3 Surprising Ways to Improve Sleep

By We Love Cycling

We all know that a quiet, dark, and cool bedroom helps you sleep better. It’s also no secret that limiting caffeine and alcohol intake in the second half of your day improves sleep quality. But for those who want to try something new, here are a few surprising ways to boost your sleep.

Research shows that being well rested makes you feel 10 years younger compared to being under slept. People try a lot of different things in order to get that good sleep and it turns out that scientists are also curious which are the ones that work.

Move to a greener street

New research across across 14 European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, USA, and Hong Kong, led by the University of Exeter, found that living on greener streets that have visible grass, trees, and vegetation is linked to better sleep.

“People that lived in greener streets reported better mental health, which was the driving factor behind getting a better night’s sleep. Streetscape greening initiatives already exist in urban cities to tackle environmental risks like flooding and heat island effects, but our findings suggest policymakers should extend that to residential areas to support public health by promoting healthier sleep habits,” said lead author Dr Leanne Martin.

To be specific, the researchers found that 17 % of people who lived on green streets reported getting fewer than 6 hours, compared to 22 % of those who did not live on green streets.

“Whilst a five percent difference may seem small, these findings are comparable to the difference in sleep between people who are coping on their present income and those under financial strain. With money worries widely recognised as an important determinant of sleep, we think this demonstrates street greenness should be recognised by governments as an important public health issue,” said co-author of the study, Dr Mathew White.

Take in the aroma of lavender

Aromatherapy doesn’t sound like an evidence-based method of improving sleep. But the effects of lavender exposure before bed have been studied. Researchers invited participants to a sleep laboratory and presented them either with lavender oil or distilled water 30 minutes before bed. Standard polysomnographic sleep and self-rated sleepiness and mood data were collected. The results showed that lavender increased deep sleep in both men and women compared to water. Participants also reported feeling more refreshed in the morning after lavender.

There’s also research suggesting that the smell of essential oils from rose, roman chamomile, jasmine, cedar, cannabis, and Ylang-Ylang may improve sleep, so take your pick.

Wear socks to bed

Some people find it strange that anyone would choose to wear socks to bed. If you’re the type of person who does that, you’re about to get some good news. A study from Korea shows that in winter, using socks in bed had positive effects on sleep quality. Participants that wore socks fell asleep quicker by 7,5 minutes on average, they slept longer and woke up fewer time every night. So, if your feet get cold at night, socks are the scientifically proven way to improve sleep.