How To Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Better All Night

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How To Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Better All Night
Self, Health And Wellness

I used to live by the mantra, "I'll sleep when I'm dead."

Meanwhile, I was cranky, overweight, and all kinds of irritable.

Then, I began reading research on sleep, and all that amazing science convinced me to make improving my sleep habits and hygiene a priority.

What persuaded me to continue making adequate sleep a priority was the positive results I witnessed in my body (and in my life) once I learned how to sleep better. Getting a good night's sleep is a great way to take control of your body, your time, your mind, your soul, your talents and your relationships.

How much sleep do you need?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need to between seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

RELATED: Let Her Sleep In! Women Need More Sleep Than Men, Says Science

Our minds and our bodies are designed to spend about a third of our lives asleep. I know many of us, especially in the US, tend to view sleep as "unproductive" time, but research shows us that this isn't the case.

You might be surprised to learn that sleep is actually an active period for our bodies.

I'm sure you've heard that our bodies need sleep in order to reinvigorate and renew. That's a true statement, of course, but it goes a little deeper.

Our bodies need periods of rest that are long enough to synthesize our hormones, grow muscle, and repair our damaged tissues.

Sleep is also critical for our minds, an it helps us solidify and consolidate our memories.

As we go about our daily lives, our brains take in vast amounts of information, leading many people these days to suffer from mental overwhelm. Information logged and stored in our short-term memory needs processing so that the brain can consolidate it into long-term memory. That process happens while we sleep.

Darling, I really do understand how challenging the thought of setting aside the long list of to-do items is, because you always feel compelled to do even more, and you're so busy. I know that going to bed early instead of checking Facebook or watching Netflix may make you feel as if you're missing out on what the popular kids are doing, but you do need your beauty sleep, right?

To help you out, here are 5 tips on how to fall asleep faster and then sleep better all night long.

1. Unplug at least an hour before bed.

Blue light inhibits our brain's ability to shut-down, so turn off the TV, computer, phone, and all tablet devices.

If you know you are going to struggle sticking to this, consider downloading F.Lux, a desktop app which will shift the tones on your computer screen to adapt with the time of day.

Oh, and, no matter what, stop charging your phone in your bedroom.

2. Establish a bedtime routine.

This can included shutting down your home and tending to your personal needs, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face and taking your medications.

Make sure your evening routines include setting up a "launch pad" for the next day. Make lunches. Prep the coffee pot. Choosing an outfit. Put your gym bag together. Basically, do any such things that will make getting out the door in the morning easier.

This keeps you from worrying as much about everything that normally would need to be done in the mornings, and it signals to your body that the day is coming to a close.

RELATED: What Your Sleeping Position Says About Your Relationship

3. Make your bedroom a sacred space.

You should only do two things in your bed: sleep and have sex.

Don't work in bed. Don't watch TV in bed. And definitely don't pile your laundry on the bed.

4. Create a better sleep environment.

This includes making sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and putting quality sheets and blankets on your bed. It also means blocking lights and sounds that keep you awake.

Make your bed every morning, so when you come into your bedroom at night it feels more welcoming and inviting.

Temperature is also important; set the thermostat somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Stick to a sleep schedule.

Try to go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. Yes, I know that means not sleeping in on the weekends, but your body functions at its best when it has a routine.

If you commit to making better sleep a priority for just 30 days, I promise you'll feel better and you'll understand what all those sleep scientists are talking about.

You'll discover that when you are well rested, your skin looks healthier, your body feels more alive, and you'll be less likely to overeat. You'll also be more productive, think more clearly and creatively, and discover that you are better able to manage your emotions and the stresses of life.

In short, more sleep makes you look and feel more healthy and beautiful, inside and out!

RELATED: 12 Dreamy Health Benefits Of Sleeping Naked

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Debra Smouse is a Tarnished Southern Belle and life coach, who discovered that when she made sleep a priority, she fell back in love with her life.

This article was originally published at Debra Smouse. Reprinted with permission from the author.