7 ways to sleep better tonight

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Seven Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

Tossing and turning before bedtime, and can't figure out why? You may not be doing everything you need for a good night's sleep.

Here's a checklist of everything that may be negatively impacting your well-deserved snooze:

1) Drinking caffeine after lunch: Sodas, coffees and similar beverages should be avoided within four to six hours of sleep.

2) Consuming alcohol before bed can make you fall asleep faster, but it will cause more disruption in sleep and delayed REM.

3)  Smoking! It's best to avoid the stimulant effects of nicotine and/or sleep disordered breathing conditions

4)  Eating large meals before bed is another no-no. Consuming too much food disrupts normal sleep-wake cycles.

5)  Drinking excessive fluids after dinner is another "don't." Though drinking a lot of water is always recommended, limiting it closer to bed time will lead to fewer bathroom trips.

6)  Exercising within three hours of bedtime: This can overstimulate your body, making it hard to relax.

7)  And lastly, using bed for non-sleep activities is bad news. Your bed needs to be associated with sleep, not screens, so avoid conducting work, talking on the phone or browsing the Internet in bed.

By cutting out these activities, you're sure to have a much better, calmer night of sleep!

Click through the gallery below for more sleep tips:

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7 ways to sleep better tonight

Lavender 

The scent of lavender is known to be very relaxing and can help you get to sleep at night. 

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Shut off the screens

Avoid being on your computer, phone or e-reader before going to sleep. Studies have shown the use of these items before bed can decrease the quality of your sleep.

(Photo credit: Tetra Images via Getty Images)

Melatonin supplements 

Taking sleeping pills sounds scary to many people, but melatonin supplements are like a sleep vitamin, giving you a little extra of the naturally produced hormone. 

(photo credit: Ekspansio)

Stick to a schedule

Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day helps your natural sleep/wake cycle. You sleep much better when you go to bed when actually drowsy and wake naturally at the same time each day. 

(photo credit: FogStock/Alin Dragulin)

Exercise 

Regular exercise, even as little as 20 mins a day can help you sleep better at night. 

(photo credit: John Fedele)

Skip the afternoon nap

Taking a nap during the day can exasperate insomnia for many people. 

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

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