Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Better Sleep

Better Sleep
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Donovan - Life Coach

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Better Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to maintain good health and overall well-being. However, a large number of people struggle with sleep-related problems, leading to daytime fatigue, irritability, and other negative effects. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, there are scientifically proven ways to get better sleep. In this article, I will discuss some of the most effective methods for improving the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

One of the most important things you can do to improve your sleep quality is to establish a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. When you do this, your body will naturally adjust to the routine and prepare itself for sleep at the right time. Additionally, it will help regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed. National Sleep Foundation: Provides information on sleep hygiene, including tips for creating a sleep-conducive environment, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, and developing relaxation techniques to promote better sleep. National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Sleep Hygiene.

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Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

The environment in which you sleep can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Ensure that your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, with a comfortable mattress and pillows. Keep electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, out of the bedroom, as the blue light emitted from them can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Offers a comprehensive guide to healthy sleep, including information on the sleep cycle, sleep disorders, and tips for improving sleep quality through healthy habits and lifestyle changes. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2020). Your Guide to Healthy Sleep.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Stress and anxiety can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Practising relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization, can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. You can also try taking a warm bath or shower before bed to help you relax and unwind. Freeman et al. (2017): Conducted a randomized controlled trial on the effects of improving sleep on mental health, finding that participants who received treatment for sleep disorders experienced significant improvements in their symptoms of anxiety and depression. Freeman, D., Sheaves, B., Goodwin, G.M., et al. (2017). The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 4(10), 749-758. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30328-0

Exercise Regularly

Exercise has numerous health benefits, including improving the quality of your sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as it can have the opposite effect and make it harder to fall asleep. Chen and Fang (2020): Review the benefits of exercise for sleep quality in older adults, highlighting the mechanisms by which exercise can improve sleep and offering recommendations for incorporating physical activity into daily routines. Chen, H., & Fang, Y. (2020). Exercise and sleep in aging: emphasis on benefits and mechanisms. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1248, 109-119. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-3266-5_9

Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine

Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all stimulants that can interfere with your sleep quality. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours, so it’s best to avoid it in the afternoon and evening. While alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night. Nicotine is a stimulant that can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Drake et al. (2013): Examined the effects of caffeine on sleep, finding that consuming caffeine up to six hours before bedtime can significantly disrupt sleep quality and quantity. Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195-1200. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.3170. Roehrs and Roth (2011): Reviewed the impact of alcohol use on sleep, noting that while alcohol may initially help individuals fall asleep, it can ultimately disrupt the sleep cycle and lead to poor sleep quality. Roehrs, T., & Roth, T. (2011). Sleep, sleepiness, sleep disorders and alcohol use and abuse. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 15(5), 339-343. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.02.00.

Create a Bedtime Routine

Creating a bedtime routine can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Your routine can be as simple or complex as you like, but it should be consistent and involve activities that promote relaxation, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music.

Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that can help people with sleep disorders. CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours that can interfere with sleep. It’s an effective treatment for insomnia and other sleep-related problems. Morin et al. (2006): Reviewed the evidence for psychological and behavioural treatments for insomnia, finding that cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a highly effective intervention for improving sleep quality and addressing insomnia symptoms. Morin, C.M., Bootzin, R.R., Buysse, D.J., et al. (2006). Psychological and behavioral treatment of insomnia: update of the recent evidence (1998-2004). Sleep, 29(11), 1398-1414. doi: 10.1093/sleep/29.11.1398. 

Overall, these sources provide evidence-based recommendations for promoting healthy sleep habits and improving sleep quality, including tips for creating a sleep-conducive environment, engaging in regular exercise, limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, and seeking treatment for sleep disorders such as insomnia.


In conclusion, getting enough quality sleep is essential for good health and well-being. If you’re struggling with sleep-related problems, there are scientifically proven ways to get better sleep. By establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a sleep-friendly environment, practising relaxation techniques, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, creating a bedtime routine, and considering cognitive-behavioural therapy, you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. By following these tips, you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

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