5 ways to get a better night’s rest

More than one in four of us has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights and more than two-thirds struggle with sleep at least once a week.

That’s a lot of tossing and turning and groggy mornings for millions and billions spent – an estimated $50 billion – on sleep aids and remedies each year.

The fact is a good night’s sleep is as crucial to our wellbeing as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain and increased risk of disease, as well as negatively impact our hormone levels and brain function.

Here are a few surefire ways to help you sleep better:

Let there be light: Exposure to sunlight or bright light during the day can improve the quality and duration of your sleep. In fact, one study found that two hours of exposure to bright light during the day upped the amount of sleep in study participants by two hours.

Cut the caffeine: Many of us need our coffee fix to get us through the say – and caffeine has been shown to have positive effects on our energy and focus – but coffee too close to bedtime isn’t a good idea. Studies suggest that caffeine can stay elevated in our blood for up to 8 hours, negatively impacting our quality of sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, avoid coffee after 3 pm or switch to decaf.

Cut the alcohol too: Moderate to heavy drinking can increase symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring and disrupt natural sleep patterns. It also appears to interfere with our body’s natural melatonin production.

Melatonin might help: While the usefulness of many sleep aids is questionable, melatonin supplements do seem to provide relief. One to five milligrams of this natural sleep hormone seem to help people fall asleep faster, improve sleep quality and boost energy the next day.

Too hot? Too cold? Just right: Your bedroom’s temperature can have a big impact on your ability to sleep comfortably. In fact, one study found the ambient temperature around you in bed can impact your sleep quality more than noise. Try dropping your home’s temperature a few degrees at night – it may help you sleep better and save you on energy costs too! [it would be the reverse in summer or warmer climates]

Click here for more useful ways to fall asleep and stay asleep. What’s your surefire way to get a good night’s rest? Please share your fixes with the Shop Talk blog community forum.

Did you know: Could it be apnea

If you’re constantly waking at night, getting up to pee or waking with headaches, you may have sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition that causes interrupted breathing. Speak to your family doctor. (Source)

31 thoughts on “5 ways to get a better night’s rest

  1. I suffer from severe nightmares. I am being treated with prescription drugs, however, after a period of time, the nightmares return. These nightmares cause stress and rapid heart racing. I am very upset that the nightmares are back. I would have a better nights sleep if I could eliminate the nightmares.

  2. After being in the military, your body gets use to sleeping only five or six hours a night. I still get up after five or six hours of sleep, but now I take nap for an hour or so after about being up for three or four hours and feel fine.

  3. I am a terrible get to sleeper. I have crycopharyngeal spasms, which means, it feels like there is something in my throat and I can’t swallow. It gets worse at night. What helps me sleep is a little fan beside my bed. I’m not sure if it is the sound or the breeze blowing in my face or a combo of both. If I need more help, I use a pacifier to simulate eating which relaxes the pharyngeal muscle. And if all else fails, I suck on a throat lozenge. I know, you shouldn’t do this in bed while sleeping, but it is what I have to do. You just wake up in the morning with a colored tongue.

  4. I have sleep apnea, as many know if one person in the family has it, its better the whole family get tested. My mother, older sister, my youngest sister, as well as me have it. We sometimes don’t realize that resting our mind is just as important as resting your body.
    I’ve learned over the course of years. Do something to relax and prepare yourself for bed. I listen to soft music which I call elevated music to get me in the mood. Late night television is not a plus in this situation. Anything that stimulated your mind will keep you up. No late night snacking. Your body will begin to adjust and prepare you to sleep.

  5. I really don’t have any issues sleeping. I work all day soooooooooooooooo. Now staying awake in the evening while watching tv is another story lol

  6. I have this to say,
    After being a Single Parent, the BEST Sleep ever came AFTER they were grown and OUT of the house on their own! (and yes, I don’t let any drama back into my home either!)

    On another note — I do have Sleep Apnea and also PTSD so I have had sleep disturbances all my life (Even from childhood, and also my Military Years). Just saying, there’s little here one can do other than to try to keep drama free and also use one’s CPAP Machine (and keep it clean). I also have those CPAP Automated Cleaners (mine is SoClean) and it does help too (it’s difficult to keep clean — I even wipe down with disinfecting wipes my Mask as well each morning).

  7. I like to smoke a lot of pot that makes me go to sleep and sleep good too. I have really cool dreams nice dreams too.

  8. I usually fall asleep right away, but only sleep good for 20-30 miutes…Then wake up and am wide awake for 3-4 hours, then fall back to sleep for about 2 hours. That’s a typical day/night for me..

  9. The only reason I did this survey is because I went into the new Dollar General store here in Roanoke Rapids, store #20031. I don’t generally go to Dollar stores because they are generally filthy and very messy. But I decided to check out the new store, I was very impressed with this store. Everything was in its place, all labels faced foreword and I mean everything!!! I told the man working on keeping everything neat was the manager(I found out who he was when I commented on how perfect the store looked. His name was William. I then went to cash out and the young lady named Carolina was smiling and very sweet. I am extremely impressed with this store and William told me he was gonna keep it this way!!! Please have someone in corporate tell these 2 people that I wrote to tell you this because they both deserve a big pat on the back. Thank you for your time

    1. Good Afternoon. A project near and dear to my heart. There are so may reasons why a person can’t sleep. Too many to mention. After years of falling into this catagory, i have cane up with my solution. Probably not for everyone but it seems to work for me. I keep my pattern as close as i can and it consists of the following: go to bed at the same time every night, no TV or technology in the bedroom, take one melitonin half hour before bed, read a good book for until my body clock tells me i am tired, turn out all lights, close my eyes, and meditate on positive things. Sounds easy, and is. Try it you will not loose anything, and might work for you. Pleasant Dreams

    1. I wish I can do that now its real hard when I walk I get real weak . see on January 23rd I had a robotic surgery of my kidneys and had to wear stents for 3 years . Now its really hard to walk since I get so weak .

    1. That’s good to hear. That begs the question, though: What was the point of commenting? It’s not as though that added to the conversation.

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