The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults need seven to nine hours of sleep during every 24 hour period in order to maintain optimal health and wellness. If this sounds unattainable, you might want to reconsider your priorities when it comes to your health. The effects of prolonged sleep deprivation are extremely detrimental. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the consequences of constantly getting too little sleep range from an increased risk of depression to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and dementia. Maybe you’re trying in earnest to ensure you get enough sleep, but you still can’t seem to sleep long enough … even when you do give yourself adequate time to rest. Whatever the cause behind your sleep deprivation, it’s time to look into how to sleep longer. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
How to Sleep Longer: 8 Go-To Tips
1. Check your bedroom temperature
How hot or cold your sleeping environment is can play a big role in how long and how well you sleep. Studies show that an overheated bedroom can decrease REM sleep and increase wakefulness levels during the night. Check your thermostat, open your window, turn on your fan, or do whatever you can to make your bedroom temperature as close to 70°F (20°C) as possible — this being what is hypothesized to be the most comfortable sleeping temperature for most people.
2. Take a nice hot bath
Studies link taking a hot bath about 90 minutes before bedtime to significantly improved overall sleep quality. So go ahead, draw a bath when bedtime is coming nigh, and don’t skimp on the bubbles!
3. Exercise often, but not too close to bedtime
When it comes to how to sleep longer, some studies have demonstrated that consistent exercise can nearly halve the amount of time it takes to fall asleep at night (giving you more time to rest overall). But because exercise can be stimulating, raising your heart rate, it’s important to exercise earlier in the day rather than too close to when it’s time to sleep.
4. Nix the big glass of water just before bed
Try not to drink any fluids at least an hour or two before going to bed. Nocturia is the medical term for needing to urinate too often during the night. Having to get up to urinate is one sure way to negatively affect the longevity of your sleep, and it’s no surprise studies show nocturnia negatively affects sleep quality. It’s also wise to try to use the bathroom just before going to sleep.
5. Listen to relaxing sleep sounds
Immersing yourself in the right soundscape as you sleep is one major answer to the question of how to sleep longer. Science has linked sounds such as white noise and pentatonic notes to enhanced sleep quality and reduced stress and anxiety. A new technological sound engine called Endel generates scientifically-proven, sleep-enhancing soundscapes (composed with pentatonic notes and sound-masking sounds) to help people sleep. You can now benefit from the soothing and effective sleep sounds of Endel in the form of five recently-released sleep albums. These albums, each an hour in length, are now available across streaming services.
To give Endel’s sleep albums a listen, click the “play” button below and preview the Sleep: Clear Night, Cloudy Night, Rainy Night, Foggy Morning, and Cloudy Afternoon playlists. Choose “listen” in the top right corner if you wish to view and/or download the full album via your preferred streaming service.
Clear Night Playlist Preview
Cloudy Night Playlist Preview
Rainy Night Playlist Preview
Foggy Morning Playlist Preview
Cloudy Afternoon Playlist Preview
6. Cut out alcohol
Even downing a couple of drinks a night can seriously — and negatively — affect your sleep quality. For one thing, studies show that alcohol greatly increases chances of snoring and sleep apnea. Studies also demonstrate another way alcohol significantly depreciates sleep quality is through altering nighttime melatonin production (which plays a crucial role in our body’s sleep/wake cycle). If you truly want to know how to sleep longer, consider trading that end-of-the-day alcoholic beverage for non-caffeinated tea or sparkling water.
7. Eat dinner earlier
Some studies show the high quantity consumption of carbohydrates too close to bedtime can result in more middle-of-the-night arousals. Notably, other studies show that consuming high-quality carbohydrates four hours before bedtime can actually help people fall asleep more quickly. Try to have a healthy dinner as early in the evening/far away from bedtime as possible to ensure the best possible quality of sleep.
8. Clear your mind before bedtime
As many of us know, one of the major issues that can keep us awake at night is stress. Clearing your mind through meditation, listening to relaxing sounds (like those included in tip #5, above), practicing low intensity yoga, or journaling can help calm and clear your mind, making it easier to fall asleep and sleep more restfully.
If any of these tips on how to sleep longer positively affected your sleep quality, be sure to share them! The more and better sleep we all get, the healthier and happier a place our world will be!