Get Fitter, Faster: Fitness, Food & Health Hacks

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I Spent 10k on Sleep Gadgets. Here Are My Best 89 Sleep Hacks, Ranked From Most to Least Effective

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 


A few years ago I learned 2 things:

For a guy who used to sleep 5ishh hours, that got me thinking…

sleep hacks
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And when I started training more, I just couldn’t do it anymore, my body demanded better sleep for recovery.

So over the last few years, I invested over $10,000 in sleep research and experimentation, trying to fix my sleep.

Fast-forward to today, I routinely get 8-9 hours nightly. Sleep has become my superpower.

I’m here to share my sleep crusade’s findings. Scientific insights and practical tips are included.

Join me. Let’s transform your nights and improve your days!

I mean, I can do all the training, I can do all the ice bags and the NormaTecs and everything that we do that we have as far as our recovery package while I’m up, but when you get that good sleep, you just wake up and you feel fresh. You don’t need no alarm clock. You just feel like ‘OK, I can tackle this day at the highest level.

Lebron James

I’ve gathered 89 sleep hacks to help improve your sleep. I’ve tested a lot of them, but also leaned on books, articles and studies to come up with this list.

When evaluating the various sleep hacks, I developed two key rating systems: Simplicity and Scientific Evidence.

Jump to:

Understanding the “Simplicity” and “Scientific Evidence” Ratings

These ratings are designed to help you quickly assess how easy a hack is to implement and how well it is supported by scientific research. Below, we provide explanations for these ratings, along with specific examples for clarity.

Simplicity Rating

The “Simplicity” rating ranges from Very Easy to Very Complex. This rating considers factors such as the effort required, cost, time investment, and the degree of lifestyle change needed.

  • Example of a Very Easy Hack: “Try Melatonin”
    • Melatonin supplements are widely available, affordable, and easy to use. Taking a melatonin pill requires minimal effort and no significant lifestyle changes, making it highly accessible and simple to implement.
  • Example of a Very Complex Hack: “Invest in the Right Mattress”
    • Choosing a new mattress involves significant research, a potentially high cost, and the effort of replacing an old mattress. This process can be time-consuming and complex, requiring careful consideration of personal preferences and health needs.

Scientific Evidence Rating

The “Scientific Evidence” rating, ranging from Strong Evidence to No Evidence, assesses the level of research and scientific support behind each hack. 

  • Example of a Strong Evidence Hack: “Control Room Temperature”
    • There is extensive scientific research supporting the importance of room temperature for sleep quality. Studies consistently show that a cooler room temperature can enhance sleep by aligning with the body’s natural temperature regulation during sleep.
  • Example of a No Evidence Hack: “Add Some Greenery”
    • While adding plants to the bedroom may improve the ambiance and air quality, there is limited scientific research directly linking this practice to improved sleep quality. The benefits are more anecdotal and related to general well-being rather than specifically to sleep.

These rating systems are intended to provide a quick and informative way to evaluate the potential effectiveness and ease of implementation for each sleep hack.

All Sleep Hacks in 1 Neat Chart

So I thought I could lay all tips in a quadrant-like fashion:

A few things to note:

1- Upper Right Quadrant (Best Hacks):

These are the ones you should try first. They are easy to adopt and have a high likelihood of improving sleep based on robust research.

2- Bottom Right Quadrant (Proven but Complex):

These can also offer significant improvements in sleep quality, but may need more commitment or resources.

3- Upper Left Quadrant (Simple but Less Evidence):

They are low-risk options to try and may offer benefits, but they’re usually not backed by a lot of research.

4- Bottom Left Quadrant (Unproven and Complex):

These are hard to implement and may not provide a lot of benefits. They may not be worth the investment of your time and resources.

No, let’s dive into the tips, shall we?

Here Are 89 Sleep Tips for You to Choose From And Try Tonight

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They are mostly ranked from easiest with strong evidence to complex and no evidence:

Try Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin supplements can be helpful for adjusting sleep patterns, especially for jet lag or shift work sleep disorders. It’s often used to promote sleep onset.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy

Using melatonin supplements is straightforward, involving taking a pill, typically before bedtime. It’s important to use the correct dosage and consider the timing of ingestion.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence

Melatonin’s effectiveness in regulating sleep cycles and aiding in sleep onset is well-established, with extensive research supporting its use, particularly for circadian rhythm disorders.

Control Room Temperature

Maintaining a comfortable and cool room temperature, ideally around 18.3 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit), can significantly improve sleep quality. Cooler temperatures are believed to facilitate the natural drop in body temperature that occurs during sleep.

Simplicity:

Very Easy

Controlling room temperature involves adjusting thermostats or using fans/AC units, which can be moderately challenging depending on the climate and available equipment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
There is strong scientific support for the impact of room temperature on sleep quality, with numerous studies suggesting that a cooler sleeping environment promotes better sleep.

Have a Screen-Free Hour Before Bed

Dedicating the hour before bed to activities without screens can help reduce exposure to blue light and mental stimulation from devices. This practice aids in winding down and preparing the body and mind for sleep.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Creating a screen-free hour involves changing evening habits and finding alternative relaxing activities, which can be moderately challenging in today’s digital world.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The recommendation to reduce screen time before bed is strongly supported by research on the impact of blue light and screen-related stimulation on sleep quality.

