10 Proven Strategies for Superior Sleep Quality: A Comprehensive Guide

As we emerge from the daylight savings time adjustment period, the importance of not just the quantity but the quality of our sleep becomes ever more apparent. This shift can unsettle our circadian rhythms, emphasizing the need for sleep strategies that truly make a difference. This guide offers ten scientifically supported tactics to enhance your sleep quality, drawing on the expertise of sleep authorities like Shawn Stevenson and Matthew Walker. By grasping the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind each approach, you’ll be equipped to refine your sleep practices—ensuring that every hour of rest is as restorative as possible, uplifting your overall health and well-being in these rhythmically challenging times.

The Profound Impact of Sleep on Wellbeing


While the average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep, with variations from person to person, the composition of that sleep—light, deep, and REM—is critical. The debate between quality and quantity of sleep leans heavily towards the former; uninterrupted, deep sleep is far more beneficial than a longer duration of fitful rest.

Suboptimal sleep can detrimentally affect mental health, leading to mood swings, heightened stress, and cognitive impairment. Physically, it compromises the immune system, increases the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease, and disrupts hormonal balance, which can influence dietary choices and muscle repair.

The repercussions of neglecting sleep extend to chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and disturbances in gut health and blood sugar regulation, all of which can precipitate a range of health issues. Thus, the strategies presented here aim not only to improve sleep but also to foster overall bodily harmony. As we delve into these tactics, starting with the importance of darkness for sleep, we underscore each step as a move towards a healthier, more vibrant existence.

1. Harness the Night: The Essential Role of Darkness in Sleep Enhancement

The human body is designed to respond to light cues. When your bedroom is infiltrated by light from streetlamps or electronic devices, it can trigger the production of cortisol, a hormone associated with alertness. By creating a pitch-black environment using blackout curtains or Velcro blackout sheets, you encourage your body’s natural melatonin production, facilitating a deeper sleep. Even small LED lights from electronics can be disruptive, so cover them with black tape. For those who travel or can’t control external light, an eye mask can be a portable solution.

Re-Root Suggestion: Here’s the eyemask that I use myself

2. Chill Out for Better Slumber: The Importance of Cool Sleep Environments

A cooler environment, ideally between 65-68°F (18°C), aligns with your body’s natural temperature drop during sleep, promoting restfulness and facilitating the onset of sleep and also helping you attain deeper sleep. If air conditioning isn’t an option, consider using a fan or keeping windows open. It’s the air temperature that matters for sleep initiation, not your body’s warmth, so you can still use blankets for comfort.

Practical Tip: For those without air conditioning, a “bed fan” that fits under the sheets can provide a cool sleeping environment.

3. Sanctify Your Sleep Space: The Key to a Restful Night

Your bed should be a sacred space reserved for two purposes: sleep and intimacy. By eliminating activities like watching TV, scrolling through your phone, or eating in bed, you strengthen the mental association between your bed and rest. This psychological conditioning can significantly improve your sleep experience.

Expert Quote: “Your bed should be a signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep,” says Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher at Harvard University.

4. The Sober Route to Restful Nights: Avoiding Sleep Disruptors

Alcohol and other substances might seem like they help you relax, but they can wreak havoc on your sleep quality and gut health. The gut-brain axis plays a crucial role in our overall well-being, and disruptions in gut health can lead to poor sleep. Instead of reaching for a glass of wine, consider alternatives like chamomile tea or warm golden milk, which includes turmeric and other spices known for their relaxing properties. These alternatives can help you unwind without the adverse effects on your sleep architecture.

Recipe: Authentic Golden Milk Tea

5. Eating and Caffeine Timelines: Dietary Discipline for Optimal Sleep

Your last meal of the day plays a pivotal role in how well you’ll sleep. Foods rich in magnesium, such as almonds and spinach, and those containing tryptophan, like turkey and dairy products, can promote relaxation and prepare your body for rest. Additionally, cherries and walnuts are excellent sources of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. For dinner, consider a balanced meal with a combination of these nutrients, and if you need a pre-bedtime snack, opt for a small bowl of cherries or a glass of warm milk (preferably A2 milk from cows, sheep or goats) . Remember to finish eating at least 1-3 hours before bedtime to give your body time to digest, and avoid caffeine after 12 noon to prevent it from interfering with your sleep.

