Is there anything as luxurious as awaking from a perfect night of sleep, feeling well rested and ready to take on the day?  I think not.

Unfortunately, many people find achieving that high-quality sleep difficult and believe it’s just not for them, relying on caffeine and snacking to stay alert throughout the day.

But, by making some simple changes, your quality of sleep could improve drastically, and you could be giving that afternoon cup of coffee the boot.

1. Black Out Your Room

Most of us have already created bedrooms that are dark at night, but could it be darker? Research shows that even very small amounts of light can disrupt melatonin production, and thus, your sleep.

Go into your room after nightfall, turn off all the lights and look around.  Is there light peaking in from adjacent rooms? A temporary fix is to roll up a towel and slide underneath the door. Are there tiny sleep mode or LED indicator lights visible?

Grab the black electric tape and cover up those lights. Just cut tiny squares and black them out.

What about electric alarm clocks?  If you must have an electric clock, at the very least, turn it away from your bed so you can’t see it at night.

2. Cool it Down

Our bodies rest best in environments that are 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drop the temperature on your thermostat an hour before bed.  If you sleep in an upstairs bedroom, measure the temp in your room after you have done this.

Often, upstairs bedrooms don’t cool to the temperature set on the thermostat and that warmth could be keeping you from getting those high-quality zzz’s.

3. No Caffeine After 2 pm

Coffee is amazing…in the morning.  But, caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, so that afternoon pick-me-up could disrupt your sleep.

4. Honey Before Bed

Raw honey before bed can lead to a better night’s sleep.  How?  Research shows that just 1-2 tablespoons of honey can raise glycogen levels, helping to supply energy to your brain to lead all the cleaning house that needs to be done around your body.

5. Turn Off the TV/iPad/Computer at Least 1 Hour Before Bed

These days most of us spend hours in front of electronic devices, and that’s fine in normal waking hours.  But, our smartphones, laptops, computers, TVs, and tablets all emit melatonin-disrupting blue light.

So, shut them down at least an hour before bed and reach for an old-fashioned physical book instead.  Thought-provoking fiction is best.

Thanks so much for reading.  I’d love to know what works for you and what doesn’tDo you have any tips to share?  Please leave them in the comments – I can always use better sleep!


Valerie Soleil, B.A., LL.B.

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