoFree.
    You can also read my posts Tapping For Stress Relief and EFT Tapping Points And How To Use Them to get started.
  • Consider melatonin – Melatonin is part of your hormonal sleep system and crucial for regulating your circadian rhythm. You can naturally boost melatonin levels by exposing yourself to bright sunshine in the daytime and conversely complete darkness during nighttime hours.
    Or if all else fails you could try a good quality melatonin supplement at bedtime, to help you fall asleep more easily [1].  But bear in mind it’s best for short-term use only.

So what do you think of this list?  Do you have any more tips for better sleep that work for you personally?  Drop me a comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear from you x

And below are several of the great sleep-promoting items that I directly reference in this article…


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