Sleep & Stories:

27 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Without Pills

When was the last time you woke up feeling rested, recharged, and ready to face the day? If you’re like most people, nights like that are few and far between. But they don’t have to be. These 27 science-informed ways will transform your sleep and leave you feeling alert and energized every morning—without taking a single pill! Trust me. Your body will thank you.

1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule.

You probably haven’t had a bedtime since you were 12, but you need to set one now and stick to it. If your body learns the cycle of sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, it will naturally maintain that rhythm and ensure you sleep soundly every night. Oh, and one more thing. When you set a new schedule, be sure to let your body adjust gradually, making small changes to your bedtime (one hour each night). For more details on sleep scheduling, check out this article.

2. Establish a Routine.

What do you do when it’s time to sleep? Do you get into bed and then scroll through social media one last time? That is NOT the kind of routine that will put your body in sleep mode. Find something that will relax your body and do it every night. After a couple weeks, your body will come to expect that as part of your routine, and just the thought of it will make your eyelids start to close. The best choice for your nightly routine is Hapbee’s Relax signal, which will loosen any tension your body has been carrying throughout the day and prepare you for a night of restorative sleep. Get it now at https://hapbee.com/ (more info to come—keep reading!)

3. Meditate Every Day.

How often do you lay down to sleep and find your mind running at a million miles per hour with no way to stop it? The key to slowing down your mind happens before you even get into bed: daily meditation. Grab a yoga mat and get in touch with your inner peace. Sit down for five minutes every day after work and take deep, calming breaths while clearing your mind. Or keep a journal of your thoughts before going to bed so your mind doesn’t feel the pressure of all you’ve been carrying. Go here to try out a free scientifically-proven meditation for sleep.

4. No Big Meals Before Bed.

Stop eating at least three hours before sleeping to give your stomach plenty of time to digest and start to feel sleepy. Late night meals can even affect your sleep quality and wake you up periodically throughout the night. Sleep Advisor says, “If you’ve eaten a large meal immediately before going to bed, you’re not giving the digestive system adequate time to rest, and your digestion continues while you’re asleep. As a result, you may wake up with heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, or other unpleasant, sleep-disrupting symptoms.” For more information about how digestion affects your sleep, go here.

5. Keep Your Room Cool.

Having a steady cool temperature in your room can help induce sleep. Studies show sleeping in a cool room can also increase your metabolism, decrease your risk of disease, and produce more natural melatonin in your body. Too many thick blankets result in night sweats, guaranteeing you’ll wake up feeling like you barely slept at all. Switch them out for light blankets and give yourself a comfortable environment to sleep in. Curious how temperature affects your sleep in other ways? Read more here.

6. Use a Smart Alarm.

Setting your alarm at any old time might wake you up in the middle of a sleep cycle, leaving you feeling like you were robbed of precious sleep. With a Smart Alarm, you can wake up when your body is ready to wake up. Download the Sleep Cycle app.

7. Exercise in the Morning.

Exercising daily releases stress and prepares your body for sleep. But if you exercise in the evening, the adrenaline could prevent you from falling asleep easily. Dr. Michael Breus points out, “Data suggests not only that exercising during the day will help you fall asleep more quickly and plunge you into deeper sleep for a longer period of time, but also that exercising causes your body to produce growth hormones, which help it to repair and revitalize itself.” Put morning exercise into your routine and watch as it not only helps you sleep better at night but also gives you the energy you need for a busy day! To learn more from Dr. Michael Breus, go here.

8. Reduce Caffeine Intake.

There’s nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee or tea in the morning to wake you up, but that same cup of coffee or tea could affect your sleep negatively if you have it in the afternoon or evening. Even the caffeine in chocolate might keep you up. A sleep study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found “400 mg of caffeine taken 0, 3, or even 6 hours prior to bedtime significantly disrupts sleep. Even at 6 hours, caffeine reduced sleep by more than 1 hour.” For the full article, click here.

9. Include the Right Fats in Your Diet.

Believe it or not, what you eat DOES affect your ability to sleep. Integrate high-quality fats into your diet, such as grass-fed butter, animal fat, and coconut oil. These types of foods give your body and mind the fuel they need to sleep peacefully and wake up well. Bulletproof Brain Octane oil is easy to add to your evening meal and gives you an extra fat boost with other incredible benefits such as increasing your energy and brain power. Order some here.

10. Get a High-Quality Mattress.

Your mattress should be tailored to meet your needs. Do you prefer firmer or softer? Do you like a springy feel or a foamy feel? Are you over 200 pounds? If so, you may benefit from support foam. Whatever your preferences are, be sure to invest in a high-quality mattress. It can make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep. For a step-by-step mattress buying guide, try this.

11. Stop Using Your Phone in Bed.

Ever wonder why you fall into bed exhausted and then feel more awake when you pick up your phone to respond to those last few messages? The blue light that emits from your phone stimulates your brain and fools it into thinking it’s daytime. Put your phone away early, at least one hour before bed, and do something relaxing like reading, catching up with your partner, or listening to soft music. Starting as early as 6pm, you can have your phone automatically switch to warm light to give your eyes a break from all the screens. Here’s how.

12. Create a Pet Corner.

You may feel cozy when you’re sleeping next to your dog, but animals can interrupt your sleep pattern if they’re in bed with you. A recent Mayo Clinic study shows “human sleep efficiency was lower if the dog was on the bed as opposed to simply in the room.” Rather than kicking your pets out of your room, create an adorable pet corner with a soft bed they will love to sleep in. You’ll sleep better—and you’ll still feel the comfort and company of your pets! For more research on the effects of sleeping with pets, check this out.

