While sleeping easily ranks in my top 3 favorite things to do in life, it never comes easy for me. Between waking up at 4am daily for work and being a super light sleeper that wakes up at the slightest sound, solid sleep has always been a struggle.

However, recently I’ve figured out some things to help with sleeping. One thing I noticed when I moved to Boise is how late the sun stays out (not very helpful for an early riser). So, to combat this, I give myself an hour before bed to decompress by watching TV or something, and always close the blinds and turn the lights off to mimic nighttime.

A few things I learned about “sleep hygiene” from my psychologist fiancé is to try to stay away from the phone, computer, etc. for a while before going to bed because the UV blue light can literally keep your brain activated. Other ways to improve sleeping is to try to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. If you sleep in on the weekend, only sleep in an hour or two past your usual wake-up time so that you don’t totally throw your sleep cycle out of whack. Also, remember that whole adage about counting sheep if you can’t fall asleep? Well, turns out, laying in bed for long periods of time is actually bad for your sleep! Instead, if you can’t sleep after 15 minutes, just get up and go do something quiet and relaxing, like reading (not on your phone or laptop!). Then try again after a little and repeat.

While it takes a while in the beginning, your body eventually adjusts and your brain associates your bed with sleep, rather then lying awake all night. Go ahead and give it a try! I promise it will pay off in the end and you’ll be sleeping in no time.

KEEP READING: 15 Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep

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