How often do you roll out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to take on the day? And how often do you easily drift off to sleep at night – without tossing and turning or silently calculating how many hours of sleep you’ll get if you fall asleep right now?
If your answer to both questions isn’t “most of the time” it might be time for a sleep tune-up. Getting plenty of high-quality shut-eye is one of the most important – and often overlooked – pillars of health and happiness.
So today, we’re diving into why you might be struggling to fall asleep. Plus, I’m going to give you 6 of my favorite, science-backed, tried-and-true sleep hacks to help you get better sleep naturally. Let’s get started.
What Is the Main Cause of Insomnia?
Insomnia is when you experience persistent trouble falling or staying asleep. It can have a multitude of underlying causes, including:
- Past trauma
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Chronic pain
- Hormonal changes (such as menopause or low estrogen levels)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Environmental toxins (like exposure to toxic mold)
- Excess cortisol
- Certain medications
- Inconsistent work schedules
- Poor sleep habits (also known as sleep hygiene)
All of these potential underlying causes can cause a shift in the hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for making you sleepy and cycling you through all 4 stages of sleep. Oftentimes, there’s more than one root cause and addressing insomnia requires a big-picture approach.
Now let’s look at some ways you can naturally address insomnia and get blissful sleep each and every night.
Sleep Better by Creating a Sleep Schedule
Your body is designed to function on a set loop that roughly aligns with sunrise and sunset. This is called your circadian rhythm. While waking up at sunrise and going to bed at sunset isn’t realistic for most of us, working with your body’s natural sleep rhythm can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.
You can tap into your natural circadian rhythm by creating a simple pre-sleep wind-down routine along with a set sleep schedule. When you do this consistently you’re training your brain to associate certain habits with bedtime and get in the habit of going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day. This allows your hormones and neurotransmitters to establish a pattern that helps you get a more restful and consistent night’s sleep.1
Sleep Better by Being Mindful of What You Eat and Drink
The food and drinks you consume throughout the day – especially as bedtime approaches – can significantly impact your sleep. Here’s what you can do to improve your sleep:
- Avoid caffeine late in the day: While it can be tempting to have that afternoon latte, all that caffeine can stimulate your brain into the late hours of the night. This leaves you wide awake when it’s time to get some shut-eye.2 Stick with decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas later in the day to help your brain naturally wind down in the evening.
- Avoid alcohol before bed: While having an alcoholic beverage may make you feel drowsy and help you drift off to sleep, it actually disrupts your sleep pattern. While you sleep, your body processes the alcohol. This hinders your ability to get into REM sleep – the deep sleep your body needs in order to wake up feeling truly rested.3,4 So, if you plan on enjoying an alcoholic drink in the evening, try to keep it in moderation and avoid doing so right before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy meals right before bed: Having a full belly can definitely make you feel drowsy and ready for bed. But eating a heavy meal late at night right before you fall asleep can actually negatively affect the release of certain hormones like HGH and melatonin that are essential for a good night’s sleep.5,6
- Limit water intake before bed: Drinking too much water in the evenings can result in frequent trips to the bathroom to empty your bladder – making deep restful slumber a far-off dream. So it can be helpful to avoid consuming large amounts of fluids before bedtime to minimize bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
Keeping these habits in mind can go a long way in helping you get optimal sleep each and every night.
Sleep Better by Creating a Cozy and Restful Room
Your sleep environment can make or break a good night’s sleep. Taking steps to make your bedroom as cozy, comfy, and sleep-friendly as possible is one of the best ways to help you sleep like a baby. Here are some ways to optimize your sleep environment:7,8,9,10,11
- Fine-tune the temperature: Adjust the temperature in your bedroom so it’s cool enough to make you want to snuggle under the blankets, but not so cold that you’re uncomfortable.
- Block out any light: Light can stimulate your brain – especially the “blue” light emitted from electronics like cell phones, laptops, and televisions. So shut off lights and electronics, shut the curtains to block any outside light, and keep night lights to a minimum. For some people, sleeping in pitch black can be helpful, so it may be worth trying out an eye mask to completely block out light.
- Drown out any noise: Bothersome sounds can keep your brain from drifting off into deep sleep. So be sure to shut off the television, put your phone on silent, and close any doors and windows that might let in unnecessary noise. It can also be helpful to incorporate a fan or white noise to block out any sounds that may disturb you.
- Invest in a quality mattress and bedding: While a high-quality mattress and bedding may come with a more expensive price tag, it’s important to remember that it’s an investment in your health and quality of life. Crawling into a comfy bed that feels cozy, luxurious, and inviting is one of the most potent ways to enhance your sleep quality.
Taking the time to curate an environment that promotes restful slumber is foundational to getting quality sleep.
Sleep Better by Managing Stress
There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed, unable to quiet your anxious thoughts. While it’s impossible to entirely avoid stress, taking steps to “blow off steam” and process stress in day-to-day life is a powerful sleep hack.