Try Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in supporting deep, restorative sleep. It helps regulate neurotransmitters and can have a calming effect on the body and mind. Magnesium supplements are often used to improve sleep quality.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Taking magnesium supplements is simple and involves minimal effort, but it’s important to ensure proper dosage and consult a healthcare provider if necessary.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
Several studies support the role of magnesium in improving sleep quality, particularly for individuals with magnesium deficiency. However, its effectiveness can vary depending on individual health conditions.

Get 30 Minutes of Natural Light Exposure

Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality. It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day, which can be through outdoor activities or sitting near a window.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating natural light exposure into your daily routine requires some planning but is relatively straightforward, especially for those who spend time outdoors.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
There is strong scientific evidence supporting the role of natural light in regulating circadian rhythms and improving sleep quality.

Eat a Banana

Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which can help relax muscles and nerves. They also contain tryptophan, which can aid in the production of sleep-regulating serotonin.

Simplicity:

Very Easy

Eating a banana is a simple, straightforward action with no significant preparation required.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence

The nutrients in bananas are known to support sleep, but the direct effect of eating a banana on sleep quality has not been extensively studied.

Reserve Bed for Sleep and Sex

Limiting activities in bed to sleep and sex can strengthen the association between the bed and sleep, reducing the likelihood of sleep disturbances. This helps the brain to associate the bed with relaxation and rest.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Implementing this practice involves changing habits related to bed use, like avoiding watching TV or working in bed, which is manageable for most people.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
The concept of associating the bed with sleep and sex is a fundamental part of sleep hygiene practices and is supported by sleep research.

If You’re Not Sleepy, Don’t Go to Bed

Going to bed only when you’re truly sleepy can help prevent frustration and anxiety associated with lying in bed awake. This approach aligns with the body’s natural sleep signals and can improve sleep efficiency.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Adhering to this practice requires self-awareness and listening to your body’s cues, which is generally straightforward but may require some adjustment to nighttime habits.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
This principle is a key component of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and is supported by research in sleep psychology and medicine.

Avoid Alcohol in the Evening

Consuming alcohol in the evening can disrupt sleep patterns and reduce sleep quality. Alcohol is a sedative that can induce sleep initially, but as it metabolizes, it leads to disrupted sleep later in the night.

Simplicity:

Easy

Avoiding alcohol in the evening is a matter of habit and self-control, which can be moderately challenging for some individuals.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence

Numerous studies have shown that alcohol negatively impacts sleep quality and can lead to fragmented sleep.

Sleep in a Dark Room

Sleeping in a dark room helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian rhythm by promoting melatonin production. Using blackout curtains or an eye mask can aid in creating a dark environment conducive to sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Creating a dark sleeping environment may involve installing blackout curtains or using an eye mask, which is relatively easy to do.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The importance of darkness for sleep is well-supported by scientific research, emphasizing its role in melatonin production and circadian rhythm regulation.

Try a Mouthguard

A mouthguard can be beneficial for individuals who grind their teeth (bruxism) during sleep. It helps prevent tooth damage and can reduce jaw pain and headaches, potentially improving sleep quality.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Getting a mouthguard typically involves a dental consultation and fitting, which can be a moderate effort but is a straightforward process.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The effectiveness of mouthguards for preventing the negative effects of bruxism is well-established in dental research.

Skip the All-Nighters

Avoiding all-nighters, or staying up the entire night, is crucial for maintaining healthy sleep patterns. All-nighters can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and lead to sleep debt, negatively affecting cognitive function and overall health.

Simplicity:

Easy
Skipping all-nighters requires time management and prioritizing sleep over other activities, which can be challenging, especially for students or professionals with heavy workloads.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The detrimental effects of all-nighters on sleep and health are well-established, with clear evidence linking sleep deprivation to a range of negative outcomes.

Invest in Some Earplugs

Earplugs can be an effective solution for reducing noise disturbances during sleep. They are particularly useful in noisy environments or for light sleepers who are easily awakened by sound.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Using earplugs is a simple and straightforward solution that requires minimal effort and adjustment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
There is substantial evidence supporting the use of earplugs to improve sleep quality in noisy environments.

Do Not Exercise at Least Two Hours Before Bed

Engaging in vigorous exercise close to bedtime can be stimulating and may hinder the body’s ability to wind down for sleep. It’s recommended to finish any intense workouts at least two hours before going to bed.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Adjusting exercise routines to avoid late-night workouts involves planning but is relatively straightforward to implement.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Research supports the idea that exercising too close to bedtime can affect sleep quality, though the impact varies among individuals.

Bathe Before Bedtime

Description:
Taking a warm bath or shower before bed can help relax the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep. The drop in body temperature after bathing may signal the brain that it’s time for sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating a bath or shower into your nightly routine is a straightforward and simple practice.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Studies suggest that bathing before bed can improve sleep quality, particularly due to the temperature-related effects on the body’s circadian rhythm.

Use a Sleep Mask

A sleep mask blocks out light, creating a darker environment that can help promote better sleep. This is especially useful for those sensitive to light or living in areas with significant nighttime light pollution.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Using a sleep mask is an extremely simple and straightforward solution with no setup required.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
There is strong evidence supporting the importance of darkness in promoting melatonin production and improving sleep quality.

