Do you spend your nights half-awake, just waiting to get some rest and drift off to la-la-land? If so, I have good news: you can learn how to sleep better, without relying on prescription pills that can have nasty side effects.
Learning how to sleep better is important not only because sleep is crucial to maintaining job performance and a positive outlook, many medical studies have found links between a lack of sleep and various health problems, including depression.
The pervasiveness of sleeping problems is evident by the number of advertisements pushing sleep aids on television and the Internet. But you can learn how to sleep better, naturally, if you don’t want to rely on artificially-produced sleeping pills to score some rest.
How to Sleep Better in 4 Steps
1. Create a Sleep Schedule
One of the most important factors is making sure you are setting aside enough time for sleep in your schedule. If you set your alarm for 6 A.M. but you don’t even get in bed until after midnight, you are immediately setting yourself up for a drowsy morning.
While everyone needs a different amount of sleep to function, many doctors believe that between seven and eight hours a night is ideal; be sure that you are in bed at least that long before your alarm goes off.
The Mayo Clinic recommends establishing a regular sleeping and waking time and sticking to it every day, even on weekends, to drill the routine into your body’s rhythm. The Clinic advises that if you lay awake for 15 minutes without nodding off, get out of bed and try a relaxing activity for a few minutes, and then try to sleep again.
Related Article: 14 Reasons You Can’t Sleep
2. Establish a Before-Bed Routine
Aside from just setting aside the time for sleep, establish a before-bed routine to “set the mood” for sleep. Put aside work, bills or other stress-inducing tasks at least an hour before bedtime, and focus on relaxation. For some, a hot bath and a cup of chamomile tea might do the trick, or maybe reading for an hour. Find ways to de-stress before you actually get in bed so that your mind can shut down more easily for the night.