How to Improve Sleep Naturally: The Top 7 Ways
When it comes to health, getting adequate sleep is King! In the mid-1970s, the term "sleep hygiene' was coined to help people with mild to moderate insomnia improve their sleep through behavioral and environmental measures. The following article outlines the top tips for improving sleep hygiene.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
Signs and symptoms of poor sleep hygiene
Usually, people who need to improve their sleep hygiene experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Lack of sleep consistency
- Frequent sleep disturbances
These signs suggest that sleep hygiene needs to be improved.
Tips for a good night's sleep
Improve your sleep hygiene by following these steps:
The first tip. Don't drink caffeinated drinks before bed
Caffeine is a stimulant that is often used as an energy boost. Caffeine can make falling asleep difficult or cause fragmented sleep. In addition to coffee, soda, and tea, caffeine can is in the following products:
- Guarana Berries
- Pain relief medications
- Dark chocolate
- Weight loss pills
- Energy water
- Energy drinks
- Breath fresheners
It's best to avoid caffeine 2-hours before bed.
The second tip. Get some fresh air
Air quality can impact sleep quality. Fresh air can help increase oxygen levels, which leads to better sleep. A study on air pollution in Beijing, China, found air pollution was associated with a "a reduction in sleep duration of 30 minutes or more among freshman students living in Beijing." 
Top ways to improve air quality in the bedroom include the following:
- Crack windows
- Open the bedroom door if there are no windows
- Use a fan
- Invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier
- Place houseplants in the bedroom to improve air quality and relaxation
The third tip. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps the body set its circadian rhythm. In addition to better sleep quality, having a consistent sleep schedule has several other health benefits:
- Lower obesity risk. A regular sleep pattern helps balance hormones, including the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin promotes feelings of fullness, while ghrelin increases appetite. Both hormones are regulated during sleep and can become unbalanced with disrupted sleep patterns.
Decreased risk of hypertension. Lack of sleep could affect the body's ability to handle stress hormones. Studies indicate those who receive less than 6 hours of sleep per night are at an increased risk of high blood pressure. In addition, both heart rate and blood pressure were increased in hypertensive patients, potentially increasing the risk for both cardiovascular diseases and target organ damage. 
Improved brain function. Brain functionality can be decreased when sleep deprived. When sleeping, the body can remove toxins from the brain built up while awake. In addition, poor sleep quality is associated with lower performance in reasoning, semantic fluency, and higher levels of subclinical depression. 
The fourth tip. Exercise first thing in the morning
Strenuous, high-intensity exercise can increase alertness and the production of endorphins. However, these exercises can make it difficult to fall asleep and should be performed earlier in the day. On the other hand, lower intensity exercises like walking, yoga, and tai chi are more relaxing and could promote restful sleep and be performed closer to bedtime.
The Fifth Tip. Before going to bed, take a warm bath
Before bedtime, a warm bath can improve sleep hygiene in several unique ways: warm baths can improve blood circulation and relax the body, causing cortisol (stress) levels to decrease. This stress reduction could increase melatonin levels, promoting a more restful sleep simultaneously.
The sixth tip. Improve sleep hygiene by writing to-do lists
Worrying and thinking about things that need to be done can keep people up at night. This could be a leading contributor to poor sleep patterns. Also known as "bedtime worry," studies have found writing a to-do list can help a person fall asleep up to 9 minutes faster than those who wrote about completed activities. 
In many instances, unfinished tasks cause people to think about what needs to be done constantly. However, writing the tasks down on paper 5 minutes before bed can decrease cognitive arousal and remove them from the forefront of your mind, allowing a more restful sleep.
The seventh tip. Sleep in a dark, cool place
Body temperature tends to decrease at bedtime, signaling that it's time to sleep. In addition, sleeping in a cooler bedroom (60 to 68 degrees) can help regulate body temperature and stimulate melatonin production.
The bedroom should be dark at this time. Excess light from televisions, cell phones, tablets, fluorescent lights, and other "blue lights" should be avoided because it disrupts the body's circadian rhythm. These devices could cause the brain to "wake up" and suppress melatonin production.
In addition to the above, try the following bedroom tips:
- Close the bedroom door to minimize noise and outside lights from other rooms (if you have a window)
- Close curtains or blinds to decrease outdoor streetlights
- Wear eye covers to increase the darkness
Supplements that promote sleep
In addition to the above tips, all-natural supplements from Revelation Health are available to help improve sleep hygiene.>
TCF - SlumberBoost™ Chewables
SlumberBoost™ Chewables are formulated to promote the calming of brain activity and improve sleep quality. In addition to melatonin, the hormone that helps maintain the circadian rhythm, SlumberBoost™ Chewables contain L-theanine, vitamin B6, and inositol, all vital to supporting the body's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally.
In addition to being chewable, this product is available in capsule form.
Drem - Sleep Aid
Drem - Sleep Aid helps promote healthy sleep and relaxation by stimulating a person's biological process of healthy and restful sleep. This product is all-natural and contains the following key ingredients for restful sleep:
Vitamin B5, B6
The average person needs 7 hours of sleep per night for optimal health. Unfortunately, the C.D.C. reports that more than a third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended rest nightly. Improving sleep hygiene is believed to help those with mild to moderate insomnia get the sleep they need. Do you suffer from poor sleep hygiene? We'd like to hear from you. Try these tips and leave us a comment below.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Revelation Health. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Revelation Health and associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Revelation Health encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
 Hongjun Yu,1,* Panpan Chen,1 Shelby Paige Gordon (et al.). The Association between Air Pollution and Sleep Duration: A Cohort Study of Freshmen at a University in Beijing, China. Journal List Int J Environ Res Public Health v.16(18); 2019 Sep PMC6766077. [PMID: 31514480]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6766077/
 P Lusardi 1, A Zoppi, P Preti, R M Pesce, (et al.). Effects Of Insufficient Sleep On Blood Pressure In Hypertensive Patients: A 24-H Study. Clinical Trial Am J Hypertens. 1999 Jan;12(1 Pt 1):63-8. doi: 10.1016/s0895-7061(98)00200-3. [PMID: 10075386]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10075386/
 Christine Sutter 1, Jacqueline Zöllig, Mathias Allemand, (et al.). Sleep Quality And Cognitive Function In Healthy Old Age: The Moderating Role Of Subclinical Depression. Neuropsychology. 2012 Nov;26(6):768-75. doi: 10.1037/a0030033. Epub 2012 Sep 17. [PMID: 22984799]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22984799/
 Michael K Scullin 1, Madison L Krueger 1, Hannah K Ballard (et al.). The Effects Of Bedtime Writing On Difficulty Falling Asleep: A Polysomnographic Study Comparing To-Do Lists And Completed Activity Lists. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2018 Jan;147(1):139-146. doi: 10.1037/xge0000374. Epub 2017 Oct 23. [PMID: 29058942] PMCID: PMC5758411. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29058942/