Try Putting Some Socks On

Wearing socks to bed can help regulate body temperature, improving blood circulation and signaling to the brain that it’s time to sleep. Warm feet can also lead to a quicker onset of sleep by dilating blood vessels, which aids in heat distribution.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Putting on socks before bed is a very simple and effortless action with no preparation required.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Some studies suggest that warming the feet can aid in falling asleep faster, but the overall impact on sleep quality varies and is not extensively researched.

Avoid Caffeine In The Afternoon And Evening

Caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep if consumed late in the day. By limiting caffeine intake after 2 p.m., you reduce the risk of it affecting your sleep cycle. This includes coffee, certain teas, and some soft drinks.

Simplicity:

Easy
Avoiding caffeine after 2 p.m. requires a change in habits and awareness of caffeine content in beverages, but is generally straightforward to implement.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Extensive research supports the impact of caffeine on sleep latency and quality, particularly when consumed later in the day.

Eat Breakfast Every Morning

Eating a nutritious breakfast can kickstart your metabolism, improve energy levels, and signal to your body that it’s time to start the day. A regular morning meal may also help regulate your circadian rhythm.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating breakfast into your daily routine involves planning and time management, but is generally a simple habit to adopt.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
The benefits of a healthy breakfast for overall well-being are well-documented, though its direct impact on sleep quality is less extensively studied.

Avoid Big Meals at Night

Eating large meals close to bedtime can cause discomfort and indigestion, making it harder to fall asleep. It’s recommended to have dinner at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.

Simplicity: 

Easy

This requires planning meal times and controlling portion sizes, which can be moderately easy to implement.

Scientific Acceptance: 

Substantial Evidence

Research supports that heavy meals can disrupt sleep, though individual responses may vary.

Avoid Snoozing Your Alarm

Snoozing the alarm can lead to fragmented sleep and may result in feeling groggier upon finally waking up. It’s recommended to set the alarm for the latest possible time you need to wake up and get out of bed immediately when it goes off.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Avoiding the snooze button requires self-discipline and a change in morning habits, but is relatively straightforward to implement.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Research supports the idea that snoozing can disrupt sleep inertia and negatively impact wakefulness and alertness in the morning.

Box Breathing Method

The box breathing method, also known as square breathing, involves inhaling, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding again, each for the same count (e.g., four seconds). This technique can reduce stress and promote relaxation, aiding in sleep.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Box breathing is a simple and easy-to-learn technique that can be practiced anywhere without special equipment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
While the principles of controlled breathing for relaxation are supported, specific studies on the box breathing method and its direct impact on sleep are limited.

Enjoy Herbal Tea

Certain herbal teas, like chamomile, lavender, and valerian root, are believed to have calming and sleep-inducing properties. Drinking a cup of herbal tea before bedtime may help relax the body and mind, aiding sleep.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Preparing and drinking herbal tea is a simple and easy process.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While many people report benefits from drinking herbal tea, scientific evidence varies and more rigorous studies are needed to confirm these effects.

Enjoy a Glass of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice, particularly tart cherry juice, contains high levels of melatonin and antioxidants. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and consuming cherry juice may help improve sleep quality.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Drinking a glass of cherry juice is a simple action with no significant preparation required.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Some studies suggest cherry juice can improve sleep, but the evidence is not yet conclusive and more research is needed.

Eat Dinner Early

Eating dinner early allows your body adequate time to digest food before bedtime, reducing the risk of heartburn and indigestion that can disturb sleep. It is generally recommended to finish dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Adjusting dinner time earlier requires some planning and routine changes, which can be moderately easy for most individuals.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
There is good evidence to suggest that eating late can affect sleep quality, though individual responses may vary.

Meditate Before Bed

Meditation before bed can help calm the mind, reduce stress, and prepare the body for sleep. Practices can include mindfulness meditation, guided relaxation, or deep breathing exercises.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating meditation into your bedtime routine is straightforward but requires discipline to practice regularly.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Numerous studies support the benefits of meditation for reducing stress and improving sleep quality, making it a well-regarded practice for enhancing overall well-being.

Clean Your Sheets

Regularly cleaning your sheets can improve sleep hygiene by reducing allergens, dust mites, and bacteria. Fresh, clean bedding can also enhance comfort and relaxation, contributing to better sleep quality.

Simplicity:

Easy
Regular sheet cleaning involves laundering and changing bed linens, which is a simple task but requires routine maintenance.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
There is general consensus on the importance of sleep hygiene, including clean bedding, for better sleep quality, although specific studies on sheet cleaning are limited.

Try Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine that is believed to have stress-reducing properties. Some people use it to help improve sleep quality, as it may lower cortisol levels and promote relaxation.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Incorporating ashwagandha into your routine typically involves taking supplements, which is straightforward but requires understanding the correct dosage and potential interactions.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
There is some evidence suggesting that ashwagandha can help reduce stress and improve sleep, but more rigorous and extensive scientific studies are needed to fully confirm its effectiveness and safety.

Prioritize Tryptophan at Dinner

Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a role in the production of serotonin, a precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, milk, and nuts. Prioritizing these foods at dinner may aid in sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating tryptophan-rich foods into your dinner requires some dietary planning but is relatively straightforward.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
There is evidence supporting the role of tryptophan in serotonin production and sleep regulation, though the direct impact of dietary tryptophan on sleep quality requires more research.

