Three quick tips to sleep better tonight: Ditch your phone, work out, get comfy

As US and UK cities top the world's worst place for sleep, we find some quick sleep hacks

Women lies awake in bed scrolling on her phone
(Image credit: Getty)

According to the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, we spend around one-third of our life either sleeping – or trying to do so. If you find yourself experiencing lack of sleep more often recently, you’re not alone – a study carried out by mattress experts, discovered where in the world sleepless nights cause the most stress. And from the key findings they found that the city of Rochester, in New York, is ‘the world’s most insomnia-stressed city’ - holding a 55.21% stress rate to its name.

Sometimes a simple switch of bedding, like adding one of the best mattress toppers to your bed could help you settle down for the night. Mattress toppers can add an extra layer of cushioning to your bed, or firm it up, depending on your needs, all at less expense than buying a new mattress, which can come in at hundreds of dollars. Getting comfortable is the first step to better sleep. 

However, a comfy sleep environment is only half the battle: often there can be larger issues behind your issues with sleep. The common sleep disorder, insomnia, happens as a result of stress, says Sleep Foundation, an American sleep organization. 

A poor night's sleep rarely sets us up to feel chirpy and ready for the day ahead of us: lethargy can create a vicious circle of increasing stress, which has even further impact on your sleep. 

woman sleeping face-down

(Image credit: Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash)

The Mornings sleep study saw the mattress experts use a tool called TensiStrength to analyse the number of tweets about sleep that related to stress. While the city of Rochester topped the list of ‘10 worst cities for sleep’, making part of the US look rather exhausted, Brits ranked fairly high too with two UK cities positioning themselves second and third place. They found Liverpool had 53.92% of stressed tweets about sleep while Manchester followed behind with 51.21%.

While there isn’t a straightforward answer as to why certain locations of the world experience worse night’s sleep than others, there are small things that can help you to improve your sleep quality. 

Although online tweets helped to inform this study, it isn’t advised to spend too much time on your phone before bed. According to the Sleep Foundation, screen time delays the release of melatonin which can push back bedtimes and lead to a less fulfilling sleep. Using your phone before bed has also been linked to weight gain. 

Upping your exercise frequency can also help you sleep better. A 2021 study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that people who are regularly active and avoid sitting down and watching TV too much are less likely to develop a sleep disorder. Lifting weights in particular can also boost your bedrest according to research, so a few sessions with the best adjustable dumbbells can help improve your sleep all week. 

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.