Seity Collective Wellbeing made simple

12th july 2022

How to hack your sleep - 10 proven tips for a better night's rest


Sleep is the most important process the body performs. It underlies every other physiological process, helps repair tissues, nourishes the organs, and refreshes the brain. When you get great sleep, you likely don’t think about the benefits as much, because you feel so physically and mentally restored that you go about your day with ease.

One night of bad sleep, though, is all it takes to experience side effects.

Perhaps you’ve only recently begun to struggle with sleep, or maybe you’ve wrestled with insomnia for years. Whatever the case may be, here are 10 science-supported tips to help you have better sleep.


1. Exercise Daily

The benefits of routine exercise aren’t limited to your waking hours. Routine exercise regulates hormonal production, including the key sleep hormone, melatonin.


Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes each day can help release pent-up stress and help the mind naturally grow sleepier in the evening. This is especially true if you spend the majority of your day sat at a desk.


Just be mindful of when you exercise. Avoid any rigorous physical activity at least 3 hours before bed. Otherwise, this can lead to an adverse effect that makes it harder for you to fall asleep.


2. Keep a Routine Schedule

It may be tempting to have a lie in on the weekends, but avoid staying in bed for hours beyond your usual waking time to improve sleep health. This can throw off your body’s natural sleep rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and wake up the next day.

Just as infants need a consistent sleep schedule for optimal health, adults should follow a steady pattern for the best sleep quality.


3. Have a Wind-down Routine

Every night before bed, perform the same activities to let your brain and body know it’s time to start winding down. It takes a consistent pattern for your brain to associate any routine with a physiological state like sleep, but it can be done.

It’s best to do gentle, quiet activities that aid the body’s natural sleep process. For example, a 10-minute evening stretch routine can loosen the muscles, release tension, and prepare your body to drift off peacefully.

You may also try things that help you settle into a more restful state of mind, such as:

  • Reading a relaxing book
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga


4. Nap Wisely

Naps are wonderful for you, but only in moderation. Over-sleeping can be equally harmful because it causes your body to “skip over” its natural rhythm. So, if you need some shut-eye in the middle of the day, limit your nap to no more than 20 minutes.

Also, avoid taking naps in the early evening. This can put your body into a more alert state throughout the night. Instead, keep short naps reserved for the early afternoon. You may swap out your usual coffee for a 15-minute snooze.


5. Embrace Natural Light

Being in artificial lighting all day can negatively affect the body’s natural process, which is linked closely to light. Natural lighting is always key, so start your day with a dose of sunlight, and work by a window if you can.

Take a short walk on your breaks, or enjoy lunch outside if the weather permits. Giving your body as much natural light exposure as possible can help regulate its physiology.

At night, however, make sure you follow the same rule. Because it’s dark outside, you should limit any bright, artificial lights indoors. This includes the sleep-deterring blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, and other electronic devices.

6. Try Reflexology

Reflexology is an alternative medicine that dates back thousands of years. Focusing on pressure points in the feet and hands, this practice can help balance energy, release tension, and promote healing and restfulness.

Each pressure point in the hands and feet correspond to different parts of the body. By applying a certain amount of pressure for a particular period of time, the reflexologist can help you improve your sleep by encouraging hormone production and releasing stress.

You can discuss your exact needs with a trained reflexologist to customise your therapy session. Each practise is personal to treat the individual’s health.


7. Explore Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM is one of the world’s oldest practises. Although it is not a substitute for medical care, it can be a complimentary treatment for sleep problems, like insomnia. TCM can treat a number of issues, ranging from mental health struggles to neck and back pain through herbal remedies, acupuncture, and massages.

You should only ever try TCM with the help of a licensed TCM practitioner. Although the benefits of TCM for sleep can be substantial, there are potential side effects to TCM that could risk your health. For this reason, you should only explore TCM therapy with a professional’s guidance.


8. Treat Your Anxiety

Research reveals that anxiety can affect rapid eye movement (REM), the deepest stage of sleep. As a result, people with underlying anxiety may experience frequent waking, intense dreams, or even nightmares that cause them to wake up and feel more anxious.

Although worries are natural, anxiety can also be its own mental health disorder. The good news is that anxiety is highly treatable, and there are many excellent psychotherapists who can help you overcome your struggles.

You can also explore tips for anxiety and other alternative therapies, such as Reiki, to begin healing your body from the energetic level.


9. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Although it may make you drowsy, alcohol negatively impacts sleep quality in a number of ways. First, it disrupts sleep patterns throughout the night. This leads to more frequent wakings and tossing and turning.

Second, alcohol can decrease the body’s production of the human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a vital role in your circadian rhythm.



10. Take a Nightly Bath or Shower

Warm water releases muscle tension, improves blood flow, and helps heat escape the body more easily. Because your body needs to drop its temperature slightly to enter a deep sleep, preparing for bed with a warm bath or shower can help improve your overall sleep quality.

For the best results, try to bathe or shower around 90 minutes before bedtime. You may also decide to give yourself a body scrub — this practise can also promote better circulation while exfoliating your skin.