Some ways to mitigate and process stress might include:
- Working out
- Spending time in nature
- Connecting with loved ones
- Practicing deep breathing
- Getting a massage
There’s no one-size-fits-all for managing stress, but incorporating several stress management strategies in your life can do wonders for your sleep.
Sleep Better With Natural Sleep Supplements
There’s certainly no substitute for healthy habits to naturally promote sleep. But sometimes, we can all use a little boost to help us get a good night’s sleep. Some of my favorite all-natural and potently effective sleep supplements are:
- Sleep Essentials: This powerful blend of all-natural amino acids and bioactive co-factors naturally amplify sleep-supporting hormones and neurotransmitters like GABA, melatonin, and serotonin – allowing you to more easily drift off into a peaceful slumber.
- Dream Powder: This innovative formula is designed to support the natural production and balance of neurotransmitters and hormones that induce sleep, promote relaxation, and combat stress – making it easier to unwind and gently fall into a state of deep sleep.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is one of the primary sleep hormones that keep your circadian rhythm on track and trigger your body to fall asleep. Supplementing melatonin before bed can complement your body’s natural production and help regulate your sleep patterns.
- ZenBiome Sleep: This cutting-edge formula includes specific strains of probiotics that directly target your gut-brain axis – the communication channel between your gut and brain. These friendly microorganisms populate your gut and release compounds that help mitigate stress, improve cognitive function, and improve sleep.
- Brain Mag: This potent form of magnesium is able to cross your blood-brain barrier – helping ease your brain into a more relaxed and sleepy state. This improves your overall sleep quality.
- Vibrant Blue Oils: These essential oil blends have been perfectly formulated to enhance their gentle sleep-inducing effects. Just a few drops on your skin or on your pillowcase can help you slip into a luxurious restful sleep.
While you can’t cover up poor lifestyle choices with supplements, these natural compounds can help you enhance your body’s natural sleep mechanisms. All of these supplements and more are available through my online store. You can even get 10% off your first order by clicking right here.
Sleep Better With Healing Frequencies
While you may not be able to see the frequencies emitted by different energetic fields, the effect they have on your body is very real. By understanding exactly how different electromagnetic frequencies impact your well-being and sleep, you can harness their power and use them to hack your way to better sleep and health.
Two of my favorite tools for tapping into the power of healing frequencies are:
Higher Dose PEMF Mats:
These nature-inspired mats match the natural healing frequencies found in nature. With adjustable frequency settings, these mats can be calibrated to relax and ground you, perfectly priming your body for optimal sleep. Personally I improved my deep sleep by 30% by using Level 1 20min before bedtime.
To learn more about the impressive healing properties of Higher Dose PEMF Mats or to grab your own, you can head over and check out my article How to Supercharge Your Health With PEMF Therapy. You can even get $75 off your mat with the code JILL75 by clicking right here.
Somavedic devices are designed on the principle of the controlled release of energy from precious and semi-precious stones. These beautiful devices create a coherent, life-supporting field that helps mitigate the harmful effects of EMF radiation while restoring your body back to its natural equilibrium. Somavedic devices have been clinically proven to positively improve both length and quality of sleep. Click here to get your own Somavedic device for 10% off with the code drjill.
Set Yourself up for Sleep Success
While there’s no cookie-cutter solution to improve your sleep – or your overall health for that matter – the tips outlined in this article can help you hack your way to better sleep. If your sleep habits aren’t all that great right now, making all of these changes can feel overwhelming. So instead of implementing them all at once, try slowly incorporating these steps into your daily routine, one at a time. Tiny adjustments over time add up in a big way when it comes to improving your sleep and well-being.
If you enjoyed this article and want to get more tips and resources to help you optimize your health, head over, and check out my blog. And if you want to take it to the next level, I encourage you to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get my very best tips and resources delivered straight to your inbox. All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Were you surprised to learn about any of these sleep hacks? What sleep tips work best for you? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!
- Investigating the interaction between the homeostatic and circadian processes of sleep-wake regulation for the prediction of waking neurobehavioural performance – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Ethanol decreases nocturnal plasma levels of thyrotropin and growth hormone but not those of thyroid hormones or prolactin in man – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Ethanol inhibits melatonin secretion in healthy volunteers in a dose-dependent randomized double blind cross-over study – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Effect of low and high glycaemic index drink on sleep pattern in children – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Night eating syndrome: a critical review of the literature – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Relative and combined effects of heat and noise exposure on sleep in humans – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Can modifications to the bedroom environment improve the sleep of new parents? Two randomized controlled trials – PubMed (nih.gov)
- The influence of bed firmness on sleep quality – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans (nih.gov)
- The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Blue-enriched white light in the workplace improves self-reported alertness, performance and sleep quality – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Alleviation of sleep maintenance insomnia with timed exposure to bright light – PubMed (nih.gov)
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.