Eat Healthy Food

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can improve overall health and potentially enhance sleep quality. Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in magnesium and B vitamins, can negatively impact sleep.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Adopting a healthy diet involves significant changes in shopping, meal planning, and cooking habits, which can be moderately challenging.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
There is strong evidence supporting the link between a balanced diet and overall health, including sleep quality.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body, progressing from one end of the body to the other. This technique helps reduce physical tension and mental stress, aiding in relaxation and sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
This technique is relatively easy to learn and practice but requires some time and focus to go through all the muscle groups.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Progressive muscle relaxation is a well-studied and commonly recommended technique for stress reduction and improving sleep quality.

Minimize Noise

Reducing noise in the sleeping environment, either through soundproofing, using earplugs, or creating a quiet setting, can improve sleep quality. A quieter environment can reduce sleep disturbances and promote deeper sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Minimizing noise may involve using earplugs, soundproofing elements, or adjusting the sleeping environment, which requires some effort and planning.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
The negative impact of noise on sleep quality is well-documented, with research supporting the benefits of a quieter sleeping environment.

Eat Fish

Fish, especially fatty types like salmon and tuna, are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved sleep quality. These nutrients may enhance the production of serotonin, a sleep-regulating neurotransmitter.

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating fish into your diet requires some dietary changes and meal planning, but is generally straightforward.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Studies have shown a correlation between fish consumption and improved sleep, but more research is needed to establish a direct causal relationship.

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is a relaxation technique that involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This pattern is believed to calm the nervous system and promote relaxation, aiding in sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
This breathing exercise is simple to learn and can be done in bed without any special preparation or equipment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence

While controlled breathing is generally accepted as a relaxation method, specific studies on the 4-7-8 technique and its direct impact on sleep quality are limited.

Listen to Uplifting Music in the Morning

Listening to uplifting music in the morning can enhance mood, increase alertness, and provide a positive start to the day. Music has the power to stimulate the brain and can help in transitioning from sleep to wakefulness.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Playing music in the morning is a very simple practice that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While music’s mood-enhancing and stimulating effects are recognized, its direct impact on morning wakefulness is less extensively studied but generally viewed positively.

Crack Open a Window or Door

Cracking open a window or door can improve air circulation and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment. Fresh air can also help regulate room temperature and improve air quality.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Opening a window or door is a simple action that requires minimal effort and can easily be integrated into your nightly routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While improved ventilation is generally beneficial for comfort and air quality, specific research on the direct impact of cracking open a window or door on sleep quality is limited.

Try Bright Light Therapy

Bright light therapy involves exposure to a light box that emits light similar to natural sunlight. It can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, particularly in conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and improve sleep patterns.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Using bright light therapy requires purchasing a light box and dedicating time for daily exposure, but it’s generally easy to use.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Bright light therapy is well-supported by research for its effectiveness in treating SAD and regulating circadian rhythms, though its direct impact on sleep varies.

Avoid Snacks Within 90 Minutes of Going To Bed

Eating snacks too close to bedtime can cause digestive discomfort and blood sugar fluctuations, potentially affecting sleep. It’s advisable to avoid eating anything within 90 minutes before sleep.

Simplicity: 

Easy

Similar to avoiding big meals at night, this requires self-discipline and minor adjustments to eating habits.

Scientific Acceptance: 

Some Evidence

 While there’s some evidence supporting this, individual responses to late-night snacking can vary.

Avoid Movies and Intense TV Shows Before Bed

Watching movies or intense TV shows before bed can be stimulating and may hinder your ability to relax and fall asleep. Engaging content can increase mental alertness and delay the onset of sleep due to emotional or psychological arousal.

Simplicity:

Easy
Avoiding stimulating visual content before bed requires changing evening entertainment habits, which is manageable but requires some adjustment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While the impact of screen content on sleep is less specifically studied, it is generally accepted that stimulating activities can disrupt sleep readiness.

No Spice in the Evening

Spicy foods in the evening can cause indigestion and discomfort, potentially leading to sleep disturbances. It’s recommended to avoid spicy meals close to bedtime to ensure more restful sleep.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Avoiding spicy food in the evening requires some dietary adjustments, particularly for those who regularly consume spicy cuisine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While there’s anecdotal evidence supporting this, scientific research on the direct impact of spicy food on sleep is limited.

Follow a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, including on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves sleep quality. Consistency in bedtime and wake-up time strengthens the sleep-wake cycle.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Following a consistent sleep schedule requires discipline and may involve adjusting social and work commitments, which can be moderately challenging.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
The importance of a consistent sleep schedule is strongly supported by sleep research and is a fundamental aspect of good sleep hygiene.

Invest in Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains block external light, creating a darker sleeping environment. This is beneficial as light exposure can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Investing in and installing blackout curtains requires a moderate effort, including selecting the right curtains and setting them up.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Numerous studies confirm that reducing light exposure, especially during the night, is crucial for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm and improving sleep quality.

Try Yoga

Practicing yoga before bed can help reduce physical tension and mental stress, promoting relaxation and improved sleep quality. Gentle, restorative yoga poses are particularly beneficial for preparing the body for rest.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Incorporating yoga into your evening routine requires learning and practicing specific poses, which can be moderately challenging for beginners.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Yoga is widely recognized for its benefits in reducing stress and improving relaxation, with studies supporting its positive impact on sleep.