Check out these simple food tips

6. The Best Sleep Positions: Aligning Your Body for Quality Rest

Your sleep position can significantly impact your sleep quality and health. Side sleeping, for instance, is often recommended for optimal breathing and circulation, reducing the likelihood of sleep-disrupted breathing disorders. A modified Fowler’s position (on your back with an elevated upper body) can alleviate snoring, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. Special pillows can aid in achieving these positions comfortably.

Resource List: A list of recommended pillows and sleep aids for optimal sleep positioning is provided.

7. Breathing Right: How Nighttime Breathing Affects Sleep Quality

Understanding your breathing patterns during sleep can unveil issues like snoring or sleep apnea. Apps like SnoreLab offer insights into your respiratory health, allowing you to make informed improvements. This knowledge can be a game-changer in enhancing your sleep quality. The app helps you define if you are snoring and for how long and how loudly.  There is a sister app called Snore Gym that teaches you some myfunctional tongue exercises to help improve it’s strength that can help reduce your snoring.

Interactive Element: A link to download the SnoreLab app is included.

8. The Rhythm of Rest: Establishing a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Regularity in your sleep schedule trains your nervous system for better sleep. By going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, you reinforce your body’s natural circadian rhythms, leading to improved sleep patterns and overall sleep quality.

Call to Action: Share your own sleep schedule in the comments and how it’s impacted your sleep quality.

9. Pre-Bedtime Mindfulness: Easing into a Restful State

Transitioning your nervous system into a “rest and digest” state before bed can significantly enhance your sleep quality. Engage in calming activities like listening to soothing music, meditating, or practicing mindful breathing exercises. A simple mantra like “With everything going on in my life, right now, the very best thing I can do is sleep” can set the tone for a restful night.

Re-Root Tips: 6 Relaxation Techniques From Re-Root

10. Sleep Tracking: The Journaling Path to Better Sleep

Keeping a sleep journal, whether digitally or on paper, allows you to track your sleep habits and quality. Note the time you go to bed, the time you wake up, and rate your sleep. This practice not only fosters mindfulness about your sleep patterns but also helps you recognize the impact of implementing these strategies. Ideally as you implement these your sleep quality should improve with time.

Interactive Tool: A printable sleep journal template is available for download.

Unlock Restorative Sleep: Embrace Proven Strategies for Enhanced Well-being

In closing, remember that enhancing your sleep is a gradual journey, not an overnight overhaul. Start by integrating just one or two strategies from this guide into your routine, choosing those that feel most manageable. As these changes become habitual, you can then build upon them. Begin with a single, achievable strategy, implement it consistently, and observe its impact on your sleep quality and daily vitality. This initial step is crucial, setting the foundation for a more restful and energized life. Remember, the path to better sleep is about taking deliberate, manageable steps—one at a time.

Start your journey to better sleep today by choosing one strategy to implement tonight. Share your chosen strategy and your experience in the comments below!

Struggling with the Effects of Poor Sleep Quality?

You’re at a crossroads with three paths to choose from:

Path One: Inaction.

It might seem easy to dismiss the symptoms and hope they’ll resolve on their own. However, the reality is that unresolved sleep issues can progressively undermine your overall health and daily life. Ignoring them may lead to a worsening of symptoms over time.

Path Two: Self-guided Action.

Taking the initiative to self-educate and implement lifestyle changes is commendable. It’s a proactive step towards better sleep health. The drawback? This approach may provide temporary relief without addressing the underlying causes, leaving the core issue intact.

Path Three: Professional Intervention.

Often, the most direct route to improving sleep quality is through expert assistance. Engaging with a functional nutrition coach like Joseph Bershad offers you specialized knowledge, a thorough understanding of the underlying issues, and tailored strategies. Our expertise can guide you through the intricacies of your sleep challenges, crafting a bespoke plan to enhance your sleep and, by extension, your quality of life.

Three Ways To Work With Joseph at Re-Root Functional Nutrition

Please check out my website at www.rerootnutritioncoach.com to learn more about my practice and the services noted above.

Note: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not replace personalized medical advice. Please consult a healthcare professional or functional nutrition coach for individualized guidance and treatment.

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