How to *actually* sleep better tonight
Do you have a hard time staying asleep, waking up on time or keeping your eyes open in class? Sleep is especially important when you're growing so making sure you're getting a quality snooze sesh each night (think 7-9 hours) is essential. Unfortunately, important things like studying, sports or after school activities make it hard to finish your to-do list at a reasonable hour. That's why we've gathered some simple ways to get the most out of your sleep (however long it may be)!
Have a routine.
You can greatly improve the quality of your sleep just by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day! This helps regulate what's known as your internal clock. Your body will start to recognize when it needs to be alert and when it's time to wind down. Optimally, you should be going to bed and waking up at the same time all week. If your weekends are packed with sleepovers or late-night hangouts, take a power nap if you're feeling groggy.
Naps are a great way to boost your energy and make up for lost sleep but napping the wrong way can make you toss and turn at bedtime. A power nap is one of the best ways to rest up during the day. Your naps should be between 15 and 30 minutes—hitting snooze too many times can actually make you wake up more tired than you were before!
Start your day in sunlight.
Eating breakfast in a sunny area or going for a walk in the bright morning sun will reduce any grogginess you feel after waking up. It's also important to expose yourself to as much light throughout the day. If possible, take a jog outside or opt for the outdoor cafeteria. Studies show getting more sunlight during the day makes hitting the hay *much* easier.
Improve your sleeping space.
Make your bedroom comfortable for you. Wash your sheets often and make sure your room isn't too hot. Try using as nightlight if you need to go to the bathroom or get a glass of water *without* compromising your sleep. Earplugs and eye masks are another great way to make sleeping more comfortable.
Put your phone away *before* bedtime.
Scrolling through Instagram while you're laying in bed is habit you should break. Having electronics near your bed are distracting! Not to mention, watching television, surfing the internet or checking social media before bedtime can actually make it harder to fall asleep. Why is this? The bright light from screens mimics daylight and can confuse your brain into thinking it's daytime. Our tip: Shut your phone off an hour before bedtime. Take a shower, study or read (preferably with a booklight) as you wind down for the evening.
What are your tricks for sleeping better? Do these things help you sleep throughout the night? Let us know in the comments!