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How to Get to Sleep

We've got tips on how to get to sleep faster once your head hits the pillow.

Sleep Disorders

Want to know how to get to sleep? Try including some of these sleep aid tactics in your bag of bedroom tricks.

Do nothing in your bedroom but sleep and have sex
If you work, watch TV or work out to fitness DVDs in the room, you’re basically training your body to be alert in the bedroom space. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from the normal hustle and bustle of life.

STUDY: Happy People Watch Less TV

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How to Get to Sleep

Practice good sleep hygiene
That means you should make a sleep schedule (plan your eight hours); before that eight-hour period starts, give yourself ten minutes to do quick chores absolutely needed for the nest day (such as making lunch), another ten minutes for hygiene, and ten minutes for meditation (all before starting the eight hours). Some people even dim the lights in their bedroom an hour before sleep to transition from artificial light to darkness.

Another "how to get to sleep" helper: Make sure your room is cool; the ideal sleep temp seems to be around 67 degrees. Follow a pre-bed routine: Put on PJ's, brush teeth, get into bed, shut eyes.

QUIZ: Do You Have Good Sleep Habits?

Watch what you eat, sleep and do
Avoid alcohol, smoke or exercise for 90 minutes before bed. Avoid anything caffeinated for at least three hours before bed. Try not to eat for three hours before bed to pre-empt reflux issues that can disturb sleep.

MORE: Eating Tips for Better Sleep

Add in a power nap during the day
Just be sure to keep it under 30 minutes. Any longer than that, and you’ll slip into a stage of deeper sleep so close to the dreamy REM phase that when awakened from it, you’ll feel hung over and drowsy (that feeling, by the way, is called sleep inertia and is associated with making bad financial judgments and getting into auto accidents).

At less than 30 minutes, a nap can be invigorating. Naps enable your body and brain to reboot and are commonly practiced in societies that boast great energy and longevity.

Try chi-gong
This 2,000-year-old series of movements and breathing techniques calms the mind, promotes sleep and has been shown to strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and improve balance and posture.

MORE: Calm the Mind Before Bed

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