Having restorative sleep is imperative for functioning at your best throughout the day and reducing stress hormones that may contribute to weight gain and other health issues. When you are not sleeping enough consistently, it is time to try different tactics to improve your sleep quality.

Develop A Routine

When you wake up and go to sleep around the same time, it is much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Even on weekends or your days off, try to wake up around the same time or maybe set your alarm for an hour later if you generally do not sleep much throughout the week. Start your sleep preparations around an hour before bed. This may include winding down the use of any electronics before bed. Many people watch television or use their mobile devices while in bed, which can make it harder to fall asleep. If you cannot wean yourself off the electronic devices, lower their lights so it is not tricking your circadian rhythm into thinking it is time to be awake. Some mobile devices have settings to filter out blue light, which is associated with keeping you awake.

Consider Supplements And Herbs

Melatonin is a popular choice because it is a chemical your body makes naturally. One of the advantages of melatonin over a sleeping pill is it does not force you to fall sleep. It simply advances your normal sleep phase so you ease into sleep a little faster. The most common herb used for sleep is chamomile, but lavender, Valerian root, and lemon balm may also work. It is easier to purchase an herbal tea marketed for sleep because it will usually contain a mixture of several herbs. You may want to prepare your tea with less water than normal so you are not drinking a full cup of liquid right before bed and risk waking up to visit the bathroom. When you are testing any supplements or herbs, try it when you do not have to be at work in the morning. Everyone reacts differently and some people may feel groggy the next morning.

Block External Stimuli

Both a sleep mask and earplugs can be invaluable tools for sleep. Sleep masks work well if you are sensitive to light, such as light from the hallway waking you up. You may need to test a few sleep masks to make sure they fit comfortably on your face. Ones with a satin or silky feeling will feel better next to your skin. Once you find one you like, buy several so you can wash them frequently to avoid breakouts.

Many people avoid using earplugs at night because they are concerned they will block all noise and they would not hear a fire alarm or other important noise. Usually enough sound is muffled to help you relax comfortably, but earplugs are not powerful enough to block important sounds. When you choose a sleep earplug, try to find ones made from soft foam or other malleable material. This will allow you to squeeze the material and place it in your ear so it can mold to your unique ear. Firmer foams are often uncomfortable because they may expand too much and cause pain.

Trying a combination of tactics may help you consistently fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.