Sleep Hacks That Will Help You Wake Up Rested

How many times can you remember greeting a day with your first emotion being frustration at the lack of rest you achieved throughout the night? If this question resonates with you then you have been met with this experience far too many times. Cartoonist Lynn Johnston knows this feeling all too well, “Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night… without the satisfaction.”

You know the heavy eyes, lack of focus, and lethargic attitude that accompanies a poor night’s rest. So much so that you have tried what feels like every method under the sun to ensure your night of sleep is one of total rest. But, no matter what, your efforts have been in vain, and you have been left stuck in your physical exhaustion. To the point where you have resolved yourself to bad sleep without another thought. Before you cement this opinion, take just a few seconds to read further.

The reality is more people than you might be aware of struggle with feeling rested when they wake up. Try as they might one way or another, their sleep habits have them behaving as barely functioning humans daily because that is all their energy levels will allow for. Does this sound familiar? It should be obvious at this point that you are in no way alone in your struggles with sleep. In fact, it might be more accurate to say those without sleep issues are more alone with this than those with sleep issues. But if many people struggle with waking up rested, why are there no concrete solutions? Truthfully, there are, and you will find these sleep hacks to help you wake up rested below.

Always put your phone away

A few years ago, a smartphone was simply second nature. Your grandmother had one and so did your seven-year-old cousin. At that point, it made so much sense to have one because that is where much of the world connected. Nowadays, due in part to the pandemic, smartphones are a necessity. Grocery shopping, doctors’ appointments, and even work tasks are all managed from the convenience of the smartphone. To not have one is to be on the outside looking in at society. But all this to say, these same devices are ruining nights of sleep on a regular basis. “Everyone has had that night where one second they’re starting a five-minute YouTube video and the next they’re two hours down the rabbit hole with no idea how they lost sleep,” said Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer at Winona. “These nights are easily avoided if you’re intentional about leaving your phone in another room for the night. This way, it’s about sleep and only sleep.”

For some, leaving it in another room may seem excessive. There are texts or phone calls to consider. What about the early morning sale that you do not want to miss? However, consider this – the lighting from your phone tells your brain that it should be staying awake. So really, by using your phone before bed, you are asking for a poor night’s rest. Juan Pablo Cappello, Co-Founder and CEO of Nue Life offered an alternative to having your phone in your room, “The best thing I’ve ever done for my sleep was to buy myself a cheap alarm clock and leave my phone on silent. It’s easier to fall asleep and I stay asleep longer because I’m completely unaware of what’s happening on my phone.”

Learn your personal sleep cycle

Any amount of time spent in a public setting should make it extremely obvious how unique people are. Truly, no two people are identical. This is true of much more than just physical appearance though. The chemical makeup and necessities vary from body to body. That isn’t to say there are people that do not need to sleep. Hardly. But some people need different amounts or for it to happen at different times.

If you do not know what your body needs along these lines, trying to figure it out could really benefit you. Melanie Bedwell, E-commerce Manager at OLIPOP said as much, “Where your ancestors came from, and their habits have a direct influence on your sleep schedule just as your personal schedule does. Over the centuries, your lineage has adjusted to sleeping certain amounts or at times and you would do well to learn what these are for yourself.”

Practically speaking, how do you go about doing this? Learning all you can about your natural sleep schedule is one way. To start, take notice of when you begin to feel tired in the evenings regardless of what the day held. Chances are, there is a pattern you didn’t notice before. Alternatively, Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing and E-Commerce at Orgain has a solution, “You have control over your body’s internal clock by when you expose it to light. A sunlight wake-up will always feel better than a blaring alarm clock so if you can manage this, I highly suggest it.”

Get rid of those substances

Chances are, you, like most people, have a bit of a chemical vice. Or, you just enjoy a legal substance or two from time to time. Whatever the case, the presence of these in your body will make achieving a good night’s rest that much more difficult. This is why having a thorough understanding of all these is vital.

For one, there are liquid substances such as caffeine or alcohol. These two seem to run the world on some level – the former is used to kick start your day while the latter does just the opposite. While these seem like valuable uses, the truth is either of these causes restlessness.

“I know some people who pride themselves on their ability to hold their liquor or make caffeine part of their personality,” said Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer at Paradigm Peptides. “But I can’t imagine what these people go through at night because both of these cause withdrawal symptoms which absolutely destroy your REM cycles.”

But the list of substances harmful to sleep does not stop here as there are inhalants to discuss.

“In the right setting, that vape pen containing marijuana or nicotine is a blast for you and everyone else,” Rachel Reid, CEO of Subtl Beauty. “But everyone will pay for it the next day when they’re exhausted from tossing and turning all night – brought on solely by those vape pens.”

Light is your friend, not your enemy

 Unless you are working an overnight shift, natural daylight can become your number one ally in the fight to wake up rested. This might seem counterintuitive to the idea of sleep but take a moment to read the words of Ian Heyman, Founder of Dermasteel. “Our modern world has caused us to lose sight of when it is best for us to sleep and to rise. Instead of feeling out an ideal bedtime, try planning around the schedule of the sun.”

Now, if you took this to the full extreme of hopping in bed at sunset and leaving it at sunrise, it may be a bit much. However, the idea at the heart of this example is what we are getting at. Some sleeping environments make rest far too elusive to ever grasp. The good news is, you can do something about this.

“It will take some trial and error to figure out how to use lightning effectively,” said Temoer Terry, Partner at The Mommy Care Kit. “But, falling asleep in the dark and waking up to the sunlight will do wonderful things for how rested you feel.”

What is your sleep setting?

Speaking of your sleeping environment, there are far more variables here than lighting alone. Maybe the most impactful of these is the actual bedding you sleep on.

Your wallet may not be the biggest fan of this, but buying bedding items that are both high-quality and comfortable for you specifically will revolutionize your sleep. From the way you feel about crawling into bed at night, to the refreshment you experience upon waking in the morning, you will be glad you treated your bedding as an investment.

“The bed you sleep in has great influence over your quality of sleep,” said Michael Van, CEO of Furnishr. “There isn’t a universal solution to this either so do your research and buy something nice, your energy levels will thank you.”

But a mattress is only one part of the equation. There are sheets, blankets, pillows, and more. What are you supposed to do about all these items that accompany the mattress and truly make or break the sleep experience? Lionel Mora, CEO of Neoplants talked about these, “Getting the best possible rest each night is really a matter of personal preference. Everyone likes their sheets or pillows a little differently from others so experiment with a few things until you find what’s right for you.”

There are no two ways about it – waking up rested will require some serious intentionality on your part. Should you find success in this area, there are extensive benefits to waking up rested. Musician Beyonce summed this up, “Having peace, happiness and healthiness is my definition of beauty. And you can’t have any of that without sleep.”

Written in partnership with Timothy Owens