Do you always feel like sleep is something elusive that’s just out of your reach? You’re not alone. Many executives face stress that keeps them up at night, work long hours, and travel frequently, which translates to sleep troubles.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take it lying down. You can master the art of sleep with these sleeping tips that will make you see more of the back of those eyelids. These sleeping tips will make all the difference in allowing you to get the rest you need so you can be on top of your game every day of the grind!
What to Do during the Day for a Good Night’s Sleep
1. Experience Daylight
It might sound counterintuitive when you can’t sleep well at night. However, exposing yourself to bright daylight during wakeful hours is one of the best ways to kick insomnia to the curb.
According to one study, doing so helped people fall asleep 83% faster. In another study, older adults that exposed themselves to 2 hours of light during the daytime were able to increase sleep duration by 2 hours and boosted sleep efficiency to 80%.
Trapped in the office with no way to indulge in bright daylight? Then try a therapy lamp. It helps make up for the lost sunlight you’re not getting while you work away. Using it regularly can regulate your circadian rhythm, enhance your memory and cognition, and increase energy.
A therapy lamp may even diminish the impact of fatigue and jet lag when you’ve been traveling.
2. Change When and What You Eat in the Evenings
It’s hard with all those long hours, but one of the best sleeping tips is to eat your dinner earlier in the evening. There was a study that found that having a low-carb diet improved sleep.
Healthy sleepers who engaged in eating very low calories over a short term had a greater percentage of deep sleep compared to those that ate a mixed diet.
Researchers surmised this might be due to metabolism and fat content.
That being said, for better sleep, change what you eat in the evenings. Avoid consuming rich, heavy foods in those 2 hours prior to going to bed. Spicy and acidic foods must be avoided during that time frame. They could cause you stomach trouble, including heartburn, which could keep you up at night.
You can also check out what to eat at night to have energy in the morning so that you perform at your peak while in the office!
3. Do More Exercise
One of the best sleeping tips for executives lies in the power of exercise. In fact, the more vigorous, the better. However, even if you just have time for a quick 10-minute walk each day, this can greatly improve your sleep quality.
You’ll need to stick to it over several months though in order to get the full benefits. It’s a good idea to put your focus on building exercise habits that really stick to become a good sleeper.
Still not convinced that more exercise can lead to better sleep? In one study, older adults that engaged in 30 to 40 minutes of daily exercise averaged about 41 more minutes of sleep nightly.
Those with severe insomnia gained more benefits from exercise than by taking sleep-aid drugs. In the study, they fell asleep 55% faster, while total night wakefulness dropped by 30%. Additionally, anxiety fell by 15% and sleep time increased by 18%.
No time to exercise? Workout at work!
4. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Every day, even on the weekends, follow the same sleep schedule. Your body’s clock regulates when you stick to a schedule for sleep and it could hold the key to helping you fall asleep and stay asleep every night.
Consistency in sleep is essential as studies show poor sleep patterns are the result of going to bed later on weekends. Other studies have also shown that getting irregular sleep patterns causes trouble for your melatonin levels and affects your circadian rhythm.
Ritual 1 Hour Before Bedtime: De-stress
According to a research study published in the Behavioral Sleep Medicine journal, mental stress has an adverse impact on the quality of sleep and affects circadian rhythm.
Knowing this, sleeping tips for the executive that can’t sleep should include a daily ritual you perform an hour prior to going to sleep.
5. Use Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is a hormone your body naturally produces that aids in sleep. Sometimes when your schedule is out of sorts or from aging, your body doesn’t produce enough of it to help you get those coveted Z’s.
Fortunately, you can get more of it in supplemental form. Check out our other post on melatonin for sleep to find out how to take them to your advantage.
6. Practice Yoga or Easy Stretches
You don’t have to be an expert to reap the benefits of yoga. It helps improve flexibility, reduce stress, and even get better sleep.
According to a 2012 survey conducted in the US by the CDC, over 55% of people that practiced some form of yoga got better sleep. The study also mentioned that 85% of those that engaged in yoga reduced their stress.
If stress is what is keeping you up at night, this sleeping tip is a smart move. Yoga or easy stretches can help you push the negativity out of your body and welcome in deeper, more peaceful sleep.
7. Practice Meditation
Engaging in meditation is another sleeping tip you should try, one that proved to quell the symptoms of anxiety and stress, leading to better sleep.
If you’re not sure how to meditate, you can use this meditation headband. It helps steer your overworked mind in the right direction with weather sounds that become more and more peaceful as your mind quiets.
If you’ve never meditated before, this can help any executive master the mind by improving stress responses, allowing natural relaxation responses, and reducing stress and anxiety.
8. Try Acupressure
Another one of the best sleeping tips for busy executives is to try acupressure.
It can reduce stress and tension while increasing your ability to relax and sleep.
