If one of your aims for the year is to find out how to sleep better - and put what you learn into practice - then this guide is for you! Covered here is all you should know about how to get a good night’s sleep. Every single night of the week.
How to Sleep Better in 2023
Knowing how to get better sleep can be a game changer. Waking up refreshed and ready to face the day can make for far more productive mornings. It also means there’s less chance of you experiencing that mid-afternoon slump. Or struggling to make it through the evening without nodding off.
Whatever the reason for discovering how to sleep well, getting a great night’s rest really can change your life. Here are 7 of our top tips to ensure you wake up well rested. Whether it’s a working day or the weekend.
How to sleep better | 7 winning ways
Establish a sleep routine
You probably have various routines in your life. What you do after waking up on a weekday until you leave the house. How you get the kids ready for school, or tackle the working day. When you go for a run, take a music lesson, go grocery shopping, attend an exercise class or meet a friend for coffee, wine or a beer.
One of the best tips regarding how to get good sleep is to set a pre-sleep routine. And stick to it. So how do you get started?
You may have heard this before, but the best approach is to go to bed and get up at around the same time every day of the week. Which may mean retiring earlier on weeknights, or rising earlier at weekends.
If that sounds too much, try adjusting your clock gradually until you settle into the new routine. Or tell yourself you’ll give it a go for a week, a fortnight or a month, to see how it makes you feel. There’s no way of knowing until you try, right?
Get ready for bed
The next secret regarding how to sleep better at night - naturally - is to prepare for sleep. This tells your brain that it’s time to wind down. Get into a really comfortable pair of pyjamas, drink a cup of cocoa if you want to or take time to cleanse your face properly.
Another thing to do when getting ready for bed is to close down those screens. Shut down the laptop, phone or tablet a while before bedtime, and turn off the TV too. Relaxing with a good read is a much better way to wind down, as the light emitted by screens tells your brain to stay awake.
Block out light
The idea of eliminating unwanted light leads us neatly to the next point. Many of those who already know how to sleep better at night have ways of shutting out daylight and artificial light. If you wake at 4am in summer when it gets light outside - or have a partner who needs the light one when you’re trying to sleep - this is the hack for you!
Buying blackout curtains or blinds is one way to do this. But there is a far more cost-effective approach. And it’s a solution you can take anywhere with you, too, making it ideal for the frequent traveller.
A pure silk eye mask is one of the best sleep investments you could ever make. When you wear it, the light doesn’t reach your eyes. Meaning that your body starts to produce the sleep hormone that will send you off to the land of nod.
Regulate your temperature
Another cause of waking suddenly during the night is being too hot or too cold. While it can be difficult to maintain a perfect temperature at all times, there are ways to minimise the risk of this disturbing your precious slumber.
Choose nightwear according to the season, and if the weather’s hot then surely comfortable underwear with stretch will suffice. Warm, cosy pyjamas can also help during winter.
You can also select your bedding according to the month. Try a thinner duvet in summer and a thicker one for winter. Layering up can also help - using a flat sheet, a duvet and a bedspread means you can adjust the level of warmth every night.
Those who know how to get more sleep may also use silk pillowcases. Silk is more smooth and comfortable than cotton or synthetics, and is naturally thermo-regulating. Which means that sleeping on silk makes for a more restful night - whether waking up is due to hormones, a hot summer or nightwear that’s too warm.
Knowledge is power
Do you really know how long you sleep for? Or how much of this is restful deep or REM sleep? If you do want to know, then investing in a fitbit or smartwatch can be a wise move.
Such watches can break down for you how each night’s sleep really went. You can see at a glance how long you slept for, and how much of this was REM or deep sleep. Some will also rate each night’s rest so you can see how you’re doing.
Manage anxiety and stress
Worries and stress are an inevitable part of daily life. If you need to know how to sleep better with anxiety, then there are some simple steps you can take to reduce wakefulness.
Don’t read the news late in the evening, as concerns about how things are in the world might just make you worry, keeping you awake. If you can, talk to someone trustworthy during the day to help offload any stresses that feel like they’re building up inside. When you find there’s no one to talk to, you can call The Samaritans for free at any time of the day or night.
If your anxiety is caused by feeling you have too much to do, try making a list of what to do and when. This can make things feel more manageable, helping you to nod off more quickly.
And finally - the secrets of how to have a good sleep often begin with what you do in the daytime. Build some exercise into your daily routine if you possibly can. Half an hour’s walking might well be achievable if you get off the bus or train a few stops early, or park the car somewhere before continuing on foot to work.
Finding an exercise you love to do is the key to keeping it up. Do you love to get outdoors, or enjoy fitness classes which mean you’ll not be exercising alone? Try out different forms until you find out what works for you. This may not only make for better rest, but also a healthier body and mind.
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