7 Science-Backed Tips to Help You Sleep Better

WRITTEN BY Allie Flinn

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Seven ways to get a more restful night of beauty sleep.

Sleep Better

Ah, the elusive “good night’s sleep.” By now, we’re all aware that it’s essential for living a healthy lifestyle, but it can be oh-so-tempting to watch just one – okay, three – more episodes of “House of Cards.”

Suddenly, you’re exhausted every morning – like, “six cups of coffee and nothing” tired – and you have trouble falling asleep at night. Sound familiar? It’s time for a wake-up call. When you don’t get enough sleep, it messes with your overall health, memory, and ability to lose weight.  And since sleep is when your body is in repair-mode, lack of sleep messes up your skin (one study even found that poor sleepers showed more visible signs of aging, like fine lines). [1]

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists have pinpointed a few easy lifestyle changes that can have a major impact on the quality of your sleep. Keep reading to find out what to do to sleep better tonight!

Put Socks On

Sleep Better - Wear Socks - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

Research shows that the more the blood vessels in your hands and feet dilate (called vasodilation), the faster you fall asleep. [2] So how do you facilitate vasodilation? Put on some socks. This helps optimize your body temperature for sleeping, because it helps with blood flow and heat distribution that signals to your brain that it’s time to snooze.

Keep a “Worry Journal”

Sleep Better - Journal - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

Stress makes it hard to turn your brain off and relax. It’s a vicious cycle, because if you don’t get enough sleep your body produces more stress hormones. [3] To combat this, try keeping a “worry journal.” It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Designate a notebook as your journal, then write down the things that are causing you anxiety before you go to bed. You can also write down the ideas you have to help resolve those issues. Studies have shown that writing things down helps clear them out of your brain, which can help when your brain obsesses over stressors.   

Turn Down the Temperature

Sleep Better - Cool Temperature - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

There is an optimal temperature for sleeping, and it’s between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. [4] When you get tired, your internal temperature drops. A cool environment can help trigger a sleepy response in your brain. Conversely, if your room is too hot it can mess with your body’s temperature regulation and make for some seriously restless sleep. Some studies have even linked insomnia to poor temperature regulation in the body. [5]

Get Your Exercise In

Sleep Better - Exercise - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

Exercise has been proven to help people sleep better at night and feel more alert during the day. [6] Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (that’s only two and a half hours!).

And it doesn’t matter what time of day you work out, says science. Exercise increases your core temperature and tells your body to release adrenaline; people believed this make it hard to wind down. But new research suggests that late-night exercise doesn’t upset your sleep quality. [7] (So no excuse to skip your after-work workout). One poll even found that 83 percent of people who exercised said they slept better than people who didn’t work out at all. [8]

However, if you find that you feel wired when you work out at night, listen to your body and give yourself a pad of a three to four hours between your workout and your bedtime to let your body calm down.

Stick to a Schedule

Sleep Better - Stay on Schedule - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

 We know, we know: Weekends are for binge-watching “Luke Cage.” But in the name of better sleep, you’ve got to learn when to cut yourself off. Research shows that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day help you get a more restful night of sleep. Why? It helps keep your body’s sleep cycles (aka circadian system) functioning smoothly.

Set the Mood

Sleep Better - Lavender Aromatherapy - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

A lavender aromatherapy oil, like This Works Deep Sleep Night Oil, will help create a relaxing, stress-free environment for sleep. Smelling lavender oil decreases “autonomic arousal” – in non-science terms, this means inhaling it helps decrease your blood pressure and heart rate. [9] One study found that people slept more deeply after sniffing lavender oil than those who sniffed distilled water. [10] 

Try a Supplement

Sleep Better - Melatonin - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

Try melatonin. It’s a natural hormone that our bodies produce that helps us sleep. Typically, your brain releases more melatonin at night. [11] Taking a supplement, like Beauty zzZz, can help reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and make you feel more alert during the day. [12] It’s also amazing if you have jet lag or work night shifts, because it can help regulate a disrupted circadian rhythm. [13]

Sources

1. Esteé Lauder Clinical Trial Finds Link between Sleep Deprivation and Skin Aging.
2.  Physiology: warm feet promote the rapid onset of sleep
3. Sleep & Stress
4. The Ideal Temperature for Sleep
5. The relationship between insomnia and body temperatures
6. Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep
7. Effects of vigorous late-night exercise on sleep quality and cardiac autonomic activity
8. National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll
9. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity.
10. An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women
11. Melatonin for Treatment of Sleep Disorders: Summary
12. Melatonin
13. Melatonin for Treatment of Sleep Disorders

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