1. Make it a priority.
When you sleep, energy is restored, tissue growth and repair occurs, and certain hormones are released. Don't take it for granted. Understand that sleep is what will help you get through the day. Without it, you won’t be able to function properly.
2. Know your sleep patterns.
If you’ve been having a hard time drifting off to dreamland the past few days, be aware of any changes in your sleeping habits. Instances of snoring and constant alertness through the night could be a sign of something more serious like sleep apnea or insomnia.
3. Create an ideal sleep environment.
According to the Center for Chronobiology in Switzerland, setting your room temperature low can help you get a good night’s sleep. "A drop in your core temperature triggers your body’s 'let’s hit the sack' systems." Another way to help your mind and body snooze is to fill your room with relaxing fragrances like lavender and chamomile.
4. Get enough sleep.
While the National Sleep Foundation suggests young adults get about seven to nine hours of sleep, it’s really up to you to determine how many hours of sleep is actually perfect for you since other people need more sleep than others.
5. Stop scrolling through social media before bedtime.
Some people have a habit of checking their Instagram or Facebook feed before bedtime, and if you’re one of them, it’s time to stop ASAP. Research shows that the blue light emitted from screens can affect the quality of your sleep.
6. Have a consistent bedtime.
Catching up on sleep on a weekend after a night of partying won’t do you much good. If you keep on hitting the sack at different times, it can throw off your internal body clock and make it more difficult for you to fall asleep–this is called social jetlag.
7. Avoid alcohol before bed.
If you think that consuming booze can lull you to sleep, you’re wrong. According to research, alcohol can cause disrupted sleep consistency. Irshaad Ebrahim, director of the London Sleep Center, says that it can also worsen insomnia. "The effect of consolidating sleep in the first half of the night is offset by having more disrupted sleep in the second half of the night."
8. Reserve your bed for sleep.
Try to avoid doing work or anything else besides sleep and sex on your bed. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School says that if you continue to make your bed a work station or study table, your brain would start associating your bed with those activities which can weaken "the mental association between your bedroom and sleep."
9. Take note of your afternoon habits.
Avoid taking long naps and coffee in the late afternoon. If you’re feeling really sleepy, drink caffeine in moderation and keep your naps between 20 to 30 minutes long.
10. Stop tossing and turning in bed.
If you’re having a hard time getting some shut-eye at night, don’t toss and turn in bed–get up and walk. Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and author of Stop Worrying and Go to Sleep: How to Put Insomnia to Bed for Good says that if you stay put in bed, your brain "could begin to associate your sleep haven with not sleeping." Try going to a different room or take a stroll outside to get some fresh air.
PHOTO: Flickr/Derecke Sanches; GIFs: Giphy
1. Make it a priority.