Getting a great night’s sleep is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Sleep deprivation can cause illness, weight gain, increase anxiety and depression. Contrary to getting little sleep, getting a great night’s sleep has innumerable health benefits. Getting your average eight hours a night can improve memory function, curb inflammation, spur creativity, improve athletic performance and contribute to a longer life expectancy.

With all of these amazing benefits that can come from a great night’s sleep, we’ve decided to put together a list of tips to optimize your eight hours a night for total wellness. Here are seven tips to help you get a great night’s sleep:

Avoid Blue Light
The blue light emitted from phone displays, computer screens and high definition television screens can juristically impair your sleep. The blue light decreases your body’s melatonin production, which causes restless sleep. Avoid looking at screens of any type at least an hour before bed to give your body the rest it needs.

Nap Effectively
If you must nap, limit your napping to 20 minutes or less. Any nap longer than that will disturb your sleep cycle and make it harder to get rest at night.

Set a Bedtime Routine
Try and get to bed and wake in the morning around the same time every day, even on weekends. This way, your body regulates itself to the schedule. It will make it easier to get to bed, and wake up refreshed.

Exercise at the Right Time
Intense, high-energy workouts should be avoided 3-4 hours before bedtime. The post-exercise energy boost will keep you awake and restless. If you haven’t gotten your workout in that day, try a mind-clearing relaxing workout like tai chi or yoga in the evening.

Neutralize Noise
For those of us who fall under the “light sleeper” category, a single car alarm, dog bark or faucet leak can mean instant awareness. Surround yourself with white noise before bed with a fan, air conditioner or a white noise app. It may take a couple of nights to get used to, but you will sleep more soundly through the night.

Purge Thoughts
Is something bothering you and keeping you awake at night? Try keeping a journal or diary by your bedside and write down how you feel! The writing process is cathartic and you can sleep easier knowing you purged the negative thoughts or worries of the day.

Keep Your Bed for Sleep
Try not to make a habit of using your bed for activities other than sleep. Try not to eat, watch TV, or work in bed. This space should permeate sleep and relaxation and by setting boundaries for the bed, your body will grow accustomed to the routine of when you lay in bed, you sleep.

Try some of theses tips tonight! Your mind and body will thank you. Sweet dreams!

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