Sleep is an important step toward having better mental health. So how can you get more hours of better sleep?
Build a consistent schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Routines help your circadian rhythm stay consistent, and that means better sleep and better mental health.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
A late-night drink, whether alcoholic or full of caffeine, can disrupt your sleep cycle. Try avoiding these drinks for six to eight hours before bed.
Turn off devices 60 minutes before bed
Blue light—like what shines off your smartphone, laptop, or television—imitates sunshine and can trick your brain into thinking it’s morning. Avoid using devices for at least one hour before bed so your mind can recognize it’s nighttime and start settling into sleep.
Find ways to relax
Replace time on your devices with other activities like warm baths or showers, meditation, yoga, or reading.
Take a melatonin supplement
If you still struggle with falling asleep, give your brain some assistance by taking a melatonin supplement. This natural chemical is what tells your body it’s time for bed, and when taken correctly, supplements can be safe and effective.