Next to feeding and hydrating yourself, sleep is one of the most important things you can give your body, especially your brain. Sleep is when the brain is getting ready for the next day. When you are not consistently getting those essential resting hours, it’s more difficult for the brain to form (or keep) pathways that help you concentrate, hold conversations, learn, and create new memories. It also affects basically every aspect of your wellness: immune function, mood, metabolism, cardiovascular health, and more.
There’s nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep or falling asleep and waking up frequently throughout the night. Below are several tips for getting an appropriate amount of shut-eye so you can aim for happy, healthy, and well-rested all year long.
Wind down before your head hits the pillow
Staring at screens or working out right before bedtime isn’t going to do you any REM favors. Instead, try turning off any overhead lighting, reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath, then hit the sheets.
Set a bedtime and stick to it
Turn that phone on do not disturb and leave it. Try to go to bed five or ten minutes earlier each night. When you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you’re maintaining your body’s internal clock, which makes getting into bed and an alarm going off in the a.m. that much easier.
Keep your bedroom for sleep
Figure out what temperature works best for your body to fall asleep — a too-warm bedroom has been known to keep some people up at night. Keep the TV, tablets, and computers out of the bedroom too; avoiding bright lights and louder noises when you’re trying to get quality slumber is a good idea.
Try white noise
If you have trouble falling asleep because of outside noise, try white noise. White noise machines emit all the frequencies audible to human ears and can help muffle household sounds and street noises — focusing on the sound will lull you to sleep.
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