Can’t Sleep?  

Whether it is tossing and turning all night, not being able to quiet your thoughts before bed or waking up in the middle of the night-everyone has been there at some point. Here are two words you are probably not very familiar with that will help you get a good night’s sleep: sleep hygiene.  Sleep hygiene involves habits and practices you can use to help improve the quality of your sleep on a regular basis. Here are threeways to improve your sleep hygieneyou might not have considered.

1. Establish a bedtime routine

Adults can benefit from bedtime routine justas much as small kids, if not more. Bedtime routines help kids mentally and physically wind down for the evening. Creating your own version of a bedtime routine will help signal to your body itis time to wind down and go to sleep.

2. Find and maintain your ideal sleep environment

A few things to monitor in your bedroom: temperature, amount of light and noise level. Try playing around with the temperature of your bedroom to find the right fit for you. Sometimes dropping the temperature a few degrees and adding a blanket is all you need to send you off to a deep slumber. 

The amount of light in a bedroom can play havoc withyour ability to sleep. Too much light from a streetlight, for example, might mean you never fall asleep. On the flip side, keeping a room too dark might make waking up in the morning problematic. Ideally, you should have some access to natural morning light. 

Last, consider the noise level that is best for you. Inthe dark, we become more aware of noises we might typically ignore. You might not notice how busy your street is until you turn off the lights. Sound machines can be great for creating white noise to lull you off to sleep. 

3. Get out of bed

If you find yourself tossing and turning after 30 minutes, get out of bed and go to another room. This might seem counterintuitive but staying in bed when you cannot sleep continues to reinforce the idea that you cannot sleep. Keep in mind when you get out of bed, don’t turn on every light or start something mentally stimulating. If you get out of bed to read the next chapter of that new thriller you started, you are just rewarding yourself for getting out of bed. Once you find yourself getting drowsy, try going back to bed.