1. Set an alarm to go to bed. Set an alarm to go off 1 hour, or so, before you want to "hit the hay." Going to bed at the same time every night promotes better sleep and having a calming bedtime routine gets your body, and mind, ready to settle down for the night.
2. No snoozing in front of the TV before bed and try to avoid naps during the day. Both can disturb your body's natural sleep pattern.
3. Go easy on the adult beverages before bed. A nightcap can seem like it makes it easier to fall asleep, but when the buzz wears off later in the night, you'll be more apt to wake up frequently.
4. Slip on some socks. Those of you with cold extremities know that it's hard to sleep when your feet are cold. Slip on a pair of clean socks well before getting into bed to assure your tootsies are warm and toasty at bedtime.
5. Keep your room dark and keep it cool. The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius). And even the most inconspicuous glow from something like your alarm clock, can disrupt sleep. An eye mask can help with this. Just be sure it fits well and is comfortable.
6. Power down an hour before bed. Turn off your electronic devices at least one hour before your bedtime. And leave them OUTSIDE your bedroom!
7. Lay off the caffeine in the afternoon. Your late afternoon "pick me up" coffee can stay in your system longer than you think. Do try to drink your last cup of Joe by early afternoon. This goes double for those killer energy drinks that often have 2 and 3 times (or more) the amount of caffeine that recommended for the entire day!
8. Exercise regularly. Regular and vigorous exercise has been proven to help with better sleep. Just don't do it too close to bedtime.
9. Paint your bedroom a tranquil color. Vibrant colors are pretty but can actually stimulate you and keep you awake. And opt for a matte finish instead of a gloss.
10. Be sure your mattress is a good fit. Research shows that tossing and turning can be more about your mattress than it is about you. An uncomfortable mattress leads to poor sleep.
And here are a few other simple suggestions you might try: Yoga and meditation can be a great way to improve sleep; keep a consistent sleep schedule...even on the weekends; work through your thoughts about the day BEFORE getting into bed. Try journaling to get your thoughts down on paper. And writing in a gratitude journal is always good. Aromatherapy, a hot bath bath, and deep breathing might also be beneficial.
If all else fails, though. get out of bed. Continuing to lie in bed when you can't sleep, will only stress you out even more. Experts agree that getting out of bed and doing something else...as long as it doesn't include vigorous exercise and/or a bright light...can be beneficial. As soon as you begin to feel sleepy, go straight back to bed. And be sure to get some bright sunlight first thing in the morning! Getting natural sunlight, at least 15 minutes worth, first thing in the morning can actually help to reset your biological clock.
I know I'm anxious to give these tips a try. I hope that those of you who are reading this don't have issues with sleep. But if you do, why not give these things a try? It's got to be better than lying in bed and counting sheep (or frogs).