8 Ways to lull yourself into better sleep

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Say good-bye to counting sheep

Not sleeping as well as you’d like to? Guess what? You have company. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 56% of Americans between the ages of 25 to 55 report sleep disturbances. 1 We all know poor sleep leaves you feeling cranky the next day—or worse, it interferes with your productivity. So what can you do to improve sleep quality?

  1. Maybe it’s time to change the sheets more often. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., 78% of Americans are more excited to go to bed if bed sheets have a fresh scent, a finding reported in the foundation’s 2013 international Bedroom Poll.2
  2. Exercise also improves sleep. About 51% of people who exercise report better sleep on days when they hit the gym or head outdoors for a walk 3, according to the 2013 Sleep in America Poll.
  3. When sleep evades you, try not to force it. Instead, get up and try a relaxing activity (like reading) until you feel drowsy.
  4. Avoid electronics (tablets, laptops) before bed. Bright screens sometimes interfere with sleep or make it difficult to fall asleep.4
  5. When possible, avoid alcohol before bed, otherwise you’re more likely to toss and turn.
  6. Cool temperatures help you sleep better. Experts suggest a room temperature between 60 to 67 degrees F.4
  7. If noise filters into the bedroom it may disrupt sleep. White noise like fans or humidifiers help mask noises like the TV or noisy neighbors.4
  8. If you enjoy an afternoon nap but can’t sleep at night, it may be time to nix the nap.4

Factoid—Did you know nearly 33% of your lifespan is dedicated to sleep? It’s true.5

Reference: 1. http://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-2013-international-bedroom-poll 2. http://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-2013-international-bedroom-poll 3. http://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/RPT336%20Summary%20of%20Findings%2002%2020%202013.pdf 4. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips">http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips 5. http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

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