First you try opening the window, and toss and turn for a while. Then you get up and shut it. Maybe the pillow isn't fluffy enough, so you fluff it. You can't stop thinking about work and all the things you have to get done tomorrow. You fluff the pillow again. You roll onto your back, and then onto your stomach, and then return to your back. Fluff the pillow one more time. Lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, you realize that, once again, you are not going to get much sleep tonight.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
During sleep, the body repairs and renews itself. The brain, cardiovascular system, immune system, and other important parts of the body rely on sleep to function properly.
If you do not get enough sleep, you may experience:
- Increased stress
- Impaired memory
- Shortened temper
- Lower motivation
- Problems with decision making and doing tasks
Ten Tips for Better Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep can be difficult challenge, though. Before reaching for an over-the-counter sleep aid, try these natural tips:
- Keep regular hours. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.
- Develop a sleep ritual. Whether it is to take a hot bath, have a cup of herbal tea, or read a book, doing the same things each night just before bed cues your body to settle down for the night.
- Exercise regularly. This can help to relieve tension and tire you out. But be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime or you may have a hard time falling asleep.
- Cut down on stimulants. Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in the evening interferes with falling asleep and prevents deep sleep. Instead, have a cup of herbal tea, which is noncaffeinated, before bed.
- Don't smoke.