How to get a good night’s sleep

By Dr. Christopher Brown

June 10, 2024

sleep habits


  • The Importance of Sleep: One-third of American adults are sleep-deprived, affecting cognitive abilities, mood, and overall physical health. Quality sleep is crucial for memory, learning, immune function, and cell repair.
  • Limiting Blue-Light Exposure: Reduce blue-light exposure from screens (phones, TVs, tablets) at least 2-3 hours before bed to prevent disruption of melatonin production and improve sleep quality.
  • Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Enhance your sleep environment by eliminating electronics, using soft lighting, reducing noise with earplugs or white noise, and investing in a high-quality mattress and breathable bedding.
  • Using Sleep Trackers and Supplements: Track your sleep habits with devices like the Oura Ring or Apple Health to gain insights and improve sleep hygiene. Consider natural supplements like melatonin, GABA, or herbal aids like valerian and chamomile to enhance sleep quality.

Slip into slumberland by following Dr. Brown’s top 4 sleep tips.

Can you remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep? I’m talking about a full, undisturbed 8 hours that allowed you to wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go. If this prospect is a distant dream to you, you’re not alone. In fact, one-third of American adults report being sleep-deprived on a regular basis. And this staggering statistic is a coincidence considering that healthy humans should spend one-third of their lives asleep! 

A complex biological process that regulates our cognitive abilities, everyday mood, and energy levels, sleep is also essential for boosting our overall physical health. For example, REM sleep is crucial for consolidating memory, learning, and creativity, whereas the deep sleep stage allows the body to replace cells, build muscle tissue, heal wounds, and bolster the immune system. 

It’s hardly surprising that sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of serious health conditions. To be more specific, a body of research has associated a lack of ongoing sleep with hypertension, heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, decreased brain function, memory loss, a weakened immune system, lower fertility, and various psychiatric disorders.
It really is the stuff of nightmares. But there’s no need to lose any more sleep over it. With some simple lifestyle and habit changes, you can master how to get a good night’s sleep. So, if like countless other sleep-deprived Americans, you’re on a quest to rest well, make sure you read on for our tips for better sleep.

Sleep tip #1: Limit blue-light exposure before bed.

You might be laying there staring at the ceiling thinking: Why can’t I sleep at night even when I’m tired? Your day was relatively calm and stress-free, you didn’t drink any caffeine after lunch, and you worked out well before bedtime. So, what's keeping you awake in the early hours? 

It’s your cellphone. Well, it’s not just that—it’s your TV, tablet, laptop, computer, and just about anything with a screen. And these things all have one thing in common: blue light waves.

While blue light is beneficial during daylight hours, boosting attention, reaction times, and mood, they are the most disruptive at night. This form of light exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s still daytime, suppressing the secretion of melatonin and making us feel more alert. 

The solution is simple: Stop engaging with your electronics at least 2–3 hours before bed.

Sleep tip #2: Create a dreamy bedtime environment.

Aside from making your bedroom a no-electronics zone, there are several other ways you can create an environment that lulls you into a deep, peaceful sleep. Just when you thought screens were the only thing that caused chaos with circadian rhythms, blue light is also emitted by LED lightbulbs. Make sure to switch them off early and opt for soothing, soft lighting.

Kept awake by noisy neighbors, snoring partners, and street sounds? Unsurprisingly, noise is another obstacle in the way of a good night’s sleep. But you can silence these disruptions with earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and if they’re considerably loud, white noise or music.   

Your mattress also matters. Whether you enjoy the cloud-like feel of memory foam or the firm support of springs, the right mattress depends on factors such as body weight, sleeping position, and personal preference. Just make sure you invest in a high-quality one

Don’t skimp on sheets, either. Breathable fabrics like cotton, bamboo, and linen promote optimum airflow and wick away moisture to prevent you from getting hot and bothered. Washing your bedding weekly is also a must. Who doesn’t love the feeling of fresh sheets?!

Sleep tip #3: Start tracking your slumber habits.

Tech has revolutionized many aspects of our waking life—it can monitor glucose levels, count steps, and measure our heart rate to name a few of the applications to our health. But the relatively recent launches of the Oura Ring, Apple Health, and Whoop have proven that we can obtain better sleep by analyzing the data these wearable devices collect. 

Sleep trackers not only record the duration of sleep, but they also recount which stages of sleep are suffering the most. While they can’t pinpoint whether a restless night is caused by stress, a fidgeting partner, or your neighbor’s dog barking, they provide insightful information about what happens to your body while you sleep, as well as help doctors rule out sleep apnea

Most importantly, they promote awareness about sleep hygiene, motivating you to make the necessary changes to your life to improve your sleep quality.

Sleep tip #4: Consider taking sleep supplements.

The bad news is that there’s no magic pill to improve sleep (at least without experiencing the groggy hangover effect). The good news? Natural sleep aids can help calm your mind and body, allowing you to fast-track the drifting-off stage when all else fails.

Melatonin is probably the most common sleep supplement on the market for maximizing sleep. While it’s a naturally occurring hormone that helps the body regulate our circadian rhythms, blue light exposure impedes its production. For late-night workers, jet-setters, and those wrapped up in the digital world, melatonin is a great temporary solution to reset your biological clock.

If a busy schedule and/or mind is keeping you awake at night, taking GABA before bed may be a better option, as it may positively influence stress levels and sleep. You can also lean on Mother Nature: valerian, chamomile, and lavender are renowned for their calm-cultivating abilities.

The takeaway: Sleep should never be overlooked.

Sleep is more important than you think. From limiting your blue light exposure to creating an optimal bedtime environment, taking supplements, and tracking sleep, we can take various measures alongside our other health goals (eating well, exercising often, etc).

If you’d like to become an expert snoozer and delve deeper into some of the topics discussed in this blog, download Dr. Brown’s Ultimate Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep via the link below. 

Download Dr. Brown's 

Ultimate Guide to a Good Night's Sleep

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