Get a whiff of lavender
My latest trick for deep sleep is using a lavender-scented diffuser in my bedroom. The scent has long been known to have sedative properties, decreasing heart rate and blood pressure. In fact, a Wesleyan University study found that women who sniffed lavender oil before bed experienced, on average, 22 percent more restorative slow-wave sleep.
Break a sweat
Though exercisers and non-exercisers clock about the same amount of sleep each night, according to a 2013 National Sleep Foundation poll, those who worked out rated their sleep as significantly better. Even light exercisers were 43 percent more likely to get a good night's rest than those who were mostly sedentary.
According to a study in the European Respiratory Journal, people with moderate to severe sleep apnea who followed a Mediterranean diet—high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish—and walked at least 30 minutes a day for six months experienced roughly 18 fewer episodes of obstructed breathing per hour of REM sleep. Given that excess belly fat increases the risk of sleep apnea, researchers attribute their findings to the decrease in waist circumference that resulted from the regimen.
Next: The best sleep position for better rest