For millions of people, getting to sleep and staying asleep is a significant challenge. Finding enough energy to make it through the day is difficult when your sleep is short, fitful, or otherwise lacking. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your life, making work, chores, and even family time difficult to manage.
While many people rely on prescription medication to fall and stay asleep, most can find relief by changing a few habits.
Get Some Exercise
This old advice is good advice. If you exercise throughout the day, it will make you more tired when it gets close to bedtime. Those who perform exercise regularly report they sleep better and are more alert during the day.
Turn Off the Lights
Though this may seem obvious, too many of us expose ourselves to television, phone, and computer screens as we try to get to sleep. The light can disrupt our sleeping patterns while movies, television, music, and online interactions keep our brains stimulated and active instead of preparing them for sleep. Turn off any bright screens, including smartphones, at least two hours before bed. Keep your room completely dark when you go to sleep; try using a sleep mask if necessary.
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Though it is tempting to sleep in when you have the opportunity, it is much better to establish and stick to a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day makes it much easier for your body to get the rest it needs.
For many people, falling asleep and sleeping through the night can be difficult. By following the simple steps above and avoiding caffeine and nicotine within three hours of bedtime, most people can find relief from their sleep issues without medication, leaving them better rested and more energetic during the day.