13. No Late Night Drinks.

While it seems like a glass of wine before bed would aid you in falling asleep quickly, alcohol actually prevents you from attaining high-quality sleep. It keeps you from getting much-needed deep sleep, dehydrates you, and wakes you up throughout the night. For more information about how alcohol affects your sleep, go here.

14. Utilize Blackout Blinds.

Blackout blinds or shades are particularly useful if your sleep schedule allows you to continue sleeping when the sun is up. Bleeding light through your windows will keep you from getting good sleep in the morning. Get some blackout blinds to create a completely dark environment and invite your body to continue sleeping even after the sun has risen. Find affordable shades here.

15. Feng Shui Your Bedroom.

Whether you want to feng shui your whole house or not, you should at least use it to place your bed in a strategic spot. It should be far enough from the door that you’re not in its path, yet within sight of the door so your brain won’t subconsciously wonder whether anyone’s coming in. Moving your bed around a few times can help you figure out where the best spot is that’s most conducive to your sleep. For more bedroom feng shui magic, check this out.

16. UTrack Your Sleep.

Don’t underestimate the importance of tracking your short-term and long-term sleep habits. The best way to do this is with Oura, a smart ring that uses various body signals, such as heart rate and temperature, to monitor your sleep. It gives you a sleep score every night, which takes into account your efficiency, restfulness, deep sleep, timing, and more. With this accurate sleep tracker, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your sleep quality and make adjustments when necessary. Get it here.

17. Dim the Lights.

In order to prepare your body for sleep, dim the lights an hour or two before you go to bed. This will remind your body it’s almost time for sleep and will ease your transition into your nighttime routine. Use some candles or soft lamps to signal your body that sleep is coming soon. For a high-tech light that uses natural cues to tell your body when to sleep and when to wake up, try The Glow Light.

18. Nestle into Gel Pillows.

Gel pillows are the next generation of memory foam. The gel conforms to your body nicely and even prevents you from sweating while you sleep. Be sure to not fall for a cheaply made product here. Check Technogel out.

19. Discover Your Sleep Spirit Animal.

Everyone’s sleep cycle is different, and you need to determine your personal circadian rhythm in order to sleep when your body needs to sleep—and get the most out of your daytime hours. Dr. Michael Breus has categorized people into four sleep chronotypes: bears, wolves, lions, and dolphins. Bears follow the sun. Wolves burn the midnight oil. Lions get up early. Dolphins sleep erratically. Take this quiz to find out which one you are and get specific tips on how to sleep the best.

20. Make Your Bedroom a Peaceful Place.

It’s really important to designate certain parts of your house for specific activities, especially if you spend a lot of time at home. Don’t work, eat, or watch TV in bed. Let your bedroom be the place for sleeping and connecting with your partner. This will enable your body to truly rest whenever you’re in bed. For other tips on how to make your bedroom a sanctuary, click here.

21. Time Your Daytime Naps.

As tempting as it is to slip into a short afternoon nap, it can adversely affect your sleep pattern if it’s not at the optimal time. Dr. John Cline suggests napping at 2pm during the natural low in your circadian rhythm. He also recommends napping for less than a full 90-minute sleep cycle so it’s easy to get up and nighttime sleep is unaffected. To find out more about how to use naps to your benefit, read this.

22. Go Outside Every Morning.

A little Vitamin D every morning regulates your body’s production of melatonin and lifts your spirits. Dr. Michael Breus advises getting outside for at least 15 minutes every morning. Want to learn other insightful tips? Get his free eBooks here.

23. Develop an Insomnia Plan.

No matter how hard you try, you’ll probably have nights of not being able to fall asleep right away. On those occasions when you’re tossing and turning late at night, get out of bed and do something calming like reading a book or listening to music. Dr. Luis Buenaver says you should do this in a comfortable chair after approximately 20 minutes of not being able to fall asleep. This will distract your mind and stop you from feeling anxious about not being able to sleep—and you’ll be dozing off before you know it! For more research about how to make yourself sleepy, go here.

24. Indulge in a Luxurious Sleep Mask.

If there are too many street lights outside or your partner wakes up earlier than you, a great sleep mask is a necessity. The biggest problem is finding one that comfortably fits you. Try this comfy one that you’ll barely feel while you sleep:

25. Have a Glass of Tart Cherry Juice.

Did you know there’s a delicious natural drink that increases your body’s melatonin levels? Tart cherry juice is a great addition to your nightly routine. It has other important health benefits as well, like potentially strengthening your immune system and promoting brain health. Order some here.

26. Sleep at an Incline.

Your sleep position greatly affects the quality of your sleep. Numerous studies have been done to show the benefits of inclined sleeping, including detoxifying the brain and relieving stress on the heart. For more information and to check out SAMINA’s innovative angled bed frame, go here.

27. Get Sleepy with Hapbee.

This is the ultimate sleep technology to give you a good night’s sleep every night. Turn Hapbee’s Sleepy signal on 30 minutes before bed to transition your routine and start to come down from the day. Hapbee mimics a sleep aid to help you begin to unwind, feel sleepier, and start yawning, without any chemicals or contaminants in your body. Don’t spend another sleepless night. Order here: https://hapbee.com/