20 Ways to Sleep Better Every Night
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AUGUST 16, 2013
Teresa Dumain, Prevention Magazine

"Feeling tired should never be considered normal," said Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan. Yet there are no stock sleep solutions, either: Finding out what works for you takes some trial and error, but it's well worth it, said Dr. Lawrence Epstein, chief medical officer of Sleep HealthCenters. "Sleep is a basic biological necessity—just like eating—and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life," he notes.
Try these 20 ideas to find the sleep formula that works best for you.
1. Set a sleep schedule—and stick with it
If you do only one thing to improve your sleep, this is it, said Breus: Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning—even on weekends. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark helps, so stay in sync by opening the blinds or going outside right after you wake up.
2. Turn on the white noise
Sound machines designed to help you sleep produce a low-level soothing noise. These can help you tune out barking dogs, the TV downstairs, or any other disturbances so you can fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Eliminate sneaky light sources
"Light is a powerful signal to your brain to be awake," explained Shives. Even the glow from your laptop, iPad, smart phone, or any other electronics on your nightstand may pass through your closed eyelids and retinas into your hypothalamus—the part of your brain that controls sleep. This delays your brain's release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Thus, the darker your room is, the more soundly you'll sleep.
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