Tips for a Good Night Sleep

Photo Source: Pixabay

Photo Source: Pixabay

Ella Agocs, Writer

Sleep is important for all aspects of life. There are many steps that need to be taken in order to get a good night’s rest. With sleep, our overall alertness, memory, and function is improved. Things like consistency, a good environment, healthy diet, daily exercise, the limitation of day time naps, stress management, and creating bedtime rituals are all positive steps to get yourself into a good night sleep.


Consistency is the most important part of a bedtime routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every night is important to get your body into a healthy sleep cycle. If you have to wake up early for school during the week, waking up around the same time on the weekends is important to keep your body consistent. Research that has been done concluded that a consistent bedtime and rise time yields a better quality sleep. Furthermore, routines in general are extremely beneficial to the body and mind. Having a consistent routine helps your mind get ready for sleep at night and can overall be beneficial for your mental health because your body is in a healthy cycle. 


Environment is one of the most important factors in the chances of a good night sleep. A room with bright lights or loud sounds from something such as a tv, will not allow you to get that quality sleep you need. Ideally, a dark, cool room with minimal to no sound is how you should be sleeping every night. Without light or sound, the brain is not stimulated, allowing your mind to rest. In addition, when we sleep, our body drops a few degrees in temperature. A room at about 65 degrees fahrenheit is where we get the best sleep. Phones are a very big distraction for someone trying to sleep as well; it’s important to put it on, ‘do not disturb’ it and face down or far in your room so it’s not a distraction when you’re trying to rest. Sound, however, can be used to benefit . Things like white noise, rain sounds, or ocean sounds can help quiet a busy mind. 


Diet plays a large role in your quality of sleep, especially what you consume before bed. Large meals right before you sleep affects the amount of energy your body uses while sleeping. Eating right before bed causes the digestive system to work while you are trying to rest, and takes away from your brain’s rest time. Consuming things such as caffeine stimulates your brain, and caffeine is a very popular stimulant, especially among teens now. When night falls, it is your brain’s goal to not only rest the body, but rest itself too. Stimulating the brain with a drug right before it is about to rest is never a good idea because it results in restless nights, lack of sleep and quality sleep, and causes inability to fall asleep. 


Exercising during the day is crucial to allow your brain and body to rest at night. Just like parents tire out their kids before nap time, you need to tire it out enough to get a good night’s sleep. Exercising during the day causes for a more slow wave sleep at night. Slow wave sleep is where the brain gets the sleep that makes you feel rejuvenated in the morning. Not to mention, exercising releases endorphins which improves mental health. With better mental health, the mind is silent at night, therefore providing a better night sleep. 


Limit day time naps. Sleeping should ideally be reserved for nighttime. However sometimes a nap during the day is needed to push our energy levels up throughout the day. Naps should be limited to 20 minutes during the day. Any longer not only disrupts the amount of sleep you’ll get the following night, but also makes you feel groggy. If you find yourself needing longer, more frequent naps, this is a sign that you need to be getting more sleep at night. 


Stress management is extremely important in order to get sleep at night. Just like how exercise is important in order to release endorphins, making sure you release endorphins in other ways is just as important for calming the mind. Many people lose sleep at night because they are up worrying about work, school, or any other stressors in their life. Practicing coping mechanisms such as self care, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and writing, could all be beneficial to those struggling with stress. By keeping your stress under control, you are keeping your sleep schedule under control. 


Bedtime rituals help prepare the body for sleep. If your body gets into the habit of brushing your teeth, reading a book, then sleeping, it will trigger your body to recognize it is time to rest. In these rituals you could incorporate things that will help you sleep better at night (see Stress Management and Environment for ideas). Practicing good hygiene, like taking a shower before bed, brushing your teeth, or washing your face are all positive habits to get you into the routine of sleeping consistently, not to matin keep your healthy. 


Although these tips may be ideal to get a good night sleep, not all may be practical. Sometimes jobs prevent some from eating at a proper time, or some may not have the luxury of a quiet 65 degrees room to get a good night sleep. However, the most important thing is to form routine and learn what works best for you. The most popular tips are the ones I have listed here, but if none seem to work for you do research based on your circumstances and what others have found helpful in order to get a good night sleep. This could be sleeping with an icepack if your room runs too hot or use multiple blankets and warm up with a heating pad before sleep. Many of these tips can be interpreted and modified to the user.