8 ways to get a good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is key to good health. Try these eight tips to help you get a better night's sleep.

8 ways to get a good night’s sleep

Wednesday August 11, 2021,

6 min Read

Sleep is such a fascinating area of health. While there is more and more attention coming to the area of sleep, the focus on physiological root causes is still not as much as it should be. You might be someone who has read several articles and tried all the recommendations, or you could be someone who has added several sleep supplements or even medication only to find that your sleep is still very messed up.

The more you put yourself on medication without looking at deeper root causes, the more tolerant to medication your body becomes, and the harder it gets to restore the balance.

I wanted to share a few key ways to improve your sleep which are often ignored by some of my clients, even the ones who are in the healthcare space themselves.

1.   Turn your phone to airplane mode

The biggest trigger for poor quality sleep is a restless mind. The tendency to want to scroll through social media every hour or when you cannot fall asleep is a recipe for sleep disaster.

Your brain starts a cascade of morning hormones the moment it is exposed to that light, and then no medication on supplement is going to help. Keeping your phone on silent has also not worked for many.

The reason for this, I’m guessing, is that your subconscious mind is still active when it knows that you can be reached.

phone airplane mode

Many of my clients found a radical difference in sleep with the airplane mode because it fools the mind into thinking that there is no emergency and nothing urgent. Choose a realistic time for yourself but follow it every day. Control your urge to turn it on again and scroll, and soon it will be a habit.

2.   Avoid conflict in the evening

It is so easy to get the mind agitated and trigger a spiral of physiological changes when you confront or have conflict in the evening. It becomes almost impossible to then try and calm down adequately. It takes some effort to avoid conversations that are conflicting in nature in the evening, but it can be done.

If it is someone at work, you could find a way to politely let them know that you are ready to discuss this the next morning when both of you have a clear mind. If it is someone in your family, simply avoid it by going for a long walk, giving a big smile or taking a deep breath!

3.   Avoid a flipped eating rhythm

A common mistake that people who struggle with sleep make, due to logistical reasons or habitual patterns, is to skip breakfast, eat a starchy lunch outside and then eat a big solid dinner. They feel that dinner is their chance to be healthy. So, while the meal itself may be better in terms of protein and vegetables, the manner of eating through the day puts undue pressure on digestion, preventing that slowing down of the system which is necessary for good sleep.

If you struggle with time in the morning, make your meal simple with quick forms of protein. If you prefer to skip breakfast, make lunch the biggest meal where there are vegetables and protein. Do not wait for a specific time based on wanting to fast for a certain number of hours. I know people who wait until they are dizzy and then eat.

4.   Use aromatherapy in the evening

Aromatherapy is popular and maybe you have not tried it. I suggest simplifying it for yourself. You do not need to wait until you get a diffuser. I just sprinkle a drop of lavender on the mat beside my computer in the evening. I find myself much more calm and ready to sleep when I switch off and get to bed. Usually if recommendations require you to buy something you will never end up including them. Try this simple tool which can be a great complement to everything else.

mornign exercise

Image source: unsplash.com

5.   Exercise in the morning

A common reason for poor sleep is heavy workouts in the evening, which raise endorphins and prevent sleep. The ideal time to exercise is in the morning, which can help you raise morning cortisol. If you do not have time on any day to exercise in morning, try to exercise before sunset or as close to it as possible. In the evening, stay with gentle forms of exercise such as yoga, walking, and swimming. Exercise does have a profound effect on sleep. It temporarily raises core body temperature and later allows it to drop. Lowering of core body temperature in the evening is what leads to falling asleep.

6.   Have an oil soak and bath in the evening

Ayurveda has always got it right when speaking about abhyanga or massage. You may have done this as a child and then forgotten it along the way. When it comes to abhyanga, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. You do not need hours to massage and soak.

Applying warm sesame oil in the evening for five minutes and then having a warm bath helps to pacify the restless energy. It is hard to not feel sleepy after abhyanga!

7.   Find your way to relax

It might be listening to music or watching a romantic comedy that does the trick of relaxing you. Whatever you need is something that you must give time for. It is not a waste of time. It is something that is supporting you.


Image source: unsplash.com

There is a link between poor sleep and stimulating content on television, which includes murder, horror, and thriller. If you do enjoy them, always observe the connection between when you watch them and how you sleep.

8.   Keep your bedroom clutter free

Many of end up with messy rooms over time. While attention goes to work and everything else, every little nook and cranny becomes piled up with clutter. When your eyes look at clutter, your mind feels restless and cluttered. It does not allow you to wind down and relax in preparation for great sleep. Spending some time cleaning up your home and your bedroom of clutter goes a long way. Moving furniture around can also sometimes improve the feeling of comfort within your space. When was the last time you just neatened up and made your home just a little more appealing to yourself?

When it comes to sleep there are so many aspects of it. Truly, what works at one point in time may not at another point in time. It is all about tuning in and being mindful and aware of what your body is telling you.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)