Sure, there’s lots of sleep advice out there. But we wanted to find out which sleep tips have actually been studied and proven by sleep scientists. By incorporating these six science-backed sleep hacks into your daily routine, you may be able to improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Practise good sleep hygiene
And when we say practise, we mean it in both senses. Yes, good sleep hygiene involves establishing a consistent sleep schedule (a practice). According to research by the National Sleep Foundation in 2021, good sleep hygiene practices can improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of developing a sleep disorder. But it also requires constant practise to make the habit part of your life.
Practice yoga or meditation
According to 2020 research by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, showed that meditation and yoga reduce stress, support relaxation, and improve sleep quality. Incorporating a yoga or meditation practice into your bedtime routine can prepare both the mind and body for sleep – making these techniques doubly effective.
Add essential oils
In 2014, Angela Lillehei and Linda Halcon reviewed 15 quantitative studies and concluded that aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender and chamomile can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia. Try adding a few drops of essential oils to a diffuser or warm Epsom salts bath before bed to help you relax.
Try relaxation techniques
In 2020, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found relaxation techniques including deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation reduce stress and improve sleep quality. These simple techniques are easy to practise before bed to promote relaxation and prepare the body for sleep.
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders. The National Sleep Foundation found in 2021 that exercise is a key element in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, promoting relaxation, and reducing stress to support better sleep.
Cut caffeine and alcohol
This last tip is hardly a revelation. Separate studies by Kendzerska et al and Conroy et al found that limiting caffeine and alcohol – especially before bed – can improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol to protect your natural sleep-wake cycle.