5 Ways to Sleep Better at Night

Written By: Women & Infants Hospital on February 21, 2024

Use These 5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene 

In a world that often glorifies hustle and bustle, and pressures women to do it all - the importance of quality sleep cannot be overstated. A lack of sleep can have a major impact on your mental and physical health.

When it comes to quality sleep, women tend to struggle more than men. According to a study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, women are nearly twice as likely as men to say they don’t get enough sleep. Women are also more likely to suffer from insomnia.

So, we are breaking down five ways women can get a better night’s sleep so they can wake up ready to take on the world.

Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Before we get into how to improve your sleep hygiene, it’s important to recognize what is at stake if you aren’t sleeping well. We all know a lack of sleep can cause us to lose focus and make us irritable, but there are more series consequences – like major mistakes and tragic accidents.

Sleep deficiency has also been linked to chronic health problems, including:
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Depression

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to be sure you’re getting enough sleep.

1.    Stick to a Schedule
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so keep that in mind when you decide what time to go to bed and wake up. For example, if you must be up by 6 a.m., get to sleep no later than 11 p.m. 

Also, try and stick to that schedule every day – even on weekends or vacations. Being consistent helps you to get the proper amount of sleep, feel well-rested, and avoid tossing and turning at night.

2.    Set the Mood
Make sure your room is set up for a successful night’s sleep.  Depending on your preferences, this may include: 

  • Room-darkening curtains
  • Total quiet
  • White noise
  • Cool temperature
  • Comfortable bedding

3.    Stop Scrolling
This is a tough one for most of us – but limiting screen time before bed can promote a better night’s sleep. Studies have shown that scrolling through your phone or computer before bed can suppress the production of melatonin in your body – thus making it more difficult to fall asleep!

Limiting light exposure, in general, can also help.  
Try turning off any electronic devices at least 30 minutes before heading to bed. 

4.     Consume with Caution
While some people can have a cup of coffee right before bed and sleep just fine – that may not be the case for you. So, if your sleep quality is suffering, try cutting out caffeine 2-3 hours before bedtime.

Nicotine and alcohol can also negatively impact sleep. Experts recommend avoiding alcohol for at least four hours before bed.  As for cigarettes, you may think they relax you, but nicotine is a stimulant and can make it harder for you to fall and stay asleep. While quitting is recommended, avoiding smoking at least two hours before bed is the next best option.

5.    Healthy Life, Healthy Sleep
Diet and exercise don’t just help you maintain a healthy weight – they can also improve your quality of sleep.

What and how much you eat is important because being overweight can cause sleep issues like snoring or sleep apnea. However, when you eat can also impact sleep.  Be sure to give your body time to digest by avoiding large meals 2-3 hours before bed (a small snack is fine). 

Moving your body helps you maintain a healthy weight and get your Zs.  Researchers have found exercise can stabilize your mood and decompress your mind which can help you fall asleep faster. While any movement throughout the day is good, try to get in moderate exercise a few days a week. Also, avoid workouts close to your bedtime. 

When to Seek Help
If you’ve tried different tactics to improve your sleep quality, but still don’t feel well-rested in the morning, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or chronic insomnia. If this is the case – be sure to make an appointment with a physician.  

Experts in the field of sleep can help you make simple changes that impact your sleep health and ensure you’re not suffering from any disorders, so you can prioritize your health to sleep and live well. 

To find a provider, visit: https://www.carenewengland.org/provider-finder


Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not serve as medical advice, consultation, or diagnosis.  If you have a medical concern, please consult your healthcare provider, or seek immediate medical treatment.