Keep a Sleep Diary

A sleep diary involves recording details about your sleep patterns, such as bedtime, wake-up time, quality of sleep, and factors that might affect sleep. This can help identify habits or conditions impacting your sleep and guide improvements.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Maintaining a sleep diary requires daily commitment to record sleep-related information, but the process is straightforward.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Sleep diaries are a recognized tool in sleep studies and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, for tracking and understanding sleep patterns.

Keep Naps Around 20 Minutes

Short naps, often called “power naps,” lasting around 20 minutes can provide restorative benefits without leading to sleep inertia or interfering with nighttime sleep. These naps can improve alertness and mood without entering deeper sleep stages.

Simplicity:

Easy
Taking short naps requires some timing and discipline to ensure they don’t extend beyond the recommended duration.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Studies support the benefits of short naps for cognitive function and alertness, with 20 minutes often cited as an optimal duration for a power nap.

Try a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets provide gentle, even pressure across the body, which can have a calming effect. This sensation, known as deep pressure stimulation, may reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality for some individuals.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Using a weighted blanket is simple and requires no setup beyond selecting the appropriate weight and size for your needs.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence

There is growing evidence supporting the benefits of weighted blankets for sleep, particularly in individuals with anxiety, though more research is needed.

Avoid Drinking Too Much Water in the Evening

Drinking excessive amounts of water in the evening can lead to frequent awakenings for bathroom trips, disrupting sleep. It’s best to stay hydrated throughout the day and reduce fluid intake in the evening.

Simplicity:

Easy

 This involves adjusting your hydration habits, which is relatively simple but requires mindfulness.

Scientific Acceptance: 

Some Evidence

 While it’s known that nocturnal awakenings can disrupt sleep, the specific impact of evening fluid intake varies among individuals.

Meditation Nap

A meditation nap involves combining a short nap with mindfulness or relaxation techniques. This practice can enhance the restorative effects of the nap and reduce stress, potentially leading to better overall sleep quality.

Simplicity:

Easy
Engaging in a meditation nap requires knowledge of meditation or relaxation techniques and the discipline to incorporate them into your nap routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While the benefits of meditation and short naps are individually supported, the specific combination as a “meditation nap” is less studied but considered beneficial by many for relaxation and stress reduction.

Wake Up with Music

Waking up with music instead of a traditional alarm can provide a more pleasant and gradual transition from sleep to wakefulness. Choosing calming or favorite tunes can enhance mood and reduce morning grogginess.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Setting your alarm to play music is a simple change that can be easily implemented with most modern alarm clocks or smartphones.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
The concept of waking up with music is positively regarded for its mood-enhancing effects, but specific research on its impact compared to traditional alarms is limited.

Try White Noise

White noise creates a consistent sound that can mask disruptive environmental noises, potentially improving sleep quality. It can be produced by a sound machine, fan, or digital app.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Using white noise is simple and involves setting up a white noise machine or app, which is easy to integrate into your sleep routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
White noise is often effective for creating a more consistent auditory environment, but its impact on sleep quality varies among individuals and is not universally supported by extensive research.

Listen to Calming Sounds

Listening to calming sounds, such as nature sounds, soft music, or guided relaxations, before bed can help reduce stress and create a relaxing atmosphere, aiding in the transition to sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Playing calming sounds involves using a sound machine, app, or digital device, which is simple and can be easily incorporated into a bedtime routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Calming sounds can have a soothing effect and are generally considered beneficial for relaxation, but specific studies on their impact on sleep quality are less extensive.

Relax with Some Essential Oils

Using essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, can have a calming and relaxing effect, potentially improving sleep quality. Essential oils can be used in a diffuser, applied topically, or added to a bath before bed.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Incorporating essential oils into your bedtime routine is straightforward and involves minimal preparation, such as setting up a diffuser or applying oils.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While many people report benefits from using essential oils for relaxation, scientific evidence varies. Some studies support their calming effects, but more rigorous research is needed for conclusive results.

Listen to Ambient Noise

Listening to ambient noise, such as white noise or soft background sounds, can mask disruptive noises and create a consistent auditory environment, potentially improving sleep quality for some individuals.

Simplicity:

Easy
Playing ambient noise involves using a sound machine or digital device, which is straightforward and easy to set up.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Ambient noise can be helpful for some people, particularly in noisy environments, but its effectiveness varies among individuals and is not universally supported by scientific research.

Avoid Reading Right Before Bed

Reading right before bed, especially engaging or thought-provoking material, can keep the mind active and potentially interfere with falling asleep. However, for many, reading can be a relaxing activity that aids in winding down.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Choosing the right type of reading material or avoiding reading before bed is a simple adjustment, but habits and individual responses vary.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
The impact of reading on sleep varies widely among individuals and depends on the nature of the material. There’s limited specific scientific research on this as a general recommendation.

Consider a Cooling/Heating Mattress Pad

A cooling or heating mattress pad can help regulate bed temperature, providing a more comfortable sleeping environment. This is especially beneficial for those who experience temperature-related sleep disturbances.

