How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

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Sleep problems have become something of an epidemic: one-third of adults in the United States report sleeping fewer than seven hours a night, and a similar number say they nod off in the daytime at least once a month. These tips from the National Sleep Foundation can help you get the rest you need.

Take a midday walk. Daytime light exposure helps to regulate your sleep-awake cycle, keeping you more alert at work and promoting better sleep at night.

Skip the afternoon coffee run. Caffeine—whether from coffee, tea, soft drinks, or chocolate—can stay in your body for as long as 14 hours. You’re better off limiting your intake to the morning.

Stay away from screens for at least an hour before bed. The light emitted by computer and smartphone screens promotes wakefulness. And answering emails and writing all those clever social media posts tend to rev you up, too.

Create a soothing bedtime routine. Wind down before sleep with a calming activity like reading, knitting, or meditation. This cues your body and mind that you’re shifting away from activity and into resting mode.

Don’t toss and turn. Staying in bed when you can’t sleep just makes you associate the bedroom with wakefulness. If you can’t sleep after 15 minutes or so, go to another room and do something relaxing and undemanding, like folding laundry or reading.

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