A great night of sleep is quite possibly one of my favorite things in the entire world – seriously. However, it can be hard to attain on a regular basis. There are so many things that can keep us from getting the sleep we need, including stress and anxiety to unhealthy eating and drinking habits and digital distractions (I’m looking at you, Twitter and Facebook). Practicing good “sleep hygiene” has to be a top priority for all of us, though.

Here are some healthier habits you can try now to help you ease right into sleep:

1. Establish a strict sleep routine. That way, when you start the routine, your body will know it’s time for bed

2. Invest in a good, high-quality mattress for sleep optimization. Good beds don’t always mean soft or firm 

Find one that provides the right support for your back, and make sure that you are comfortable, which is the most important thing.

3. Build wind-down time into your sleep schedule

4. Cut off caffeine at least six hours before bed

5. Keep your room dark. About an hour before bed, dim the lights or light some candles to help lull you to sleep

6. Turn off your electronics in the evening, and opt for some reading instead

7. Do a bit of gentle stretching or yoga before bed, along with some shallow breathing exercises

8. Exercise during the day 

That way, you won’t have your adrenaline flowing right before bedtime, which could potentially affect your sleep schedule

9. Use scented candles and sprays like lavender, lemon and other soothing oils that will get you relaxed and ready for sleep

10. Don’t eat a heavy meal right before bed

Instead, snack on a light meal a couple of hours before, so your body isn’t trying to digest a lot of food right before bed

11. Drink lots of water (around eight glasses) throughout the day, so you stay nice and hydrated

12. Jot down all of your thoughts and to-do’s for the next day down on either your phone or a piece of paper each night before bed so you’ll be less likely to stress on them

13. When you first get into bed, focus on relaxing each muscle from your head to your toes

14. Before dozing off, make sure to turn your phone on “do not disturb” mode so you won’t get startled in the middle of the night by random texts and notifications

15. Prepare anything you need for the next day the night before

If you need to wake up early to make breakfast or pack your lunch, take the extra time the night before to get those tasks done. Making these minor adjustments to your nighttime routine can allow you to sleep in just a little bit longer the next morning.

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