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Sleep is easily one of the most central aspects of one’s health.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can mess with your memory, mood, concentration, immunity, and sex drive. And long-term effects are even worse. Studies have linked a regular lack of sleep to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and even strokes.
Conventional wisdom tells us we need eight hours of sleep every night but, according to the CDC, adults ages 18-60 can get away with as few as seven hours (but no less!). It’s also recommended that you get no more than 10 hours of sleep per night.
If you find yourself frequently struggling to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, it might be time to make some lifestyle changes. Below, check out the easiest tips to help you get the zzzs you desperately need.
1. Avoid Stimulants That Interfere With Sleep
If you are genuinely having a lot of trouble with getting to sleep or staying asleep, you’ll need to avoid any sort of stimulants that could be interfering with your sleep. Although you might enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine in the evening, these things can make it more difficult to fall asleep. If you can’t bring yourself to cut them out completely, try to make sure you keep your consumption of these stimulants to before 6 PM, giving your body enough time to recover before you get into bed.
2. Try Supplements
Sometimes, you can do everything “right” and still struggle to fall asleep. If this is you, you might consider adding a supplement to your routine. This can include things like melatonin, natural sleep aids like lavender, or a REM sleep supplement.
However, make sure you talk to your doctor before you take any supplements, especially if you’re already taking any medication. It’s important to understand how any supplement, even natural ones, might interact with your body chemisty.
3. Keep Regular Sleep Hours
Getting to sleep at the same time every night can be difficult — but it can also be crucial to your sleep. Setting a regular sleep schedule can help train your brain and help you to fall asleep more quickly. Try setting an alarm an hour before bedtime to help you get into a nighttime routine so that you’re all ready to get into bed by the time the alarm goes off.
4. Get Some Exercise
Finally, if you are really struggling to even feel tired at night, you might find that getting some exercise in the afternoon or evening can help tucker you out. Just going for a short jog or doing some weight-lifting is often going to be enough to get you to sleep better at night. On top of that, getting regular exercise throughout the week can help in the long term in general too. Get some exercise, keep moving, and you should be physically tired enough to sleep deeply at night.