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25 Best Sleep Hacks

If there’s one thing we can all use more of (besides money), it’s sleep. We’re happier, more productive, and more enjoyable to be around when we’re well-rested. Without further ado, here are the best sleep hacks.

  1. Get a comfy bed. Nobody looks forward to sleeping on a rock.
  2. Make the bedroom only for sleeping (and other bed activities). If you work and eat in the bedroom, it just doesn’t feel like you’re supposed to sleep there too.
  3. Wear cozy pajamas. Experiment a bit to find what you like: flannel, silk, none, etc.
  4. Blackout the lights. Total darkness helps you fall asleep quicker. Dim the digital clock and make some homemade blackout curtains.
  5. Cut the noise. If closing the bedroom door won’t work, try a white noise machine or a fountain.
  6. Dim the lights before bedtime. This tells your body to begin preparing for sleep. Bright lights until bedtime just confuses the bio-clock.
  7. Limit caffeine. If you can’t give it up completely, don’t have any 6 hours before trying to sleep.
  8. Read a boring book. Exciting books make me want to keep reading. But lots of books will put me to sleep in the middle of the day.
  9. Listen to music. Try an ambient piano CD or a rain forest sounds CD.
  10. Listen to a book. Even a good book will get you tired at night. I fell asleep many nights listening to Cell.
  11. Use earplugs. You can get the cheap ones, or invest in a better set. Or just pop in your noise-isolating ear buds.
  12. Shower at night. A warm shower really helps me wind down, especially when I’m stressed. If you always shower in the morning, try an evening shower now and then.
  13. Exercise. Tiring your muscles is important, especially if your job isn’t very physical.
  14. Eat a little. It’s hard to go to sleep when you’re stuffed full, but equally hard when you’re starving. Find the midpoint.
  15. Get a cat. Warm fur and a soft purr can put anyone to sleep.
  16. Try a teddy bear. This one’s for you anti-cat people.
  17. Keep a schedule. The body really does have an internal clock. Train it to go to sleep at the same time every night. It will learn.
  18. Warm a washcloth. Put it over your forehead and eyes to help relax tension and de-stress.
  19. Use a dim lamp. If you read a night, don’t use a bright bulb. Find the dimmest setting where you can still read comfortably.
  20. Aromatherapy works. Even a simple candle or air freshener can help lull you to sleep.
  21. Turn the bed down. Make your bed in the morning, then turn it down early in the evening. The physical act tells your body to start thinking about sleep.
  22. Get off the computer. Staring at the bright screen keeps you awake. Do something less intense right before you head for bed.
  23. Stretch. A little bit of stretching or yoga can help your muscles relax.
  24. Meditate. Along the same lines, do some meditation to be mindful and center yourself.
  25. Pray. Your Higher Power is surely a good source of comfort and relaxation.

What are your sleep hacks? Can you add #26 to the list?

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9 Responses to “25 Best Sleep Hacks”

  1. Rishi
    May 21st, 2007

    I sleep wearing cool Adidas pajamas and sometimes shorts of Adidas only. Next I sleep with a teddy or if teddy not there then a puffy pillow in replacement for the teddy 😉 !

  2. Andrew Flusche
    May 21st, 2007

    Hi Rishi,

    Thanks for adding your sleep hack to the list. It sounds like you’ve found a comfy way to get some great sleep.

    Take care,

  3. Lise
    May 21st, 2007

    I have to disagree with #13 and #15. Exercise at least 2 hours prior to going to bed or it will actually keep you up according to research. Also, pets in the bedroom is a common trait amongst 74% of those complaining of insomnia or other sleep related problems. Kick the pets out of the bedroom for a restful night’s sleep. Trust me, cats walking over you at night will wake up those of us who are light sleepers. “A majority of physicians surveyed (53 percent) indicated they regularly counsel their patients about removing pets from the bedroom. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2007 Sleep in America Poll, women who sleep with a pet in the bedroom are significantly more likely to report insomnia and daytime sleepiness than women who sleep with a spouse or child in the bedroom.”

  4. Andrew Flusche
    May 21st, 2007

    Hi Lise,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing this information. I completely agree about exercise. I bike in the evenings, so it naturally forces me to be done before too late, since it gets dark out.

    Those stats on pets are fascinating. I’m a heavy sleeper, so the cat in our bed doesn’t bother me, plus he sleeps on my wife’s side of the bed. But she has trouble sleeping well. I wonder if the cat is part of the problem. Interesting, indeed.

    Thanks again,

  5. Tay
    May 31st, 2007

    I have to disagree with #15, ‘get a cat’. In fact, she’s [my cat] now my main problem with getting to sleep! She is always so hyper she literally flings herself into the walls and runs in circles. She can do that for two hours straight, and then she winds down a little, but not all the way. Trust me, it’s a real pain. Otherwise, great post, and I love all the other tips 😉

  6. Andrew Flusche
    May 31st, 2007

    Hi Tay,

    You’re definitely not the first person to disagree with the cat idea. Maybe our cat is just a lazy bum, compared to others. He is pretty old – about 15. Is yours still a kitten?

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. Kian Ann
    August 2nd, 2007

    Hey Andrew

    Reading your post really makes me crave for some sleep. I imagine myself taking a warm shower then turning off the lights and putting on some light music.

    … but its daytime here and I’ve just stepped in office an hour ago. man…. and its been a busy week.


    Me shall do it tonight. Ahh… longing for a good rest. 🙂

  8. Andrew Flusche
    August 7th, 2007

    Hey Kian,

    We haven’t talked in a while! I hope you got some rest over the weekend. Sorry for my long delay in responding; life is nuts sometimes.

  9. sleep deprived johnny
    November 10th, 2008

    hah, these actually work! so much crap on the internet, who would’ve thought.

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