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Can’t Get to Sleep? A Guide to More Restful Nights and Better Sleep

In Health
October 10, 2020
Restful Nights and Better Sleep

Did you know that 70% of American adults report getting inadequate sleep at least once every month? 11% of adults report getting inadequate sleep every night.

About 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. have issues sleeping properly at night. While all kinds of Americans are affected by sleep disorders, certain disorders affect minority communities more severely.

Busy and chaotic lives have led more people to lose sleep. A lack of sleep can have serious consequences on both your mental and physical health over time.

If you can’t get to sleep at night you can follow these tips to help you sleep better. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Change Your Mattress

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night and find yourself constantly tossing and turning, think about changing your mattress. If you can’t find a comfortable position when you lay down to sleep then you’re likely to have trouble sleeping.

A mattress with a medium-firm is the most comfortable for most people but test a couple of different options to see what will help you rest best. If you like a softer bed and your partner likes a bit more firmness you can try buying two different mattresses and pushing them together to allow both of you to get a comfortable sleep.

Don’t Eat Too Late 

If you’re having trouble falling asleep when night time comes around then you should look into some of your food choices and how they might be affecting your ability to fall asleep. Dinner, especially if you’re having a big meal, should take place at least two hours before bed.

Laying down when you’re still full can lead to heartburn and indigestion. This discomfort will keep you up all night. Give your body some time to digest your food before heading to bed, any snacks should be on the lighter side to avoid that bothersome indigestion.

Put Electronics Away Before Bedtime

Blue light emitted from your electronics can keep you awake if you use them before you want to go to bed. Try to put your phone down at least an hour before bedtime in order to give your mind some time to unwind and relax.

You should also avoid looking at social media or looking through emails before bed. The array of activity on social media can keep you scrolling for hours and before you realize it, you’ve spent a chunk of your sleep time on your phone. Emails, especially if they’re for work, can add some stress at a time you’re trying to rest.

Get Enough Sun

Sunlight affects your sleep cycle more than you might think. Sunlight helps to provide you with the energy you need to be productive during the day. That way you’ll be ready to sleep as soon as your head hits your pillow at night.

Daily exposure to sunlight not only gives you the necessary vitamin D you need to stay healthy but it helps regulate your circadian rhythm. This is the system that helps your body wake up and fall asleep when it needs to.

Get the Right Pillow

If you’re wondering how to fall asleep fast, you should probably look into changing your pillow. The wrong pillow can cause discomfort and even lead to chronic pain and tension in your neck or shoulders. The right pillow will help you fall asleep as you lay down for bed.

Adding multiple pillows because you think it’ll make your bed more comfortable might actually strain your back more. One pillow that’s soft but firm will keep your head elevated at the right level and you’ll wake up feeling recharged and ready to take on the day the next morning.

Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule 

One of the worst things you can do if you’re having trouble sleeping is to go to bed and wake up at inconsistent times each day. Your circadian rhythm, as mentioned before, helps to regulate your sleep and will dictate when you sleep best.

Naturally, you’ll be more awake when it’s light outside and you’ll begin to slow down and feel sleepy as the sun sets. If you tend to stay awake late into the night and wake up in the middle of the day, your circadian rhythm will fall out of balance.

This imbalance will make it very hard to sleep when you try to and you’ll end up getting less sleep than is recommended.


There are many great tips to fall asleep but one that is often overlooked is journaling. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling before bed can be a great way to ease your mind into better sleep.

Often what keeps you up at night is the stress from the day or the things you’re needing to do in the week. Journaling about how you’ve been feeling can help you get everything out onto paper and relieve you of the worries you have. Writing down your plans can help you avoid accidentally forgetting something and you’ll be able to fall asleep with more ease after that.

Take a Supplement 

Many times the lifestyle changes you make don’t work well enough and you still have some trouble falling asleep at night. If this is the case you can always try taking sleeping aid vitamins.

These vitamins contain the key sleep hormone, melatonin, that helps to regulate your sleep cycle. These vitamins are also formulated with other ingredients that can help you get back to better sleep.

Magnesium helps to relax the body and can ease you into sleep. Theanine is an ingredient found in many types of teas that can help relax your mind and lead your body to relax into sleep as well.

Avoid Nighttime Coffee

Heavy meals can disrupt your sleep cycle and keep you up at night and so can having certain drinks. Much of the population enjoys drinking coffee and it’s a way to boost your energy and allow you to focus on the workday ahead.

Since coffee is a type of stimulant, you want to avoid having it closer to bedtime. Any form of caffeine isn’t recommended during the night as it’ll lead you to have trouble sleeping.

Try Aromatherapy 

Scents can have a powerful impact on both your mind and body and aromatherapy uses this knowledge as a way to try to improve well-being, including helping to improve sleep cycles. If you’re looking for the best way to fall asleep, there are certain scents that can help get you to better sleep in no time.

Lavender is a scent known to relax you and calm your mind and body. You can try putting some lavender essential oils into a diffuser in your bedroom to help you fall asleep faster. You can also buy a lavender room spray to spray before bed and even spray a bit on your pillow to help you inhale the scent and relax you into a night of better sleep.

Talk to Your Doctor

With more than 100 different types of sleep disorders, you want to find out whether you’re suffering from one of these conditions in order to adequately address it.

Insomnia is a common type of sleep disorder that causes difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Sleep apnea is another common sleep disorder that is characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep.

It’s important to talk to your doctor when you’re having trouble sleeping in order to find out if a more serious issue is occurring.

Avoid Nighttime Exercise

Exercise is crucial for your physical and mental health but should be avoided before bed. A good workout in the morning can put you in a good mood and set you up to have a productive day but having that adrenaline at night can keep you from falling asleep when you need to.

If you’re going to work out during the night make sure it’s more than two hours before you go to bed. A good habit to get into before bed is to do some gentle stretches to help ease your body and mind and help you fall asleep faster.

Daytime Naps Should Be Avoided

While snoozing off for a couple of minutes during a long day is completely fine, avoid napping for hours at a time during the day.  Sometimes your mind needs a break from a busy workday but sleeping too long during the day might lead you to have trouble sleeping when you need to at night.

Follow These Tips if You Can’t Get to Sleep

If you can’t get to sleep at night it can lead to a lot of issues with your mental and physical health. Following some of the tips listed above can help you sleep better and wake up more refreshed the next day.

Make sure you check out some of our other articles to learn more.


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