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Reddit on Sleep: 15 Science-Backed Tips from r/sleep

by SleePare

By Dustin Morgan | 5 minutes Minute Read

If you’ve never heard of Reddit, it’s a social discussion site where people from all walks of life get together to discuss issues of all kinds. 

What makes Reddit different from sites like Facebook and Twitter is its upvote and downvote feature. Users vote posts up or down depending on the quality that they offer.

Since users vote based on quality, Reddit can be a great site to look for advice and tips. Tips that aren’t factual or evidence-based are typically downvoted into obscurity, while high-quality tips and solid advice receives hundreds if not thousands of upvotes from Reddit users.

There are multiple Reddit communities, called subreddits, that are dedicated to individual interests. For example, r/getmotivated is dedicated to personal growth, while r/sleep is focused on giving people the best sleep of their lives. In fact, r/sleep has so much good advice we’ve collected it here to ensure you can sleep soundly tonight. 

1. Get 15 Minutes of Sunlight

Take your morning coffee break outside

Tip by user u/beefus_nodrinski

Reddit user u/beefus_nodrinski noticed that they slept better when exposed to three hours of sunlight a day. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have three spare hours to spend in the daylight. Researchers suggest getting at least 15 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight a day to improve the body’s natural production of melatonin which will lead to better sleep at night.

While researchers did suggest that you should get sunlight between 8 AM and 10 AM, this is easily achieved. You can either open the shades in your office and allow the sun in or you can take your morning coffee break outside and soak up a bit of sun.

2. Get Your Zinc and Magnesium

Tip by user u/HeartAttackKid919

In a recent study, researchers gave patients with insomnia zinc and magnesium every day for 8 weeks and found it improved their quality of life dramatically. While it is very scientific, zinc and magnesium are essential in sleep regulation. They give your body what it needs to fall and stay asleep.

To improve your intake of these essential minerals naturally, increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables, like spinach, and nuts, like cashews. You can also take a supplement, but you should talk with your doctor first.

3. Eat Healthy All Day

Try the Mediterranean diet to feel its impact

Tip by user u/Ferguson0876112701

If you enjoy eating lots of sugary and high carbohydrate food, it may be affecting your sleep. Research has shown that high intakes of low-fiber high-carbohydrate food can reduce the amount of slow-wave sleep and REM sleep.

Slow-wave sleep is deep sleep and that is integral for brain restoration and human recovery. REM sleep also helps to refresh and restore the brain.

By eating a diet filled with complex carbohydrates and staying away from foods that are too high in fats and proteins you should sleep better. For the people in the study, it showed that a Mediterranean diet that has lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats was able to help lower incidences of insomnia.

4. Buy Some Houseplants

Try the Mediterranean diet to feel its impact

Tip by user u/xXguitarsenXx

If you want to improve the quality of your sleep get some house plants. Research has shown that the freshness of bedroom air has been able to improve the quality of sleep and reduce feelings of sleepiness in participants. While some Redditors use expensive air purifiers you can use houseplants to improve both the air quality and the decor of your sleep surroundings.

While you can buy any house plant, certain house plants are better at reducing pollutants like benzene, xylene, ammonia, formaldehyde, and tricholorethelyne, which Reddit user xXguitarsenXx says are detrimental to sleep.

One plant, the peace lily, removes all the elements. However, if you don’t like peace lilies there are other plants available.

5. Try Vitamins D3 and B12

Eat more fish and eggs to improve your intake of these essential vitamins.

Tip by user u/PsychologicalRevenue

If you are constantly tired even when you get enough sleep, you may be lacking in vitamins B12 and D3. There is research to support the idea that lower levels of vitamin D3 are related to poor sleep quality, short sleep duration, and sleepiness. Lack of vitamin B12 has been linked to disorders of the sleep-wake rhythm.

To improve your intake of vitamin D3 eat more oily fish, liver, egg yolks, and butter. For B12 drink more milk and eat more fish, meat, poultry, and eggs. While you can use supplements, it is best to consult a doctor before adding them to your daily regime.

6. Nap Correctly

If you nap make sure it’s only for 20 minutes and before 3 PM

Tip by users u/clanton and u/fschwiet

If you find yourself tired during the day, take a nap, just do it correctly. To nap correctly make sure it is for no more than 10 to 20 minutes and never after 3 PM as this can affect nighttime sleep. 

This tip is particularly useful for shift workers who may not get the best sleep at night and need some way to awaken themselves during the day. If this is you, remember to keep your nap shorter than 30 minutes. Over 30 minutes and you will get into a deep sleep and it may make it harder to wake up. 

7. No More Blue Light

Tip by user u/no_bruxism

It has happened to many of us, sitting in bed until almost dawn scrolling your feed. You wonder, how did this happen? You missed an entire night’s sleep and didn’t feel tired at all. It could be caused by the blue light that comes from your electronic devices.

Studies have shown that blue light can push back your body’s natural sleep signals by up to three hours. If you want to reduce your exposure to blue light get a filtering app for your phone and other electronic devices and set it to turn on at least two hours before your bedtime.

Reddit seems to really like f.lux, but there are many different options in the google play or apple app store. You can also do the same on your Windows 10 enabled PC by checking the display settings. 

