You are not alone if insomnia is becoming a major issue in your life. Most people are familiar with the usual advice for getting a better night's sleep, but you might not be aware of these lesser known, but effective, ways to fight insomnia.

7 Little-Known Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Get a better night's sleep


A good night’s sleep does wonders for your health and well-being. It’s vital for immune health, blood sugar control, and weight management. It also positively affects your mood. Who doesn’t feel cranky after a night of tossing and turning?

And there are many reasons to get a good night’s sleep. The more sleep-deprived you are, the more you’re putting your body at risk for illness and injury too. Sleep deprivation disrupts chemicals in your brain that regulate appetite, stress, mood, and energy levels. So, you eat more, feel tired, and out of sorts.

But what if you struggle to get a good night’s sleep?  According to the National Institutes of Health, around 30 percent of people have insomnia or disrupted sleep. Have you tried everything to get a good night’s sleep, and nothing’s worked? Here are seven less commonly known tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

Expose Your Eyes to Natural Light as Soon as You Wake Up

Exposing your eyes to natural light first thing in the morning helps set your internal biological clock. Research shows that exposing your eyes to light early in the day and avoiding light exposure after dark helps establish healthy sleep patterns.

Beyond sleep and insomnia, properly setting your biological clock and internal circadian rhythms is important for blood sugar control and metabolic health. So, open the blinds in the morning or take an early morning walk. This exposure to light will help you wake up and feel more alert too.

Switch to Red Night Lights

Blue light at night disrupts your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that sets your biological clock and helps bring on sleep. In contrast, red light stimulates melatonin production for a better night’s sleep.

One study found that Chinese female athletes who exposed their eyes to red light at night for 14 days had better quality sleep and higher melatonin levels. You can purchase night lights that deliver light in the red wavelength range. You can also buy red-light masks that you place on your face and turn on for variable lengths of time. These masks are sold for their potential skin anti-aging benefits.

At least avoid blue light at night since it’s a melatonin disruptor. Blue light comes from LED lights, cell phone screens and tablets, computer screens, and fluorescent light. Exposure to blue light during the day isn’t harmful to sleep and may be beneficial. It’s all in the timing.

Try a Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket is a blanket with small, evenly distributed pieces of weight placed within the fabric. They are available for purchase on a number of retail websites and are commonly used to help people deal with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. The weight used of these blankets ranges from 10-30 pounds, depending on the size of the individual who will use it.

But do they work? A randomized controlled study, the highest quality kind, found that subjects who slept on a weighted blanket for a month experienced improvements in insomnia, stayed asleep longer, and felt more upbeat and energetic during the day.

Why are they effective? Weighted blankets help relax both your body and your mind by simulating the feeling of being hugged or held tightly. When you hug someone, the pressure put on your body helps stimulate your nervous system and release serotonin and oxytocin, and these hormones may help you get a better night’s sleep.

Journal Before You Sleep

Before turning in, write down your thoughts and worries in a journal. Writing things down helps get your thoughts down on paper and out of your head, so you won’t keep replaying them in your mind when you’re trying to sleep. Writing things down is also a powerful tool for self-reflection. Make it a nightly ritual. You might prefer to journal on a tablet or phone but writing with a pen or pencil in a journal is more therapeutic because it engages your body more.

Check Your Medications

Many medications can change your sleep patterns and cause insomnia. These include medications used to treat asthma, some cold remedies, antidepressants, weight loss medications, and medications that contain caffeine. Don’t forget about the caffeine you get from beverages either. If you have insomnia, stop drinking coffee and tea after noon.

Minimize Outside Distractions with White Noise

If you have insomnia, you may be hypersensitive to sounds and light. Wearing comfortable earplugs and a light-blocking sleep mask may be beneficial if that’s the case. Another approach is to add white noise. White noise is a monotonous and repetitive sound that can mask other sounds. To mimic white noise, you can run a fan in your sleeping area or use a machine or app.

White noise is particularly useful if you have trouble falling asleep because of background noises such as traffic, construction, or neighbors talking. It can also help drown out snoring – although in some cases it may worsen it since the volume of white noise can make your partner’s snoring seem louder.

Another type of noise that can help you sleep is nature sounds. For example, many people benefit from playing the sounds of rain falling, birds singing, or water flowing. Some white-noise machines also play natural sounds such as birds singing and falling rain.

Get a Health Check

If none of the above helps, talk to your physician. Disrupted sleep, especially if you’re a chronic snorer, can be a sign of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing for short periods during the night. Since sleep apnea can be a serious condition, make sure it’s not contributing to your sleep issues.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve tried everything else for sleep, give these suggestions a try. Here’s to a better night’s sleep!


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  • Zhao J, Tian Y, Nie J, Xu J, Liu D. Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players. J Athl Train. 2012 Nov-Dec;47(6):673-8. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-47.6.08. PMID: 23182016; PMCID: PMC3499892.
  • “Best Weighted Blankets of 2021 | Sleep Foundation.” 16 Nov. 2021,
  • “Study shows weighted blankets can decrease insomnia ….” 23 Sept. 2020,
  • “White Noise: How How To Use It for Better Sleep | Sleep ….” 23 Oct. 2020,
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