7 healthy tips for a better night’s sleep

sleep

Sleep is critical for mind and body health. Without it, the effects can be severe. But what if you suffer from insomnia? Below, neuroscientist Claudia Aguirre provides 7 healthy tips for a better night’s sleep:

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1. Aim for power hours. Sleep the recommended amount for a restorative night. That is: between 9 and 12 hours for school-aged children, 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, and 7 to 9 hours for adults. [Animation by TED-Ed]

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2. Ban the blue. Filter the blue light of your electronic device and sleep better. Studies show that blue light from electronic devices can delay sleep onset and affect overall circadian rhythm. [Animation by Javier Saldeña/TED-Ed]

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3. Spoon. Sleeping on the side may help the brain clear waste more efficiently than sleeping on the back or belly. [Animation by TED-Ed]

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4. Breathe deep. Deep breathing triggers the body’s relaxation response. What’s more, inhaling can drive cerebrospinal fluid flow to help clear brain waste and oxygenate the brain. [Animation by TED-Ed]

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5. Don’t overdo it. Science is still working this one out, but there are some cases where too much sleep can pose a health risk. Better set that alarm. [Animation by Alan Foreman/TED-Ed]

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6. Exercise. Lab experiments show that regular exercise can protect the brain from sleep deprivation-induced memory deficits. [Animation by Andrew Zimbelman/TED-Ed]

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7. Keep cool. You just might get a better night’s rest if you sleep in a cool room (or stick your feet out). [Animation by TED-Ed]

For more health tips from experts, check out 7 TED-Ed Lessons for a healthier you.

Author bio: Claudia Aguirre is a neuroscientist and the author of several TED-Ed Lessons, including What would happen if you didn’t sleep? and Does stress cause pimples?

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17 Comments

  1. Claudia, some great advice here and a super relevant article. I’ve particularly found the exercise point useful in the past but I definitely would like to try the others on your list now that you’ve given me the ideas. Thanks again, Matt

  2. this is a nice one, hah, I like those pictures.

  3. Kavitha S.Suresh

    It is highly useful and helpful.

  4. Brynn

    If you blink really fast for a minute it helps you sleep.

  5. Thank you for the tips! I had no idea that sleeping on the side may be better for a good night’s sleep compared to on your back or belly. I love sleeping on my belly but will try to change that.

    Also, I’ve used some apps that wake you up with an alarm at a certain time during your sleep (avoiding the deep sleep phase, for example), to ensure that you are woken up when sleeping the lightest – apparently this helps you wake up in the morning and feel good for the rest of the day! Still debating if it’s effective in my case….

  6. Well these tips are much important now as these days its hard to sleep due to smart phone and social media. There should be one more tip for sleeping is to shut down internet.

  7. H2S

    Yes, Flux is a very good tool for filtering the screen light and reminding your brain that it’s not 3pm!

    One of the best tips I’ve found is to read a fiction book for around an hour before bed (not non-fiction). It encourages the mind to wander and ‘nod off’. Whereas non-fiction can sometimes have the opposite effect.

  8. Hi Claudia,

    great tips and nice visuals! I will share with my friends :-)
    Most people do not realize how important sleep is – even to loose weight or build muscles.

  9. B. Heiskell

    Now I know why I like to meditate before bed, the deep breathing helps! Another thing that helps me fall asleep is listening to a podcast called Sleep With Me Podcast, boring bedtime stories for adults. A lulling voice (Scooter) telling rambling stories that are perfect to distract your busy mind, but not interesting enough to keep you awake. It’s my bedtime routine, meditate and listen to Scoots.

  10. David Alvarez

    I had a question regarding Biphasic sleep ( sleeping during two periods over 24 hours). I am currently sleeping 4 hours at night and 3 hours in the late afternoon. Are there any negative effects to the quality of sleep I am getting, regarding the consolidation of long-term memory, synaptic pruning and the clearance of waste products ? … are there any papers how have studied these modality of sleeping and its long term effects.

  11. Excellent advice. I love my sleep and when insomnia striles and i get less than 8 hours im not great. I always use therapuetic essential oils to help me through this…lavender, cedarwood is the perfect blend…

  12. it’s very helpful to gain awesome tips.

  13. I’m loving that you said that sleep is critical for the mind and body’s health. Maybe I should keep this in mind when I am thinking about staying up late. It might be a good idea to speak with a professional about health tips if you are unsure about what you can do.

  14. Thanks for the tips! I leave my phone on and its probably the reason why I cant sleep at night. Also I didn’t know that sleeping on a side position can help sleep at night.
    Especially even 3am I still can not fall asleep.

  15. thanks to your nice post.it is better help to wonderful sleep.really this post to teach with us that why we need a nice sleep and how can we take a nice sleep? it is a interesting matter and more helpful.i will try to flow this rules.

  16. Great tips and beautiful pictures! I am always using mobile phones that are the reason why I can’t sleep at night. These tips are really helpful to me, and I will share with my family and friends also. Thanks for sharing us.

  17. RestJudge

    Oh my god! I really need these tips. Thanks so much!!

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