It’s no secret how vital sleep is to your overall health.

EVERYONE who experiences sleep problems is painfully aware of the impact sleep has on their daily life. What EVERYONE doesn’t know is how to address those sleep problems.

People who are fortunate enough NOT to have chronic sleep issues may not be aware of the impact poor quality sleep has on the rest of us. It can cause concentration problems, low productivity at work, vehicle accidents, numerous diseases, and much more.

As a long-term Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) sufferer, I am dependent on a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device. I know from experience about poor quality sleep. Regardless of which sleep problem(s) you are experiencing, you would probably like to know how to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep - naturally.


There are two different, but overlapping, types of sleep problems:  

  1. Trouble going to sleep, and 
  2. Trouble staying asleep

Although there are some overlapping symptoms and treatments, these two sleep issues should be evaluated separately.

The following list of potential sleep improvements is NOT complete by any means. Additional details and recommendations will be provided in upcoming blog posts. In the next several posts, I will provide additional information that is likely to improve your sleep substantially. 

Here are a few of the most effective ways to improve your sleep – naturally and safely:

  1. Trouble going to sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants after lunch. Many stimulants – including chocolate - can stay in your system for hours and prevent you from going to sleep at night.

  • Practice good “sleep hygiene.” Have a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleeping environment. Most people have trouble going to sleep if they are too hot or too cold, or if you are distracted by electronic devices, bright lights, loud noises, etc.

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule. This includes a “target time” to go to bed and wake up. Your body’s Circadian rhythms (or “body clock”) play a huge role in when you tend to get sleepy and when you tend to wake up. For better or for worse, everyone’s Circadian rhythms are not the same. This fact can be a significant challenge if you and your sleeping partner have different natural sleep schedules.
  1. Trouble staying asleep:

  • All the issues listed above that impact your ability to go to sleep can also affect your ability to stay asleep. In my case, caffeine doesn’t prevent me from going to sleep but it absolutely affects my ability to stay asleep and get good-quality sleep.

  • Drinking too many fluids shortly before going to bed can wake you up prematurely. This may not be a huge problem if you are able to go back to sleep after you answer nature’s call. If, on the other hand, you have trouble going BACK to sleep, it can be a big problem. See the next bullet point.

  • For many of us, the running loop of “To Do” items in our head can prevent us from going back to sleep after we wake up at night. (It’s not like we’ve had a pandemic, an “interesting” election year, and a rollercoaster economy to worry about or anything.) Millions of people are even having to deal with tragedies like job loss, homelessness, drastically reduced income, and huge medical bills. Many of us are so exhausted by bedtime that going to sleep may not be difficult. Getting back to sleep after waking up prematurely, however, is can be much more challenging for many of us.

Of course, there are a multitude of other sleep issues that people deal with on a daily – or nightly – basis. There seem to be at least as many ways to address sleep issues as there are sleep issues themselves. The most difficult challenge is finding the right combination of sleep solutions that work for you.


Our focus here is how to improve the quantity and quality of our sleep – naturally. There are a multitude of options out there for addressing your sleep issues. Here are a few of the top categories:

  • Natural Supplements: There are many natural supplements that claim to help improve the quality and/or quality of your sleep. Natural supplements are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to the degree that pharmaceutical products are regulated. As a result, the availability of accurate information about natural supplements is lacking. On the other hand, there appears to be ample proof that many people experience improved sleep with the help of natural supplements. Many of these natural herbs, vitamins, and hormones have been used for thousands of years all over the world to successfully address sleep problems.

  • Informational Materials: Printed and online information about how to improve your sleep naturally are available in great abundance. There is an almost endless number of books, articles, blogs, and websites available on the topic of natural sleep.

  • Sleep-Related Consumer Products: In addition to natural supplements and informational materials about natural sleep, there is also a never-ending supply of sleep-related consumer products available. You can buy special masks, mattresses, blankets, white-noise machines, black-out curtains, and much more to improve your sleep naturally.


As with most things in life, some of these sleep-related solutions can help you, but others will not. To complicate an already complicated situation, there are an almost infinite number of causes for sleep problems. 

In many cases, the specific sleep symptoms that an individual experiences are the result of multiple factors. As a result, two people can share the same symptoms, but the solutions might be different. This complexity is just one of the many factors that makes addressing sleep-related problems so difficult.

In my personal situation with sleep apnea, I have found a variety of ways to address my sleep issues. It has taken many years and a significant amount of time and money to get to where I am today. Although I have not yet overcome all my sleep problems, I have improved the overall quantity and quality of my sleep in many ways. At the same time, I am always on the look-out for new and better ways to improve my sleep.

The most important thing to remember about improving your sleep naturally is that there is almost never a “silver bullet.” Since sleep is such a complex issue, the solutions are usually just as complex. In most cases, there are multiple factors that are causing your sleep problems. As a result, multiple solutions are almost always required to achieve substantial and long-lasting improvements.

Check back next week for more detailed information and specific recommendations concerning how you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep - naturally.


Starting tomorrow, keep a detailed sleep journal. Make detailed notes about your sleep every morning. This process will help assess which sleep issues you have so that appropriate natural solutions can be developed. This journal will also help you to evaluate which solutions seem to improve your sleep and which ones do not. When you change something or try something, make notes about what, if any, impact it had on your sleep. 

Please include the following information in your sleep journal as well as any additional comments and notes that you think might be relevant:

  • What time you went to bed
  • What time you went to sleep
  • How many times you woke up overnight and how long you think you stayed awake
  • The quality of sleep, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best
  • What time you woke up
  • What time you got out of bed
  • Total estimated sleep time after deducting sleep missed because of overnight wake-ups
  • Any specific issues that affected your sleep, either positively or negatively. This might
    include spicy food, loud music next door at 3:00 am, midnight leg cramps, etc.
  • Any changes you tried to improve your sleep and the impact of those changes



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Bill Pickard,

Founder of Success Business Communications

Former Director - Specialty Channels, Gaia Herbs

Former Vice President of Business Development, Braven, Inc