Woman sleeping soundly in bed, grasping pillow
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“You don’t need an expert to tell you that getting a good night’s rest helps you feel better.”

The benefits of getting enough sleep go far beyond a mood and energy boost. Sleep may help support your health in more than one way.

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Researchers have found that 7 to 7 1/2 hours of sleep per night is optimal for the average adult.

Getting less than that may reduce your immunity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it may also be linked to chronic conditions, including heart disease, depression, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

“The CDC says that 1 in 3 people don’t get enough sleep.”

There are plenty of science-backed tips to increase your chances of waking up on the right side of the bed.

There are many ways to set up your bedroom for sleep success. One of the most important things to do is make sure your sleeping space is pitch-black. Your body clock tells you it is time to rest.

Even a soft glow can disrupt your sleep, research from 2018 shows. So if you have any light coming in through your windows, consider purchasing blackout shades or curtains. Another smart sleep move: Try unplugging or covering up any electronic devices or chargers that give off light.

You may want to make your bed a sleep-only zone.

It can be tempting to check work emails, check social media, or watch your favorite show from your mattress.

However, experts say that treating your bed as a sacred sleep space can train your brain to associate climbing under the covers with falling asleep. And that could prime your body for a more restful night.

Keeping your bedroom cool at night can help support sleep.

Your core body temperature naturally dips in the evening to prepare your body for rest. Experts suggest that setting the thermostat to roughly 60 to 65°F (16 to 18°C) can help you keep you cool.

If you run hot at night, you might want to look for sheets and sleepwear made of cooling, moisture-wicking materials. This may help you sleep better.

Read more about how temperature can affect sleep.

A healthy sleep schedule can be promoted by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning.

Research from 2015 suggests that consistent sleep and wake times may support your body’s internal clock. This could make it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up the next day.

Many people find a ritual helpful. Your brain and body may start to associate your pre-bed activities with falling asleep, which could help you sleep better.

Consider the following practices for your evening routine.

Take a hot bath or shower

After a hot bath or shower, your core body temperature starts to go down.

Research from 2019 suggests that this cooling effect may support the natural temperature dip that occurs in the evening to prime your body for sleep.

Write a to-do list

If you tend to ruminate on your most pressing tasks at night, try putting them down on paper.

A 2018 study suggests that writing a detailed to-do list before bed may help you fall asleep faster.

Dim the lights

Research from 2019 shows that exposure to bright light can suppress your body’s production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, so turning off or dimming your lights an hour or so before bed may help you drift off.

You may also want to avoid looking at screens — including smartphones, laptops, and tablets — a couple of hours before bedtime. A 2018 research review suggests that the blue light these devices emit may reduce melatonin production.

There are more tips for building a sleep-friendly nighttime routine.

There’s evidence to suggest that daytime exercise may be linked to more restful sleep, particularly for adults and older adults.

“It is a known stress slayer that physical activity tire out your muscles. Staying active can help relax you. It’s easier to fall asleep.”

You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits, though. Research from 2017 shows that regular movement can improve sleep duration and quality, regardless of activity type or intensity.

You can do stretches before bed.

It is difficult to sleep when you are tense or anxious, so consider these relaxing techniques to help switch your brain and body into rest mode.

Trying to force yourself to sleep can have the opposite effect.

“If you can’t sleep, many people recommend listening to calming music or reading a book.”

It may sound counterintuitive, but accepting your sleepless state can make you sleepy.

Sleep is incredibly important for maintaining your health and well-being. Still, knowing that you should prioritize sleep doesn’t necessarily make it easier.

The tips in this article can help you get deep, REM sleep.