Your lights are turned off, your phone is plugged in, and you’ve got an early morning start. There’s just one problem—you can’t sleep! If you can relate, then you aren’t alone. According to one survey by Consumer Reports, more than 164 million Americans struggle to fall asleep each week. Luckily, there are some practical things you can do to get a better night’s rest. Try one, or even all five, to get the sleep you need to conquer the day.
- Reduce your blue light exposure.
If your nightly routine includes looking at your phone or laptop, then you may be harming your sleep. The blue light emitted by popular electronic devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm. To help correct the problem, researchers from Harvard suggest avoiding bright screen up to three hours before bed.
- Say no to late-night coffee & caffeine.
Many adults consume caffeine, but you may want to pass on that cup of coffee when it’s close to your bedtime. Research has revealed that late-night caffeine could be impacting your circadian clock, so unless you’re pulling an all-nighter, try some chamomile tea instead.
- Put yourself on a sleep schedule.
Whatever your late-night routine is, it’s best to stay consistent. Making a schedule and sticking to it may help you sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed. It can be difficult at first, but don’t give up. Hopefully, you’ll start noticing a difference after a few days.
- Try a supplement.
For some people, your diet could be affecting how you sleep. Some supplements could help by providing vitamins and minerals that can naturally improve how you sleep. Popular sleep supplements include:
- Valerian root
- Ginkgo biloba
- Relax & meditate.
Taking advantage of some simple meditation techniques may help you relax and get to sleep faster. Start with a few breathing exercises when you lay down for the night. Take five to ten breaths, breathing in your mouth, and out your nose. Concentrate on your breaths and try to work up to a two to three-minute session. You may be surprised how often you fall asleep before completing your meditation. If you’re having trouble relaxing on your own, you may also want to try a guided meditation app like Headspace.