How to get better sleep with the Japanese method of Kaizen

Last Updated: MAR 28, 2023

From bullet trains to sushi, everything about Japanese culture seems to be envied by the rest of the world. So it comes as no surprise that their sleeping habits are no different. The Japanese have a term for good sleep, and it’s called kaizen. In this post, we’ll explore what kaizen is, and how you can use its principles to get better sleep tonight.

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “improvement” or “change for the better.” The philosophy of kaizen is all about continuous improvement in all aspects of life. This includes your personal life, work life, and even your sleeping habits! When it comes to sleep, kaizen teaches us that even the smallest changes can lead to big improvements in the quality of our sleep.

Why Kaizen Works for Sleep

The reason kaizen works so well for sleep is because it's a sustainable way to make changes. You're not overhauling your entire sleep habits overnight—which can be overwhelming and unsustainable—but instead you're taking small steps that you can stick with over time. This incremental approach means that the changes you're making are more likely to become lifelong habits, which is exactly what you want when it comes to something as important as sleep! 

Kaizen continuous improvement for sleep

How to Use Kaizen to Get Better Sleep Tonight

There are many different ways to apply the principles of kaizen to your sleep routine, in essence it's about continuously trying to improve on the surroundings and practices that we set out for ourselves. Below are a few simple tips that you can start from tonight.

1. Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it as much as possible.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help train your body to fall asleep more easily. Keep a diary on the times and try to continually stick to these times and optimise them to suit your lifestyle.

2. Relax in the same way each night.

This could involve taking a warm bath, reading a book, or meditating for a few minutes. The key is to do something that will help you wind down so you’re not bringing any stress or anxiety into bed with you.

3. Make your bedroom a comfortable and inviting space.

This means keeping it dark, quiet, and cool—ideal conditions for falling asleep (and staying asleep!). In order to feel the benefits of Kaizen be sure to continually keep improving your space and trying different ways to make it even more inviting.

4. Limit your exposure to screens before bedtime.

The blue light emitted by TVs, laptops, and phones can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep at night. If you must use screens before bed, try using apps or filters that reduce blue light exposure. As technology is evolving it seems we have more devices than ever before. These are great for use during the daytime but we don't want to stimulate ourselves before bedtime so limit your exposure.

By following the principles of kaizen, you can make small changes that will lead to big improvements in the quality of your sleep! Compounding at it's best! So don’t wait – start making changes tonight and see how much better you feel in a week or two.