These 10 tips will help you get better sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep is both crucial and difficult.

According to the CDC, the average teenager needs eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Sleep can help prevent diseases, improve your mood, think and focus clearer, and lower your risk for health problems such as heart disease. In other words, sleep will make your life all around easier.

So how can you get the sleep you need when there is so much stress to go around? Well, you’re in luck.

These 10 great tips have been found to help with sleep from scientists and health organizations around the U.S.

According to Healthline, most high school students don’t get the right amount of sleep.

1. Eat a light snack beforehand

Light comfort foods, including warm milk and wheat toast have been related to calming down before bed. Other good snacks include bananas, cherries, and other fresh fruits. However, do not eat a large snack or meal, and avoid drinking or eating anything sugary or with caffeine in it.

2. Avoid screen time

According to Cleveland Clinic, Device screens give off a type of light called blue light, which not only can damage your eye, but it also suppresses a hormone that helps facilitate your sleep cycle, called melatonin. Purchase blue light glasses or turn on night shift, or even best, avoid screens about an hour before bed.

3. Find ways to wind down

Get your homework done earlier in the evening if possible. And after that, read a book, write in a journal, draw, or listen to calming music to wind down and relax.

Writing in a journal can help your mind calm down. [Photo Credit: teachingenglish.org.uk]

4. Create a calming environment

Get rid of as much light and sound as possible. Turn off ticking clocks, televisions, etc., and close your curtains/blinds all the way. Shut down your phone so it does not light up in the middle of the night with a notification. The less distractions, the better.

5. Go to bed at a reasonable time

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Ben Franklin

This quote says it all. Some scientists say that one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after. Going to bed early does wonders for your body. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep.

6. Take a warm bath or shower

Warm baths or showers are great to help your body relax. They increase your body temperature, which at first makes you wake up, but once your body cools down, you begin to get more tired and your body calms down.

7. The 4-7-8 breathing method

Discovered by Dr. Andrew Weil, this breathing technique has been found to relax the nervous system. Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. By practicing this, it causes your mind to focus on your breath instead of your worries, and thus close down your mind for the night.

Google offers a one-minute breathing exercise. [Photo Source: Google]

8. Avoid looking at your clock

Glancing at your clock creates a racing mindset, and causes your brain to psychologically focus and wake up. Avoid looking at your clock or turn it facedown if needed.

9. Exercise during the day

According to the John Hopkins Medicine group, exercise “raises your body temperature”, (much like Tip 6) which, at first makes you wake up more. However, about thirty to ninety minutes and after your body cools down:

…the core body temperature starts to fall. The decline helps to facilitate sleepiness.

John Hopkins Medicine

10. Aromatherapy

And now for our final tip: aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils. Lightly sprinkle or spray essential oil scents such as lavender, damask rise, or peppermint for best effects.

Essential oil diffusers can spread out the scents using mist. [Photo Credit: sparoom.com]

Although good sleep is hard to achieve, there are many more resources to overcome this mental battle. But even among these 10 basic tips, remember: the best way to sleep is to let yourself relax.

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