9 tips to get a better night’s sleep

By Jordan Luxton

Sleep is one of my favorite things. I hold onto every minute I can in the morning and look forward to falling asleep after a long day. A good night’s rest can do wonders for your mood and energy. Sleep is obviously necessary to function, so if you are having trouble sleeping at night, here are nine tips to help you achieve a better night’s sleep:

1. Wake up and go to sleep at a consistent time

Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is the number one way to ensure you maintain a good night’s sleep. This will help you control your body’s inner clock and regulate it, allowing yourself to sleep when you need to and get all the hours you need.

2. Exercise regularly

A survey by the National Sleep Foundation conducted in 2013 reports that regular, vigorous exercisers get the best sleep. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, a quick ten to fifteen minutes of exercise can make a big difference.

3. Cut out caffeine after 3 p.m

A lot of people count on some sort of caffeine boost to get them over the mid-day hump and energize themselves for the rest of the day. But a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reports ingesting caffeine even six hours before bedtime could knock over an hour of sleep off of your night. Keep the caffeine early in the morning to avoid losing sleep over it.

4. Power down your technology

Keeping your television on or scrolling through your phone before bed is a big no-no. Bright light from these devices triggers your brain to believe it is time to be alert and awake. Turn these devices off or put them away some time before you are ready to knock out.

5. Don’t spend too much time in bed

Train your mind to understand your bed is for sleeping by avoiding doing too much else in bed. Lounge around in the living room if you’re going to binge watch Netflix, or sit at a table to do homework instead of doing these activities in bed. This will help your brain know to prepare for rest when you finally lay down at night.

6. Find a relaxation technique

Find a bed time ritual to help you relax and clear your mind before going to bed. Yoga, meditation, or even simple breathing exercises can help you fall asleep sooner and sleep through the night.

7. Take a hot bath or shower

When readying for sleep, the brain causes a natural drop in body temperature. Hopping in the bath or shower can raise your body temperature, and cooling down quickly after mirrors the signal the brain sends.

8. Avoid napping

Napping throughout the day can be beneficial if kept short and sweet. But if it stretches longer than roughly a half hour, you’ll find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night.

9. Control your environment

Eliminate as much light as you can in your bedroom when you are ready for sleep. Even the slightest light or glow can hamper shut-eye. Avoid not only a loud surrounding, but also one that is too quiet. If you can hear every squeak or bump in a silent night, they can be just as disruptive.