10 Tips for Better Sleep

  1. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A nightly activity like brewing some tea right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  3. Wind down. This ties in with tip 2. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading, meditating or practicing yoga. Using an electronic device like your cell phone can make it hard to fall asleep, because the type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain.
  4. Set an alarm to go to bed. If you find yourself constantly wishing you had hit the hay earlier but staying on track with a calming bedtime routine seems impossible for you, consider setting yourself an alarm — to go to bed.
  5. Feng Shui! If your bedroom is not a comforting and relaxing place, you’re not going to want to spend a lot of time there. Make adjustments to your bedroom so that it is dark, quiet, cool and cozy. A key factor in the comfort level of your bedroom is the bed itself, so make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  6. Keep it dark. Even the most inconspicuous glow — like that from a digital alarm clock — can disrupt your shut-eye. If you can’t seal up all the light sources in your room, consider using a comfy eye-mask.
  7. Keep it quiet… but not too quiet. Keep whirring electronics and ticking watches outside of the bedroom to avoid distractions while you’re trying to get to sleep and consider trying an ambient noise machine if your bedroom verges on the too-quiet side of the spectrum.
  8.  Try aromatherapy. The scent of lavender has noted benefits for sleep. A small 2005 study found that a sniff before bed led to more deep sleep. And a 2008 study found that lavender helped women with insomnia fall asleep more easily, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  9. Get out of bed if you really can’t sleep. If you can’t seem to fall sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or find a sleep professional. You may also benefit from recording your sleep in a sleep diary  to help you better evaluate common patterns or issues you may see with your sleep or sleeping habits.