As we get older, it seems like what came so easily when we were children becomes harder and harder. Things like getting up after a hard fall, or eating second and even third courses, or something as simple as getting a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that 7-9 hours is the optimal amount of sleep for adults. So why is that so hard to achieve? Well, turns out we all have bad habits that prevent us from getting a decent amount of sleep at night. If you’ve been having trouble falling and staying asleep, try some of these tips and tricks, and see if you sleep more soundly!

Make Sure Your Bedroom Environment Encourages Sleep

When trying to fall asleep, your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Make sure you have the right amount of sheets on your bed – you don’t want to be sweating or shivering. Finally, check your mattress – when was the last time you replaced it? If you wake up sore, or sleep better away from home, it’s probably time to upgrade.

Make A Sleep Schedule

When we’re younger, a lot of us get into the habit of staying up late and then sleeping in on the weekends. Unfortunately as we age, an irregular sleep schedule makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep.  If you go to bed at 9pm one night, but then stay up until 2 in the morning the next, you’re throwing off your body’s internal clock. It might sound silly, but setting an actual sleep schedule can help you sleep better.

Exercise Early

A regular workout offers a whole host of health benefits and can help regulate your sleep cycle. But be careful about when you’re working out – if you exercise too late in the evening, you may have a harder time falling asleep. If you’re able, work out first thing in the morning. It’ll help you wake up and energize you for the rest of your day.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

A dose of caffeine can still affect your system up to 6 hours later. So no mid-afternoon cup of coffee for you, at least not if you want to sleep well that night! And while alcohol can help put you to sleep, the drop in your blood-alcohol level during the night will wake you up, exactly the opposite of what you want!

If you’ve implemented these practices and are still having trouble getting a full night of sleep, contact your doctor. There is the chance you have a sleep disorder that medication will help.  Meanwhile, take a look at the infographic below for more ideas on how to avoid bad sleep.

Featured Image Credit: Life Mental Health

Infographic Image Credit: Alyssa Recht