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How to Get Better Sleep

20 Simple Ways to Get Better Sleep Tonight

Not being able to get quality sleep is serious business, so if you're not getting the shut-eye you need, here are 20 ways to fix that ASAP.

  1. Drink herbal tea: Settling down with a mug of noncaffeinated tea can help you relax before bedtime. Up the sleep-inducing power by opting for herbs that have their own relaxing properties, like chamomile, mint, and valerian.
  2. Read a book: Set aside a few minutes each night to meander your way through a favorite book to help power down from a hectic day.
  3. Put away the iPad: The blue light from tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it's day, so have a cutoff time for watching movies and catching up on email that's at least 30 minutes before you need to go to sleep.
  4. Have a sleep-inducing snack: Honey, nuts, and dairy all have something in common: they contain compounds that may induce sleep. Get a list of sleep-inducing foods here so you can choose your midnight snack wisely.
  5. Stretch it out: Stretching your limbs relieves aches, but it can also calm you and prep you for sleep. Here are a few ideas for stretching before bed so you can begin the relaxation process.

Keep reading for 15 more strategies for better sleep.

  1. Meditate: Clearing your mind allows you to drift off to sleep. Read about beginner meditation styles here to pick a style that's right for you.
  2. Hide the light: Electronics, alarm clocks, street lamps — all of these can prevent deep sleep. Cover up anything that's contributing to light pollution in your bedroom to stop your brain from thinking it's not nighttime.
  3. Take a warm shower: A warm bath or shower can further soothe your muscles; it's also great if you're suffering from a cold or allergies, since the hot steam can help open up your sinuses to help you breathe better while you sleep.
  4. Exercise regularly: Expend your energy for the day with exercise, and you'll be ready to drift off to sleep as soon as you hit the hay.
  5. Eat an earlier dinner: Going to sleep with a full stomach can make lying down uncomfortable, so go with an earlier, or lighter dinner to ensure your digestive system isn't causing you to stay awake.
  6. Soothe with smell: Lavender and tea tree oil are two popular soothing scents; add a few drops of these essential oils to your sheets to see if they help you drift off.
  7. Destress: Constant worrying keeps you up at night, so learn to take time out to destress — both during the day and before bed — to clear your mind. From keeping calm during your commute to eating foods high in vitamin C, we've got 17 ways you can destress.
  8. Put away the wine: Those night caps don't help you fall asleep. In fact, they usually are one of the reasons for your restless sleep. If you usually enjoy a glass of wine every night, go without and see if it helps your slumber.
  9. Find the right temperature: Did you know that the best temperature for helping you get proper sleep is between 65 and 72 degrees? Here are some ways you can adjust your bedroom temperature to the perfect degree.
  10. Do yoga: Besides the stress-releasing stretch you'll give your body, yoga helps you relax your mind, as well. We developed this yoga sequence especially to help you sleep.
  11. Don't nap: It's a catch-22 kind of situation: your restless sleep makes you want to nap during the day, but that nap may be just what's keeping you from catching nightly Z's. Nix the afternoon (or after-work) nap if you're having sleep troubles.
  12. Get a new mattress: If you're tired all the time and are waking up with aches and pains, then your mattress may be the thing that's keeping you from much-needed rest. For more signs it's time to buy a new mattress, read these tips.
  13. Stop your afternoon coffee break: Caffeine affects people differently, but if you're finding that tossing and turning correlates to your afternoon coffee run, now's the time to switch. If you're looking for ways to re-energize in the afternoon, take a walk, gulp water, or trade your coffee for an herbal tea.
  14. Try a natural remedy: Many people swear by the supplements melatonin and valerian for helping you get sleep naturally. Read about the side effects of melatonin here and the side effects of valerian here to see if they may be a solution for you.
  15. Have a routine: Taking time to wind down in the night can help you prep your body and mind for a good night's sleep. Pick a few items from this list to make a pre-bedtime ritual; whatever you choose, make it a routine so you get used to the idea of "winding down."
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