10 Tips For Catching Better Zzzz's

black woman sleeping on pillowLife can make sleep difficult to come by. Factor in work, relationship issues, financial worries, layoffs or an illness, and it’ll make you wonder how you’ll ever manage to get more of the sleep you can’t stay healthy (and navigate your life) without!

You may not be able to control or eliminate all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, but you can create an environment and adopt habits that encourage a more restful night. Try these suggestions if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep:

1. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep better at night.

2. Don’t eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner about two hours before sleeping. If you’re prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can make your heartburn flare and prevent a restful sleep. Also, limit how much you drink before bed. Too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the bathroom.

3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These are stimulants that can keep you awake. Smokers often experience withdrawal symptoms at night, and smoking in bed is dangerous. Avoid caffeine for eight hours before your planned bedtime. Your body doesn’t store caffeine, but it takes many hours to eliminate the stimulant and its effects.  And although often believed to be a sedative, alcohol actually disrupts sleep.