How to sleep better

1. Keep in sync with your body's circadian rhythm

Getting in sync with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle is an important strategy for sleeping better. If you keep a regular schedule, you will feel more refreshed than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times.
• Try to sleep and get up at the same time every day
• Avoid sleeping in even on weekends
• Limit naps to 20 minutes
• Start the day with a healthy breakfast
• Fight after-dinner drowsiness

2. Control your exposure to light

Melatonin helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. More melatonin is released when it's dark, making you sleepy. However, you can influence your melatonin production by changing your light exposure:
• Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning
• Spend more time outside during daylight
• Let as much natural light into your workspace as possible
• Avoid bright screens within an hour of your bedtime
• Make sure the room is dark when it's bedtime

3. Exercise during the day

People who exercise regularly sleep better at night. Regular exercise also increases the amount of time you spend in the restorative stages of sleep. The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits but even light exercise improves sleep quality.
Exercise elevates your body temperature. This isn't a problem if you're exercising in the morning/ afternoon but exercising too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep.

4. Be smart about what you eat and drink

Your eating habits play a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime.
• Focus on a heart-healthy diet - eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats, with limited amounts of red meat can help you sleep faster and stay asleep longer
• Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs
• Limit caffeine and nicotine
• Avoid alcohol before bed
• Avoid big meals and drinking too many liquids at night

5. Wind down and clear your head

Residual stress, worry and anger can make it difficult to sleep. Taking steps to manage your overall stress levels and learning how to curb the worry habit can make it easier to unwind.
Difficulty clearing your head can stem from your daytime habits. The more overstimulated your brain is during the day, the harder it is to unwind at night. Try your best to focus on one task at a time and you'll be better able to calm your mind at bedtime.

6. Improve your sleep environment

A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it is time to wind down and let go of the day's stresses. Sometimes, even small changes to your environment can make a big difference to your sleep quality.
• Keep your room dark, cool and quiet
• Make sure your bed is comfortable
• Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex - not working, using your phone or watching TV

7. Learn ways to get back to sleep

It is normal to wake up briefly during the night. Here are tips for when you have trouble falling back asleep:
• Stay out of your head - try not to stress over your inability to fall asleep again, because that stress only prompts your body to stay awake
• Make relaxation your goal, not sleep
• If you have been awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity
• Postpone worrying and brainstorming

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