Try it

Simplicity:

Challenging
Selecting and setting up a mattress pad involves some research and investment, but once installed, it’s relatively easy to use.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
Studies show that bed temperature can significantly impact sleep quality, with cooling devices often having positive effects.

Try Journaling

Journaling before bed can help process thoughts and emotions, reducing mental clutter and stress. This practice can provide a sense of closure and relaxation, aiding in the transition to sleep.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Incorporating journaling into your bedtime routine is simple and requires only a notebook and a few minutes of reflection.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Journaling is recognized for its therapeutic benefits, but specific research on its impact on sleep is limited. The benefits are generally associated with stress reduction and mental health.

Invest in Quality Sheets

High-quality sheets can enhance sleep comfort by regulating temperature, reducing skin irritation, and providing a softer sleeping surface. Materials like cotton, linen, or bamboo are often recommended.

Simplicity:

Easy
Choosing quality sheets involves research and a financial investment, but the selection process is straightforward.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While comfortable bedding is widely acknowledged to improve sleep quality, scientific studies specifically focusing on sheet quality are less common.

Write Down a To-Do List for Tomorrow

Writing down a to-do list for the next day can help organize thoughts and reduce bedtime anxiety about upcoming tasks. This practice clears the mind and can lead to a more restful night’s sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Creating a to-do list is a straightforward task that involves minimal time and effort.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While the concept of planning and organization for stress reduction is well-supported, specific studies focusing on the impact of writing a to-do list on sleep quality are limited.

Rule Out Depression

Depression can significantly impact sleep quality, leading to insomnia or hypersomnia. Seeking professional help to diagnose and treat depression is important for improving sleep and overall well-being.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Addressing mental health issues like depression involves seeking professional help and possibly undergoing therapy or medication, which can be a challenging but vital process.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The strong link between mental health disorders like depression and sleep disturbances is widely recognized and supported by extensive research.

Try Exercising in the Morning

Morning exercise can help kickstart the day, enhance alertness, and improve mood. It can also regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, potentially leading to better sleep at night.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Incorporating morning exercise into a daily routine requires discipline and time management, especially for those not used to early physical activity.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
Several studies indicate that morning exercise can positively affect sleep quality and circadian rhythm alignment.

Use Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can significantly reduce ambient noise, providing a quieter environment for sleep. They are particularly useful in noisy settings or for individuals sensitive to sound.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Using noise-canceling headphones involves an initial purchase and getting used to sleeping with them, but they are generally easy to use.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While noise-canceling technology is effective in reducing ambient noise, the specific impact on sleep quality varies among individuals and is less extensively studied.

Try The Military Method

The military method is a relaxation technique developed to help soldiers fall asleep quickly. It involves relaxing the body in a specific sequence, clearing the mind, and visualizing calming images or scenarios.

Simplicity:

Easy
Mastering the military method requires practice and adherence to the specific relaxation sequence, which can be moderately challenging.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
The effectiveness of the military method is based more on anecdotal evidence and its use in military training, with limited scientific research supporting its direct impact on sleep.

Turn the Alarm Away from You

Turning your alarm clock away from your line of sight can reduce anxiety about time and sleep, helping you relax and sleep better. This practice prevents clock-watching and the stress associated with it.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Repositioning your alarm clock is an extremely simple action that requires minimal effort and can easily be done as part of your bedtime routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
The practice of turning the alarm away is based more on general sleep advice and anecdotal evidence rather than extensive scientific research. The benefits are related to reducing bedtime anxiety.

Reduce Stress

Reducing stress, particularly in the evening, can significantly improve sleep quality. Stress management techniques like relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and time management can help lower stress levels.

Simplicity:

Very Complex
Effectively reducing stress involves implementing various strategies and possibly lifestyle changes, which can be challenging but highly beneficial.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The negative impact of stress on sleep is well-documented, and stress reduction techniques are widely recognized for their positive effects on sleep and overall well-being.

Invest in the Right Pillow

The right pillow can support proper neck alignment and comfort during sleep. Pillow choice depends on sleeping position, material preferences, and individual needs such as support for neck pain or allergies.

Try it

Simplicity:

Manageable
Selecting the right pillow requires some research and personal testing to find the ideal balance of support and comfort.

Scientific Acceptance:

Substantial Evidence
There is strong evidence that pillow type can impact sleep quality, particularly in relation to neck and spinal alignment.

Use the 2-Minute Technique

The 2-minute technique involves a quick relaxation method where you lie in bed and consciously relax every part of your body, starting from the toes and moving upwards. This can help release tension and prepare the body for sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
This technique is very simple to perform and requires no special preparation, making it easily accessible to anyone.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While the 2-minute technique is based on general relaxation principles, specific scientific evidence for its effectiveness in improving sleep quality is limited.

Try a Foot Bath

Taking a warm foot bath before bed can help relax the body and may improve sleep quality. The warmth increases blood circulation and can have a soothing effect, aiding in the transition to sleep.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Preparing and enjoying a foot bath is a simple process that involves minimal setup and can easily be integrated into your nighttime routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While many find foot baths relaxing, scientific evidence specifically linking foot baths to improved sleep quality is limited. The benefits are more anecdotal and based on general principles of relaxation.

