Don't sleep inl i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock Snoozing late on the weekend seems like an obvious way to catch up on your winks, but it may be throwing your body out of rhythm, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. If you tack on any additional hours to your sleep schedule, go to bed earlier and wake up at the usual time. But sleep doctors warn against going to bed too early, as that may also mess up your natural circadian rhythms. Try to stick to your new schedule, so that your body's clock knows when to cue those warm, fuzzy feelings of sleepiness at night.
Reserve your bed for sleeping onlyRossHelen/Shutterstock Your bed is supposed to be your sanctuary to relax and shut down after a long day. Keep the bills, work laptop, or anything else stressful out of your bedroom. You don't want to associate your bed with stress or else you'll start to get anxious about sleeping. Swap your unhealthy habits for these 12 healthy ones each night.
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Leave your worries on paperTortoon/Shutterstock If you find yourself bombarded by worries at night, take a half hour before bed to record your concerns and jot down possible solutions. A clear mind is more likely to drift off than a mind muddled with stress. "Take some time in the evening to work through the day, make lists to do tomorrow and clear your mental desktop of the stuff that you still have to think about. Then go to bed," Michael A. Grandner, PhD, a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania tells HuffPost. Writing down your thoughts and planning out your day the night before won't only help you sleep better, it'll make you more productive the next day.
Get out of bed to do a relaxing activityDudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock If you can't sleep after 30 minutes, get out of bed and go to another dark, quiet room to engage in a relaxing activity for 15 to 20 minutes such as reading or listening to soothing music. This quick fix is what some sleep experts refer to as "sleep stimulus." Lying in bed wide awake only gets you annoyed over your failed attempts to fall back asleep, which leads to an increase in stress hormones, heart rate, and general anxiety—the recipe for a sleepless night. By switching up your environment, you quell that "sleep pressure," so you can fall back asleep faster. Make these eight little changes in your routine to sleep better in just one day.
Dim the lightsArtist1704/Shutterstock A brightly lit room isn't going to put you in the mood for bed. The National Sleep Foundation recommends dimming your lights at least an hour before bed. A darkened room tells your brain it's time to go into sleep mode soon. Better yet, replace your window treatments with room darkening shades or curtains to shut out any outside light, such as streetlights, all night long or wear an eye mask to bed. Good sleepers swear by these six tricks for a good night's sleep.
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