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How to sleep better – 10 ways to get good sleep


Sleep, the seriously underrated, most essential, lifestyle habit that we need in our life.

How to get a good night’s sleep? I’m sure our caveman / cavewoman ancestors would think this to be the last of our problems. I think they would be disappointed in us for even asking how to sleep better.

Some of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep. This means that the following day, we are not productive with slow cognitive function.

Others just couldn’t care less about sleep. Who needs sleep when you could instead be living your life or working to achieve your goals?


Here’s the thing though:

Sleep is just as important as eating, breathing, exercising & drinking water.


Scientists are now coming to understand the importance of sleep. They are realising that it is during sleep that our body cleans and removes toxins especially from the brain.

When we sleep, cerebrospinal fluid washes in and out throughout the brain, removing waste and toxins. This cannot happen when we are awake.

If this waste/toxins are not removed, our cognitive function becomes slow, reflexes are slower, we quickly become irritable – I’m sure you know how sluggish and foggy brained you feel without a good night’s sleep.

However, slow cognitive function is not the worst part. When you lose sleep on a regular basis and it becomes chronic insomnia, the waste and toxins that are not being cleared out begin to build up within your brain. Over time, these prevent neurons from properly communicating and hence brain disease occurs.

Brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease have been found to contain insoluble protein which has built up over time due to such toxins.


Without good sleep, you put yourself at risk of slow cognitive function and brain disease.


There are many other problems that can occur from lack of sleep such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks
  • Obesity
  • Low sex drive
  • Low immunity and many more..


Hopefully, I’ve convinced those who were sceptical about the importance of sleep that it is important.

The next question then is, how to get a good night’s sleep?





I think I’m fully qualified (or atleast partially qualified – and I’m just kidding) to answer this question because I have suffered from sleep issues for as long as I can remember.

I am aware of the things that prevent me from sleeping well at night.

I am also aware of some things that help me sleep better at night.

There are also some suggestions that I’ve come across which I’m not sure whether they help me sleep better or not, but science says they can help, so I’ll highlight these as well.

I’ll confess, I still struggle with sleeping well. At times, it’s purely psychological. But the important thing is to make an effort to sleep well.



Have a fixed sleeping time


This, I’ve found, is one of the most important things that either makes or breaks my sleep.

When you have a fixed time at which you wake up and at which you sleep, the brain gets used to this.

If you sleep at 11pm, the brain goes on autopilot and as soon as it hits 11pm, you feel sleepy. When you wake up at 7am, your eyes will automatically open at this time.

You must try as much as possible to follow these timings.

When you sleep later, the brain gets confused. The following day, it will believe your sleeping time is now later. (This is what I believe anyway).

When you decide to sleep in, the brain also gets confused and thinks your waking time is now later.

I know that we have been taught that weekends are for sleeping in, and sometimes you are just so tired that you want to sleep in.

But as long as you sleep and wake up at the same times everyday, ensuring you get 6-8 hours of sleep, you will not need to sleep in.

Some days you may feel the urge to sleep later, maybe you’re stressed, maybe you are procrastinating, don’t do it. Make sure you force yourself to go to bed on time. This takes discipline.


Avoid drinking tea / coffee after 12 noon


I think there are two types of people in this world. Those who stay awake after drinking a caffeinated beverage such as tea/coffee and then those who fall asleep after drinking a caffeinated beverage.

Crazy, right? We all think caffeine helps us stay awake but I actually know people who fall asleep after consuming it.

I have a theory for this and excuse the geekiness in me, I believe the way caffeine works follows a normal distribution.

When we first start consuming caffeine, it keeps us alert. The more caffeine we consume, the more alert and awake we become.

But then we reach a top threshold. Our body gets so used to consuming so much caffeine that it no longer works the way it used to. Following this, the more caffeine we consume, it probably makes us less alert. (I am probably very wrong with my theory but I thought I would share it anyway).


Anyway, getting back to the important point of sleep.

If possible, avoid caffeinated drinks at all costs or just consume them now and then. Also, try to consume them before 12 noon.

Do not let your body get addicted to them.

In order to sleep well, your body and brain need to be relaxed. They should not be alert or go into overdrive.

Drinking caffeinated drinks / beverages makes it harder for your brain to feel relaxed and sleep well.

And this only works for people like me for whom caffeine actually wakes us up. I’m not sure about those whom it puts to sleep!

Also, some products such as cocoa contain caffeine, so be wary when having chocolate loaded desserts at night.


Calm your mind atleast half an hour before going to bed


I will confess that I fail to follow this important step which is why sometimes I lose sleep.

In order to sleep well, the mind needs to be relaxed.

You need to avoid doing anything that will make you more alert such as exercising, watching exciting netflix dramas or thinking about your worries in life – whether it is to do with work or your personal life.

You need to set up a relaxed routine atleast half an hour before going to bed. Anything else that you need to do e.g. planning your work day etc. do it before this time.

