by Caitlin O’Donnell
- Wake up at the same time every day.
- Enjoy sunlight by going outside or letting it in through a window daily.
- Exercise at least 3 hours before bed. Moving uses excess energy, reduces stress and helps with bodily aches from a sedentary lifestyle, but exercising too close to bedtime makes it harder to wind down.
- Focus on relaxing instead of falling asleep.
- Dim the lights. Darker environments help the body produce melatonin, a chemical that induces sleep.
- Follow a routine. Allow for at least 30 minutes to calm down.
- Nap for more than 25 minutes during the day.
- Use electronics for 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
- Eat heavy meals or drink alcohol before bedtime.
- Drink caffeine the last 6 hours before bedtime.
- Watch the clock. Keeping an eye on the time creates anxiety about losing sleep, which makes it harder to fall asleep.