8. Avoid Disruptive Food Before Bed

 Avoid eating heavy and spicy foods, like buffalo wings, at least 2 hours before bed

Tip by user u/Altoids101

Some foods that you eat may be making it harder for you to sleep. According to some experts, you should avoid heavy, rich, fatty, spicy, and fried foods along with most citrus fruits and carbonated drinks.

While some of these foods can cause indigestion, others are linked to causing disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle making it harder to either fall or stay asleep. This isn’t saying you can never enjoy a plate of buffalo wings, but if you have sleeping problems it may be best to eat them earlier in the day.

9. Take a Hot Bath Before Bed

Take a hot bath, between 104°F and 109°F, 2 hours before bedtime.]

Tip by u/qptbook

You may have a sufficiently comfortable mattress and still be unable to get the sleep of your dreams. If this is the case, you should try taking a hot bath one to two hours before bed.

In one study, researchers found that when participants took a bath between 104°F to 109°F it helped them to fall asleep easier. It works because the hot water allows the body temperature to drop allowing the body to fall asleep naturally. 

During the natural sleep cycle, the body temperature lowers as you fall asleep and will continue to fall as you sleep. As you get closer to waking up, your body temperature begins to rise as part of your body’s natural alarm clock.

10. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Set an alarm for a sleep and wake time and try to stay within 30 minutes of that time

Tip by user u/amhoopster

Are you waiting all week to sink into your luxe mattress on Friday night and stay asleep until Sunday to make up for lost time? Well, think again. Although it can be hard to do so, you should attempt to stick to a sleep schedule.

Participants in a study with irregular sleep schedules were found to have more insufficient sleep than those with a regular sleep schedule. According to Harvard doctors, trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends will likely not have any overall benefit.

If you want to be the most rested overall, it’s best to maintain your sleep cycle as consistently as you can.

11. Don’t Go to Bed Hungry

Enjoy a piece of fruit and milk before bed.

Tip by u/LifeofDrMom

Studies show that taking in some carbs before bed can help to improve slow-wave sleep and REM sleep. Study participants that didn’t take in any carbs, saw a decrease in deep sleep. Researchers believe that the increase in serotonin from carbohydrates improves deeper sleep.

Some foods that are considered good for sleep are milk, cherries, kiwi fruit, and fatty fish. So maybe mom and dad knew what they were doing when giving you a bedtime snack.

12. Make a List

Make a list of 26 countries, one for each letter of the alphabet, and recite before sleeping.

Tip by u/fakesnakesablaze

If you’re like Reddit user fakesnakesablaze and you can’t shut your mind off when it’s time to go to sleep, making and reciting a list may help. This user chose an alphabetic list of countries, but you can choose anything you want.

This method works because it uses a technique that is loosely related to mindfulness which researchers have found helps with insomnia. Mindfulness can help to reduce stressors and allow the mind to stop focusing on its problems and calm down so it can sleep.

If this doesn’t work for you there are other mindfulness-based approaches you can try like meditation.

13. Use a Weighted Blanket

Buy a weighted blanket that’s no more than 10% of your body weight.

Tip by user u/violetgay

Redditor violetgay has seen improvements in her ADHD-related sleeplessness using weighted blankets, but they can be good for a variety of neurological disturbances including autism and psychological issues like anxiety. 

While studies related to sleep and weighted blankets are scarce, the advice comes from the success that weighted blankets have had in clinical settings regarding people with autism and those with anxiety. To use a weighted blanket choose one that is approximately 10 percent of your body weight.

14. Ask Your Doctor About DSPS

If you have tried everything to go to sleep at a normal time, talk to your doctor about DSPS

Tip by user u/djdadi

Are you a night owl? Have you tried everything from a new fancy mattress to melatonin to help you go to sleep before midnight to no avail? If so, you may need to talk to your doctor about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) also known as Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD).

People with this disorder have a chronic dysregulation of their normal circadian rhythm. This means that if you have this problem your body doesn’t signal tiredness until way later, sometimes well past midnight. You may also have trouble waking for normal school or work hours.

There are treatments that have been useful in treating people with this disorder. One treatment that is effective is light therapy — using a box that mimics natural outdoor light.

15. Don’t Sleep Too Much

Set your alarm for 7 to 9 hours after your sleep time and wake up when it goes off.

Tip by user u/Portableseal

Adults are typically recommended to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.  While it depends on age and other health concerns, it is usually not advised to sleep more than this.

Since sleep is so important it may seem like more sleep would be better for you, but it isn’t. According to research, getting too much sleep will give people too little energy

If you’re always tired and get more than nine hours of sleep a day, you may be sleeping too much and may need to talk to your physician about a larger problem.

Trying out these tips for a few nights can be the difference between a sleepless night and the sleep you’ve been longing for. You don’t have to incorporate every tip immediately to start to see results. For some of these tips, especially those related to diet, it may take a few weeks to see results.

If you’ve already tried all of these tips and still can’t get a good night’s sleep. It may be time to look into buying a new mattress

 
Dustin Morgan

Dustin Morgan


Dustin is the lead content creator at SleePare. With a degree in Computer Science and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, he's truly a mattress technology expert.

Dustin has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he's not only able to discern the overall value of a specific bed, but to assign its value to different types of sleepers.

Along with creating honest and straightforward mattress features, Dustin enjoys creating pieces aimed at helping people get their best sleep ever.

When he's not creating helpful content, Dustin enjoys jogging, fishing, hunting and playing video games in and around his Virginia home.