I tend to wind down in this half an hour with these steps:

  • Listen to calming music
  • Flossing
  • Brushing
  • Applying olive or coconut oil and massaging my face (you can massage your head to relax instead)
  • Spend a few minutes meditating before going to bed thinking about what I am grateful for ( but don’t overthink it either)

I guess you could call it selfcare and it also helps me wind down.


Exercise, Work hard and Play hard


I have found that on the days when:

I’m ultra productive with work

I exercise well

And make time to enjoy life


I sleep really well.


These three things above; exercise, work and play are all essential for what I call a productive day.

The key is to get tired.

When I get tired, I just want to go to bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep. I don’t even need to make an effort to sleep well.


Sometimes, I may work all day spending time at the computer and not getting any exercise. While my mind may be tired, my body may not. On such days, I may lose sleep.

So make the most of your life, ensure your body gets movement and it will greatly increase the chance of good sleep.


Take an Ashwagandha latte


Ashwagandha powder is thought to relieve stress, calm the senses and promote good sleep. You can read more about its benefits by clicking here.

To prepare an ashwagandha latte, simmer 1/2 tsp of ashwagandha powder in 1 cup of milk over low heat for 15 minutes. Add sugar (or honey/maple syrup/jaggery) and a pinch of nutmeg/cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, ginger powder and stir well. Turn off heat. You can also add a bit of ghee.

The Ashwagandha latte can be taken in the night before going to bed for good sleep and stress relief.


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It may be psychological


I have gone an entire month without getting good sleep.

Why? Because I ask myself whether I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Then I can’t sleep because I keep asking myself why I can’t sleep.

I look at the time constantly throughout the night wondering when I’ll sleep.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Yes, this does happen. Even if you do everything you can to get good sleep.

On a subconscious level, you are telling your brain that it will be difficult to sleep tonight and so that’s what you get.


This is a very difficult situation to get out of and I try not to get into it in the first place.

When you find yourself in such a situation, try to get very tired. Exercise, go for a walk, do whatever you must to get your body tired so that your mind does not have a chance to think about whether you’ll sleep tonight or not.


Reduce your stress / meditate


This is difficult to do but it is one of the key reasons as to why we lose sleep.

When you are stressed, you can constantly thinking and worrying.

This means that your brain is always on overdrive and you are not giving it a moment to rest.


When you catch yourself constantly worrying and stressing, remind yourself that worrying is not going to solve the problem and if anything it will cause you harm such as losing sleep as well as oxidative stress that will make you age faster!

When you stress, think about solutions.


Meditating, yoga, walking in the park, spending time in nature will all help you cut down on your stress and devise solutions.


Do not take daytime naps


I have found that if I every take a nap during the day, I struggle to sleep at night.

I think napping during the day;

  1. confuses the brain regarding your sleeping times
  2. Reduces the amount of sleep you need and hence you struggle to sleep at night (we only need 6-8 hours)

As per my first point, make it a habit to set a fixed sleeping time and waking time and avoid any naps in between,


Drink a glass of hot milk with honey


So, I’ve been told that drinking hot milk with a sweetener in the night helps you sleep.


I did do research on this and it turns out that drinking warm milk does help you sleep.

It has tryptophan that improves mood and sleep.

Tryptophan helps in the production of serotonin which improves mood.

Tryptophan also helps in the production of melatonin which is thought to induce sleep.

It also has magnesium which improves sleep quality.


Honestly, I’m not sure if this helps me. But it is worth trying out if you are not vegan.

If you are vegan, you can try drinking relaxing herbal teas such as chamomile which are also thought to be calming.


Don’t overeat or snack just before bedtime


When I have had a large dinner or I snack wildly just before going to bed, I struggle to sleep.

The food is just stuck in my stomach and I feel lethargic.

Not to mention the digestive juices that keep flowing back and forth making strange noises.


Always try to have an early dinner and avoid excessing snacking before going to bed.

This, I find enables me to sleep better.


Be happy and be grateful


Finally, I would suggest that the best way to get sleep is to be content.

No matter what your life is, appreciate and be grateful for what you have.


When things go wrong, understand that this is part of life and think of ways to move forward.


Realise that life is short and it will pass you by if you spend all your days worrying and being stressed.


Meet your friends, love your family and do all the things that make you happy.


Work hard, you need a reason for being. Find that purpose in your life to keep you motivated and keep going to lead a fulfilling life.


When you are happy, content and grateful, I don’t see why you would struggle to sleep 🙂


10 ways to get better sleep


I hope you find this article on how to get good sleep useful. I’ve written it based on my experiences and what helps me sleep better.

I’m sure there are many other ways out there on how to sleep better from eating pills to lifestyle changes and habits, but these 10 natural ways to get good sleep have been very useful to me.

If you know of other ways to sleep better, do comment below. I would love to hear from you!


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