Invest in the Right Mattress

A suitable mattress is crucial for comfort, spinal alignment, and sleep quality. Factors to consider include firmness, material, and individual sleep preferences. The right mattress can reduce pain and discomfort, leading to better sleep.

Try it

Simplicity:

Very Complex
Choosing the right mattress involves significant research, investment, and often trial-and-error to find the best fit for your needs.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
Numerous studies underscore the importance of mattress quality in sleep comfort and spinal health, directly affecting sleep quality.

Make Exercise a Habit

Regular physical activity is associated with numerous health benefits, including improved sleep quality. Consistent exercise can help reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of insomnia.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Developing a consistent exercise routine requires commitment and lifestyle adjustments, which can be challenging for some individuals.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
Extensive research confirms the positive impact of regular exercise on overall health and sleep quality.

Try a Foot Massager

A foot massager can help relax the muscles and improve circulation, potentially aiding in relaxation and sleep. The soothing effect of a foot massage might also reduce stress and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Using a foot massager involves an initial investment and learning how to use the device effectively, but it is generally easy to incorporate into a nightly routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While many people find foot massagers relaxing, scientific studies on their direct impact on sleep quality are limited.

Try a Coffee Nap

A coffee nap involves drinking a cup of coffee before taking a short nap of about 20 minutes. The idea is that the caffeine will start to affect your system just as you wake up, providing a double boost of alertness and energy.

Simplicity:

Easy
Timing a coffee nap correctly requires drinking coffee quickly and then immediately taking a short nap before the caffeine takes effect.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While there is some research suggesting the effectiveness of coffee naps, the concept is not widely studied. It’s more of an experimental technique combining the effects of caffeine and napping.

Add Some Greenery

Incorporating plants into your bedroom can improve air quality and create a more relaxing and aesthetically pleasing environment. Some believe that certain plants can also have a calming effect, contributing to better sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Adding plants to your bedroom is a simple task that involves choosing suitable plants and providing basic care.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While plants can enhance the ambiance of a room, scientific evidence specifically linking their presence to improved sleep quality is limited. The benefits are more related to general well-being and air quality.

Avoid Stress in the Evening

Minimizing stress in the evening, whether through relaxation techniques, avoiding work-related activities, or steering clear of stressful conversations, can help improve sleep quality. Stress can activate the body’s fight-or-flight response, making it harder to fall asleep.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Managing stress effectively involves multiple strategies and lifestyle adjustments, which can be challenging to implement consistently.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The negative impact of stress on sleep quality is well-documented, with numerous studies highlighting the importance of stress management for good sleep hygiene.

Limit Nicotine Use and Smoke Exposure

Nicotine is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep patterns and decrease sleep quality. Reducing or eliminating nicotine use, especially in the evening, can help improve sleep. This includes avoiding cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Limiting nicotine use involves overcoming addiction and habit, which can be challenging and may require assistance from health professionals.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The negative impact of nicotine on sleep is well-documented, with numerous studies confirming its stimulating effects and disruption of sleep architecture.

Use Blue Light Blockers

Blue light emitted by screens (phones, computers, TVs) can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt sleep. Blue light blockers, such as glasses or screen filters, can help reduce exposure in the evening.

Try it

Simplicity:

Challenging
Using blue light blockers involves purchasing the glasses or installing screen filters, which is a simple and easy-to-implement solution.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
Research supports the impact of blue light on melatonin production and sleep, with blue light blockers shown to mitigate these effects.

Banish Clutter

A clutter-free bedroom can create a more calming and organized environment, conducive to relaxation and sleep. Keeping the bedroom tidy and minimizing distractions can help reduce stress and promote better sleep hygiene.

Simplicity:

Manageable
Maintaining a clutter-free space involves regular organization and decluttering, which can be moderately challenging but is beneficial for creating a peaceful sleeping environment.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While a clean and organized space is generally associated with reduced stress and better mental clarity, specific studies on its direct impact on sleep quality are less common.

Try Sleeping with Your Legs Up

Description:
Sleeping with your legs elevated can improve circulation and may reduce swelling and discomfort, particularly for those with certain medical conditions. It involves placing pillows or a wedge under the legs to raise them slightly.

Try it

Simplicity:

Easy
Elevating your legs while sleeping is a simple adjustment that involves using pillows or a support wedge, but it may take some getting used to for comfort.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While leg elevation is beneficial for specific health conditions, its general impact on sleep quality is not well studied and largely based on individual preferences and beliefs.

Use Sleep Trackers

Sleep trackers monitor various aspects of sleep, such as duration, quality, and stages. They can provide insights into sleep patterns and potential areas for improvement, but accuracy varies among devices.

Simplicity:

Easy
Setting up and regularly using a sleep tracker requires some technical know-how and commitment to tracking and analyzing the data.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While sleep trackers can offer useful insights, their accuracy and effectiveness in improving sleep quality are debated, with many devices relying more on algorithms than on robust scientific evidence.

Reward Yourself for Waking Up

Setting up a reward system for waking up on time can motivate you to leave the bed promptly. Rewards could be a favorite breakfast, extra leisure time, or another enjoyable activity that encourages adherence to your wake-up schedule.

Simplicity:

Very Easy
Implementing a reward system requires some planning and self-discipline but is relatively easy to integrate into your morning routine.