Georgetown University Medical Center conducted a study that proved acupressure decreases stress hormones and leads to a better state of mind. It can improve all your body’s systems including digestion and circulation as well as sleep cycles.
No time for an acupressure appointment? No problem! You can enjoy the benefits of acupressure at home by using an acupressure mat!
9. Try a Relaxing Massage
Massages on the regular can really help you relax and improve your sleep quality. Studies showed that massages promoted sleep in those that were ill. In fact, this therapy has benefits for those that aren’t necessarily ill too!
Without getting enough sleep, your health could soon be affected. Why not take the relaxing route and improve your circulation, help with relaxation, and get the sleep you need?
10. Take a Warm Bath
Baths aren’t just for babies. They’re for busy executives like yourself that need an extra boost to sleep. In fact, the older you are, the better it is for your sleep! Study after study has shown this is one of those sleeping tips you shouldn’t ignore. A hot bath before going to bed improves the quality of deep sleep.
No time for a big bath? According to research, if you don’t have the time you can soak your feet with the same results!
11. Wind Down with Your Favorite (and Calm) Hobby
If you have a relaxing hobby, that hour ritual before going to bed is the ideal time to practice it. It could be reading, writing, word puzzles, playing music, sewing, or really anything you adore, so long as it is calming.
Anything that serves to overstimulate you should be done during wakeful hours.
12. Have Sex
As if you needed an excuse! Sex is a great way to get better sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it releases oxytocin, the hormone that helps you feel that love buzz with your partner. It also lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. Once you have an orgasm, prolactin is released which causes a relaxed and sleepy feeling, putting you in a drowsy state that is primed for sleep.
In fact, sex can make you perform better at work too.
13. Drink Passionflower Tea or Milk to Relax
While alcoholic beverages can actually interfere with your sleep, certain beverages can promote a relaxing effect that allows you to sleep like a baby.
For example, drinking passionflower tea or a warm glass of milk can have that soothing effect you’re looking for. The Journal of Medicinal Food found that milk harvested at night contains high levels of tryptophan and melatonin. And the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry found that melatonin-rich milk aided the elderly in better sleep.
You might not be keen on sleep aids in drug form, but we have a post about natural sleep aids that can help you get the sleep you need to really rise and shine without any ill effects!
What to Do in Bed for a Good Night’s Sleep
And now as you pull the covers up, try these sleeping tips to maximize your executive sleep cycle for a better tomorrow.
14. Practice the Deep Breathing Method
Deep breathing can help put you in a relaxed state.
The key is to inhale through your nose for 4 seconds while slowly exhaling out your mouth for 7 to 8 seconds.
This type of breathing engages the abdominals and the chest. Put your hands on your stomach to feel if it is moving along with you as you breathe. Engaging in this method will help you finish winding down.
15. Read Something for Fun
Another marvelous sleeping tip is to pick a novel and read it each night before bed. Reading can be a wonderful way to relax and ready yourself for sleep.
Just be sure you choose something of the fiction variety and never anything that’s related to your job.
16. Listen to Relaxing Music
Music is one of the best sleeping tips of all. Of course, it should be of the relaxing variety. This isn’t the time for heavy metal.
Classical music or anything ambient can really help, according to studies conducted where students listened to classical, audiobooks, and a group that received no intervention.
17. Try Aromatherapy
The Hainan Medical University found that aromatherapy had great health benefits, impacting the nervous system in a positive way. Alleviate indigestion, insomnia, and pain by using essential oils.
One way to accomplish this is to get an aromatherapy diffuser and use it in your bedroom as you sleep.
18. Try a Change in Sleep Position or Sleep Equipment
Perhaps the way you’re lying in bed could be to blame, or even your mattress. If your mattress is uncomfortable, you should look into buying a new one.
A study found that by buying a new mattress and sleeping on it for 28 days, it reduced back pain and improved sleep quality.
19. Optimize Your Bedroom Environment
If you’ve recently changed your mattress, or even your bedding, consider taking other measures to ensure good, deep sleep.
Blackout curtains can help a great deal, blocking out street lights and even curbing sounds. Eye masks are another option if you can’t do anything about the window treatments, especially when you’re traveling for work. Earplugs can help tune out street sounds and snoring partners (or pets!).
Additionally, make sure your room is cool enough to sleep. The right temperature matters!
20. Be Close to Your Family in Bed
As a busy executive, finding the time to spend with family can be challenging. Welcome all those hugs, snuggles, laughs, and chats just prior to bed.
When the whole family piles on, it makes the bed a happy place, one where you can relax and find the dreamworld for a refreshing sleep that lasts all night long.
Read our infographic on the related topic by clicking on image below:
Have you tried any of these sleeping tips? Tell us how they worked for you in the comments!