You struggle with insomnia for a very long time.
You dread the morning when you have to drag your tired body to work.
You regret the countless times you inexplicably lashed out at your family and friends.
You have tried countless insomnia treatments unsuccessfully.
You are frustrated, tired, and angry with yourself.
You are worried and wondering if you should see a doctor. Yet you are afraid that the doctor might diagnose you with sleep apnea or something worse.
You wish you could sleep soundly and have pleasant dreams at night again.
The “HEDEN” Tips For a Good Night Sleep
You are not alone.
I’d suffered from acute insomnia. I’d endured the same problems. I’d felt the same hopelessness.
The quest of overcoming insomnia lead me to unearth several science-backed solutions. These solutions are nicknamed the HEDEN Tips — tips involving Habits, Environment, Diet, Exercise, and Nature.
Let’s dive into the HEDEN Tips for your good night sleep:
Habits — Friends or Foes
Nothing beats cultivating good habits to get regular good sleep at night.
That also means getting rid of bad habits which might prevent you from a blissful night of rest.
- Avoid taking naps in the day. That prevents you from sleeping soundly at night. Decide your preferred sleeping and waking hours with a good 7–8 hours of in-between. Then try to sleep and wake up at the set timing.
- Try to cultivate a sleeping habit and let your subconscious take over. You may not be able to achieve it immediately as habits require time to take root. Perseverance is key.
- Avoid late-night meals. Your body needs to rest at night. Scientific studies have shown that late-night meals may inhibit the release of Human Growth Hormones (“HGH”) and melatonin. These substances are essential for sleeping well at night.
- Engage in relaxing activities one hour before your determined bedtime. There is absolutely no way you can doze off with a tense body and an active mind. Cultivate a habit that allows you to relax at least an hour before your designated bedtime. Just make sure you get to bed when you are sleepy, as you might even doze off before you hit your bed.
- Take a relaxing bath 30–90 minutes before bed. A scientific study has found bathing before sleep to enhance the quality of your sleep. A hot shower is recommended. I find it very relaxing.
- Get as much natural sunlight and bright light exposure during the day. Science says that at least 2 hours of bright light exposure in the day can improve sleep efficiency by at least 73%.
- Quit smoking. Non-smokers are 4 times more likely to get a good night’s sleep compared to smokers. Smoking can lead to sleep apnea and breathing disorders such as asthma, disrupting sleep.
Environment — Get It Right, Man!
8. Use your bed for sleeping only. Make sure your mind associates your bed with having a good night’s sleep and nothing else.
Don’t watch TV or videos on your bed. Don’t bring your work on your bed. Don’t eat, drink, or read on your bed.
Create an environment where Bed is associated in your mind to Sleep.
9. Invest in a comfortable bed, mattress, pillow, and blanket. You want to sleep well, you need the right bedding. You must get this right, accordingly to scientific studies. It will save you a lot of unnecessary aches and pains.
10. Optimize your bedroom temperature to around 70°F (20°C). Science has shown that having an optimal bedroom temperature is important to your quality of sleep.
11. Customize your sleeping environment to be more conducive. I like the sound of moving water as I find it soothing and inducive for sleeping. I keep a small indoor fountain in my bedroom.
My son likes to have soft music to lull him to sleep at night. He turns the radio on to soft music just before going to bed.
What helps you to sleep? Improvise and customize your sleeping environment to make it more conducive to have a good night’s sleep.
12. Avoid blue light exposure in the evening. If you are frequently using your smartphone or using your computer in the evening, that might be one of the factors affecting your sleep at night. These electronic devices emit a large amount of blue light which can negatively impede your sleep.
If you must use them in the evenings, try to wear glasses or download apps to reduce your exposure to blue light.
Diet — Eat Right, Sleep Tight
14. Avoid drinking any liquids 1 hour before bed. This avoids excessive urination during the night. The medical term is nocturia and can be avoided by simply avoiding drinking water before bed.
15. Avoid caffeine late in the day. Caffeine is good to start your day, but scientific studies suggest avoiding it 6 hours before your designated bedtime.
16. Take Edible Bird’s Nest on an empty stomach just before bed. Edible Bird’s Nest is rich in essential amino acids. In particular, Glycine and L-theanine are scientifically proven to relax the body and induce sleep. Learn more about this health elixir if you are a health-conscious person.
17. Take Lavender as a supplement before bed. Science has proven that Lavender oil when ingested improves sleep quality noticeably.
18. Take Melatonin supplement before bed. Melatonin is a more easily available supplement often used to treat insomnia. Scientific studies confirm the effectiveness of Melatonin supplement without any adverse side effects.
19. Take Ginkgo biloba as a supplement before bed. This is a natural herb that has been scientifically proven to be effective in improving the quality of sleep. You can take 200mg around 30 minutes before going to bed.
Although several supplements are recommended above, you don’t need to eat all of them at once. Try them out to determine those that are most effective for you and stick to them. My personal favorite is the Edible Bird’s Nest as it’s a prized delicacy with several highly desirable health benefits.
20. Avoid drinking alcohol at night. Studies have shown that alcohol increases sleep apnea and oxygen desaturation. Excessive consumption of alcohol at night can lead to snoring and increased risks of sleep apnea.
Exercise — Exercises Your Way To Sleep
21. Practice the simple relaxation exercise to help you sleep. This exercise recommended by the National Sleep Foundation helps you to relax and sleep better.
22. Do regular muscle-building exercises. Shoulder presses, weight lifting, sit-ups, and push-ups are all suitable. Choose your pick.
Strength building not only improves your health but also helps you to sleep better.
23. Practise Yoga relaxing poses and stretches, with the accompanying breathing exercises. After 8 weeks of regular daily yoga, practitioners are known to fall asleep faster. The length of their sleep also increases.
24. Try this tensing and relaxing exercise. This is my favorite exercise as it is simple and quick.
Start from your feet. Tense the muscles in your feet for 10 seconds and then relax slowly. Repeat with your calves, your thighs, and then your buttocks to complete the lower half of your body.
Repeat the tensing and relaxing with the lower abdomen, followed by your chest, your forearms, your upper arms, your neck, and finally your head and face.
Then tense and relax your whole body for 3 cycles.
This simple exercise removes all tension out of your body and makes it conducive for you to fall asleep.
25. Try the 4–7–8 breathing exercise. This is a popular breathing exercise. It involves the following routine:
- Take a deep breath with 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale slowly over 8 seconds
The main purpose of this exercise is to calm the mind and reduce your heart rate, preparing your body for restful sleep.
Nature — Let Mother Nature Caress You to Sleep
26. Spend at least 2 hours a week in nature. Studies have shown that spending time with nature helps improve health and well-being. It is better to cure the root of the problem for a long term solution.
Nature has a soothing effect on the mind. The mind controls the body. With a healthy mind and body, sleep will come naturally.
27. Have more sex with your partner (or yourself). I am not making this up. Nature has designed human bodies this way. Check out this article with all the scientific evidence.
So don’t blame your partner for falling asleep right after sex. It’s nature’s fault.
Have a good night’s sleep!
Your Dreams Will Come True
You are feeling tired, frustrated, and irritable from lack of sound sleep at night.
This situation does not need to continue. You can take action with a comprehensive plan to overcome it.
Try out the HEDEN Tips to get a good night’s sleep — and stick to the tips which work best for you.
You may not see immediate results, but if you persevere, you’ll soon be peacefully dreaming through the night.
You’ll feel fresh, energetic, and happy in the day. You’ll be more productive and effective at work. You’ll enjoy quality time with your loved ones.
Start applying the Heden Tips.
You’ll soon overcome insomnia and have sweet dreams at night.