Scientific Acceptance:

No Evidence
The concept of using rewards is based on psychological principles of motivation and behavior modification, but its specific application to waking up is more anecdotal and less scientifically studied.

Rectify Sleep Disorders Such As Sleep Apnea

Addressing and treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which involves repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, is crucial for improving sleep quality and overall health. Treatment options include CPAP therapy, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery.

Simplicity:

Very Complex
Managing sleep disorders like sleep apnea often requires medical intervention, lifestyle adjustments, and potentially using specialized equipment, making it a complex process.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
The need to treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea is well-established in medical research, with clear evidence linking untreated sleep apnea to numerous health risks.

Worry Dolls (A Guatemalan Folklore Technique)

Worry dolls are small, handmade dolls from Guatemalan folklore. According to tradition, telling your worries to these dolls before bed and placing them under your pillow can alleviate stress and anxiety, potentially leading to better sleep.

Simplicity:

Easy
Using worry dolls is a simple practice that involves minimal effort – just telling worries to the dolls and placing them under the pillow.

Scientific Acceptance:

No Evidence
While worry dolls may offer psychological comfort to some individuals, there is no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness in improving sleep. Their use is based on cultural beliefs and folklore.

CPAP Therapy

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is used to treat sleep apnea, a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. CPAP provides a steady stream of air through a mask to keep airways open.

Simplicity:

Very Complex
CPAP therapy requires a medical diagnosis, fitting for a CPAP machine, and adaptation to sleeping with the device, which can be complex and challenging.

Scientific Acceptance:

Strong Evidence
CPAP therapy is a well-established and highly effective treatment for sleep apnea, with significant evidence supporting its benefits for sleep quality and overall health.

Use Your Internal Alarm Clock

Using your internal alarm clock involves training your body to wake up naturally at a specific time through a consistent sleep schedule and paying attention to your body’s sleep signals. This practice relies on the body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Developing the ability to wake up without an external alarm requires consistency and time to adjust your natural sleep-wake cycle, which can be challenging.

Scientific Acceptance:

Some Evidence
While the body’s internal clock plays a crucial role in regulating sleep patterns, the effectiveness of relying solely on it for waking up varies among individuals.

Try Two Duvets

Using two separate duvets for partners sharing a bed can reduce disturbances from duvet-stealing and temperature differences. Each person can choose a duvet that suits their warmth preference, potentially improving sleep quality.

Simplicity:

Manageable
This hack is straightforward to implement, simply requiring an additional duvet, but it may require some adjustment to sleeping habits.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
The concept of using two duvets is more of a personal preference and comfort choice, with minimal scientific study on its direct impact on sleep quality.

Sleep Solo

Sleeping alone can sometimes improve sleep quality, especially for those who are light sleepers or have partners with different sleep habits or schedules. Solo sleep eliminates disturbances from a partner’s movements or sounds.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Choosing to sleep solo can involve significant adjustments in living arrangements and personal relationships, making it a more complex decision.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence

While individual preferences and experiences vary, some studies suggest that sleeping alone can improve sleep quality for certain people, though this is not universally applicable.

Maintain a Positive Attitude Toward Other People and Life

A positive attitude can reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to better sleep quality. Positivity involves focusing on gratitude, engaging in uplifting interactions, and adopting a hopeful outlook on life and relationships.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Cultivating a positive attitude involves consistent effort and mental discipline, which can be moderately challenging but highly beneficial for overall well-being.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While the general benefits of a positive outlook are supported, specific studies on its direct impact on sleep quality are less extensive. The relationship is more broadly associated with mental health and stress reduction.

Color Therapy for Bedroom

Color therapy for the bedroom involves choosing colors that are believed to promote relaxation and tranquility, such as soft blues, greens, or neutrals. The theory is that these colors can influence mood and create a more restful sleeping environment.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Implementing color therapy involves repainting or redecorating the bedroom, which requires some effort and planning.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
While there is some evidence suggesting that colors can impact mood and atmosphere, specific scientific studies linking color therapy in the bedroom to improved sleep quality are limited.

Try Polyphasic Sleep


Polyphasic sleep involves multiple short sleep periods throughout the day instead of one long sleep at night. While it can increase wakefulness, it’s challenging to maintain and may not provide the deep sleep needed for optimal health.

Simplicity:

Challenging
Adopting a polyphasic sleep schedule is highly complex, requiring significant lifestyle changes and strict adherence to a non-traditional sleeping pattern.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
Polyphasic sleep is more of a lifestyle choice with limited scientific support. Most research favors monophasic or biphasic sleep patterns for health and well-being.

Explore the 28-Hour Day Concept

The 28-hour day concept involves extending the wake cycle to 28 hours instead of the traditional 24. This unconventional schedule means staying awake longer and sleeping longer but less frequently. It’s often explored to maximize productivity or adapt to specific work schedules.

Simplicity:

Very Complex
Adopting a 28-hour day requires significant alterations to daily life and social schedules, making it highly complex and challenging to maintain.

Scientific Acceptance:

Little Evidence
The 28-hour day concept lacks scientific support and goes against the natural circadian rhythm. It is not recommended by sleep experts due to potential health risks and disruption of normal biological processes.

Parting Words

I hope this helps you sleep better. Try a few different ones, and experiment. If a few of them lightly help, it can lead to a significantly better night’s sleep!

About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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