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Live Well: 7 Ways to Get Better Sleep

June 14, 2024


It is easy to take sleep for granted if you have never struggled with insomnia (the inability to sleep), but not getting enough sleep can disrupt your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Prioritizing sleep helps ensure your body gets the rest it needs to keep you functioning at your best.

Here are 7 ways to get better sleep:

1. Keep a sleep diary. Record insights about your sleep patterns in a journal. Pay particular attention to how you feel at different times of the day, how caffeine or other foods affect your sleep, and any other recurring themes you notice.

2. Stick to a schedule. Experiment with different sleep schedules to see which one results in the best sleep quality. A consistent sleep schedule supports your body’s natural rhythms.

3. Track your sleep. Wearable devices help track your movement and detect rest and non-rest activities. This feedback can be used to better understand your sleep patterns, and help you pinpoint where to focus your efforts to get better sleep.

4. Protect quiet time. Noise disrupts brain function and makes it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. Loud noise may even disrupt your heart rhythms, which can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. Adjusting the lighting and room temperature may also help improve your sleep.

5. Avoid stimulants. Stimulants like caffeine and tobacco disrupt sleep and cause other health problems, so it may be helpful to make small adjustments to your daily routines. For example, try avoiding stimulants after noon and see how it affects your sleep.

6. Boost your physical activity. Consistent physical activity helps maintain your circadian rhythms, which can help you to get better sleep.

7. Try a sleep aid. Over-the-counter sleep aids may help you fall and stay asleep. Some of these products can interfere with other medications, so be sure to check with your doctor before taking a sleep aid or supplement.

If you are unable to find relief using self-care strategies, talk with your doctor about other treatment options or testing that may be needed to assess your symptoms.