The 3 best habits for healthy, restful sleep

1. Reserve your bed for sleeping

If you’re tempted to crawl into bed with your laptop to punch out a few last work emails, don’t..

For those of us who struggle with sleep, it can be helpful to set aside the bed as a place of rest. If we get used to doing work or other activities in or around bed, it could make it harder to fall asleep there.

This is where smartphones and tablets can become a problem. “When people can’t sleep, what do they do? They pull out their phones and start scrolling. But that’s in direct conflict with stimulus control, which says you reserve the bed for sleeping.”

2. Clear away distractions

Another component of good sleep hygiene is preparing for sleep by decreasing our exposure to stimulating content, like TV, social media, and the news, as we get closer to bedtime. Some experts suggest avoiding devices for a couple of hours before bed.

When you’re going to bed, you want to do things that are relaxing, like reading a book. You want to gradually transition into sleep; you don’t want your mind to be stimulated.

3. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something else

Tossing and turning? The best solution might be the one you’d think of last — get out of bed.

If you can’t sleep, good sleep hygiene suggests that you get up, get out of bed, and do something else, something relaxing, like going and reading a book.

When we’re struggling to sleep, trying to force our brains to shut down only causes the mind to work harder and get frustrated. If you’re having a hard time powering down, then, try distracting yourself with an easy, relaxing task. You might be surprised to discover how quickly your eyelids start to feel heavy.