The Secret to Getting a Good Night’s Rest

Updated on January 9, 2017
Room of My Own profile image

Sadie Holloway loves researching and writing about simple ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

On average, we spend 7-10 hours a day in bed. If we're lucky, most of that time is spent sleeping and relaxing, not tossing and turning. If a good night's sleep is a priority for you, read on to find out how to create a luxurious sleeping environment that can help lull you to sleep each night.

Have you taken a good look at your bed lately? If you were paying $250 a night to stay in a fancy hotel, would you be satisfied with a bed like yours in a 5-star hotel room? If not, then it's time to make your bed a top priority and give it a refreshing, but affordable make-over.

Comfort is key to a soothing rest at the end of a long day. Give yourself the 5-star treatment. Paul McKenna, author of I Can Make You Sleep, says that most people end up keeping their pillows, duvets, blankets, and mattresses for far too long. Over time the bedding that you surround yourself with for 7 hours a day, becomes less and less comfortable. He reminds us of an old adage: "Never skimp on your bed or shoes, because if you are not in one, you are in the other."

McKenna points out that If you compare the cost of spending one night in a high-end luxury hotel to the cost of updating your room with a few bedding essentials, it makes sense to splurge on something that is so critical to your health and well-being: your bed!

Don't be miserly when it comes to your linens. Always go for high-quality sheets, pillowcases and comforters. If buying a matched set of high-thread count (at least 1000) linens is out of your price range, buy pieces as you are able to. Start with the pillow cases, then the sheet set, then the duvet cover. While everyone wants to have a pretty bed to sleep on each night, it's more important that the sheets have the quality and comfort that you need. With a little bit of planning and an eye for color and pattern, you create a beautiful set of bed linens that don't all come from the same designer manufacturer. Pay attention to white sales at your favorite stores and don't be afraid to shop around until you find the best linens at the best prices possible. Also, remember that sheets come in different textures as well: satin, sateen, cotton, rayon, jersy and flannel.

Is your mattress giving you the support you need? Consider upgrading or updating your old mattress. If your mattress is sagging in some areas and stiff in others but rotating it doesn't make it may more comfortable, it's time to either invest in a brand new mattress or update your current mattress with one of the many new types of mattress pads available now. These mattress pads can be feather-beds, memory-foam pads or even made of natural sheep skin. What's great about them is that for a relatively reasonable price, you can try out different mattress pads first rather than investing in a whole new mattress.

Your head isn't the only thing that needs support. Pillows aren't just for your head. They can keep your whole body properly aligned. Choosing the right pillow can make a significant difference in getting a good night’s rest. But with so many choices out there -- all different shapes, sizes and densities -- it can take time finding a pillow that is just right for you.

Whether you sleep on your back, your side or your stomach, look for a pillow that supports your head and keeps it in natural alignment with your spine. You don’t want to wake up with kinks and cramps in your neck in the morning. If you sleep in multiple positions at night, you may need one or two extra pillows of different densities to accommodate your different positions. Remember, pillows aren't just for putting under your head. Placing pillows under your knees (when you are on your back) or between your knees (when you are on your side), can ease back strain.

Foods To Avoid If You Want a Good Night’s Sleep

If you struggle with frequent restlessness at night and find it hard to fall asleep, it might be a good idea to figure out if you are unknowingly consuming too much caffeine before bedtime. According to the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, these are some of the most common foods and drinks that contain caffeine:

Hot Beverages (per 10-ounce serving)

  • Coffee, brewed: 170 - 200 mg
  • Coffee, decaffeinated: 5 - 10 mg
  • Tea: 50 - 100 mg
  • Hot Cocoa: 5 - 20 mg

Cold Beverages (per 12-ounce serving)

  • Cola/Soft Drinks: 40 - 60 mg
  • Bottled Iced Tea: 25 - 35 mg

Food (per 1-ounce serving)

  • Milk Chocolate: 1 - 15 mg
  • Dark Chocolate: 20 mg
  • Bittersweet Chocolate: 5 - 35 mg

If you want to keep caffeine from interfering with your sleep patterns, sleep specialists suggest that you avoid caffeine 5 - 7 hours before bedtime. As well, the American Medical Association suggests a maximum daily caffeine limit of 200 mg.

Consult Your Doctor

A gentle reminder and word of caution: If you are having serious sleep deprivation issues, consult your doctor.

Chronic insomnia, loud snoring, and sleep apnea are sleep issues that shouldn't be taken lightly. While taking care of your bed and creating a relaxing environment is a step in the right direction for improving your overall sleep habits, if you have prolonged sleep issues that are affecting your overall health and wellness, do not hesitate to contact your family physician. Given our busy lifestyle these days, an occasional night of sleeplessness is not unusual. We've all experienced a bad night here and there. But if your sleep routine is affecting your mental and physical functioning on a daily basis, it is best to seek medical advice from a qualified professional. Some sleep disorders and disruptions in regular sleep patterns can point to other underlying health issues.


Duyff, Roberta Larson, American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2012.

McKenna, Paul, I Can Make You Sleep: Overcome Insomnia Forever and Get the Best Rest of Your Life! Sterling. 2016.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Sadie Holloway


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)