Your nighttime routine and your sleeping environment can both affect how well you sleep at night. A chaotic environment and stimulating activities before bed can make falling asleep and staying asleep a greater challenge. Creating a relaxing and quiet sleep environment and enjoying calming activities before bed leads to better sleep.

Practical tips for improving both your nighttime habits and sleeping environment include:

– Turn-off electronics including your smartphone, tablet, laptop and the television at least 1 hour before bedtime. These devices are stimulating and the light produced by the screens can keep you awake much longer. Reading emails or catching up on social media is not a relaxing activity and these tasks are better suited to daylight hours.

– Create a calming and consistent bedtime routine. Take a relaxing bath or warm shower. Meditate or listen to calming music. Drink a warm, caffeine-free beverage. Your body and your brain will recognize this routine as the prelude to sleep and you will find falling asleep much easier.

– Get into bed at the same time every night and rise at the same time every morning. Your body will begin to recognize when to sleep and when to wake naturally.

– Make sure that your mattress is comfortable and supportive. Read these Avocado mattress reviews and find the best mattress for you.

– If you are sensitive to light and noise, wear an eye-mask and earplugs to avoid waking up during the night.

– Exercise regularly to tire the body and burn energy that could be keeping you up at night. Try exercising at different times of day to figure out what time works best with your sleep routine.

– Get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight every day. This boosts Vitamin D and allows your body to recognize night from day to create a better sleep and wake cycle.

– Avoid drinking liquids after 6 pm at night to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep if your bladder is giving you a wake-up call during the night or in the early hours of the morning.

– Reduce your caffeine intake during the day and avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, sodas) at least 6 hours before retiring.

– Avoid sugary foods but try eating foods that induce sleep such as yoghurt and banana, peanut butter on wholegrain crackers or apples and string cheese.

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