The amount of sleep we get each night is the first determinant of how our day is going to go. Sleeping is essential to one's overall health and allows our bodies to recover from the day before. We as a society value sleep and have put quite an emphasis on it's importance. Here are a few things to you can do in order to achieve a better night's rest:
Be On a Schedule - Getting in a nightly routine sets your biological clock and reminds your body when it is time to sleep. Set alarms everyday, including weekends, for when you need to go to bed and when you need to wake up in the mornings. Also try to wake up when the sun rises or turn on your lights right away in the morning so you can have some exposure. Being exposed to sunlight also sets your biological clock and can help people feel tired later in the night.
Exercise Daily - Exercising and being active everyday not only helps people sleep but has many other health benefits that keep us feeling better and more alert during the day. Do not exercise right before going to bed because the endorphins could keep you up later.
Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, & Alcohol - These are all bad things to indulge in before going to bed because they stimulate the brain and keep us awake. Do not drink any coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages a few hours before bed and try to stay away from nicotine since it promotes light sleep and early mornings because of withdrawals. Alcohol should also be avoided right before bed since it interferes with deep sleep and reaching REM sleep. Some better alternatives include valerian root, melatonin, chamomile tea, and kava, which all promote sleep and can be used right before bed.
Relax - Do something that is enjoyable and not demanding before going to bed. Take a warm bath, read a book, or even stretch a little to make yourself more relaxed. You should avoid any screen time, including your phone right before bed. If you just cannot fall asleep then get out of bed and do something else to make yourself feel tired. Anxiety about being up and not being able to fall asleep is a contributor to insomnia so try to keep negative thoughts at bay and find what works for you to keep you relaxed.
If you are still struggling to get some sleep even after incorporating these tips into your routine then you should see a primary care doctor or your chiropractor!