Sleep Better Naturally

Sleep Better Naturally

Everybody has trouble sleeping now and then—but you don’t have to yawn and bear it. Insomnia increases with age, and so do its dangers. Poor sleep triggers inflammation and ups your chances of dangerous blood clots and hypertension. Sleeping pills add other risks, especially with age, often leading to daytime drowsiness, memory problems and scary falls.

Rest easy. These four natural strategies have been proven to help people sleep better. Good bet they’ll help solve your sleep problems, too.

  • Spend less time in bed. Sounds counterintuitive: If you need more sleep, stay in bed until you get it, right? Nope. Instead, train your brain to link bed only with sleep (or sex)—not with watching TV, answering e-mail or paying bills. Do those things elsewhere.
  • Hit the sack at the same time each day. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy.
  • Get up if you can't sleep. Read a book until you feel drowsy again. Or do some slow, gentle stretches and deep breathing.
  • Hop out of bed at the same time every day. Sticking to a regular wake-up schedule, even on weekends, gets your body in a healthy, consistent sleep rhythm.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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