A new study by the Global Council on Brain Health revealed improper or inadequate sleep can have a negative effect on a person’s state of mind later in life.

Everyone has their own way of falling asleep, whether it’s listening to sounds of the ocean or counting sheep. However, if you are continuously having trouble sleeping, then here are a few effective tips to help you:

1. Stop Looking at Your Screen

We spend our days in the office, staring into a computer screen or with our eyes glued to our phones, only to come home and glare into the television screen. This is bound to take its toll as the light from these device awakens your brain,  making you sleepless. Steer clear of the temptation of checking your social media, emails or news websites once you’re in bed. Doing this will keep sleep at bay and leave you feeling restless and cranky the next morning.

2. Stop Napping

It’s important to walk around and go outside during the day to sleep better at night. Any type of exercise during the day will help you snooze better. However, try not to exercise anywhere around 3 hours before going to bed because this can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Also, avoid napping for longer than 30 minutes during the day.

3. Step Away from the Bed

If you find it hard to fall asleep after getting into bed, get out of it and go to another room until you feel sleepy. This will stop you from associating your bed with the inability to sleep. Find a relaxed, quiet corner in your home to lounge in and return to your bed once you feel sleepy. Another tip is to not stay in bed until you are sleepy. Do something else instead. By reducing the amount of awake time you spend in bed, you will improve your overall quality of sleep.

4. Cold Feet

If your feet are cold, wear socks to bed. When your feet are warm, the blood vessels in your feet dilate and send your brain a signal that it’s time to go to sleep.

5. Mediate

Try performing a few breathing exercises before going to sleep. Meditating and deep breathing helps with falling and staying asleep. Mindful meditation involves focusing on your breathing without thinking of anything stressful. Doing this helps you take a step back from everyday thoughts and creates a sense of relaxation. The inability to fall asleep is closely linked to stress, depression and high blood-pressure. Meditation, when done daily for approximately 20 minutes, will help you relax before going to sleep in a clear, calm state of mind.

6. Regularity

Getting your body accustomed to a sleeping pattern is an important part of falling asleep on time. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to regulate your body clock. Make sure you do this even on weekends and holidays because it helps create a sleep-wake cycle that improves the quality of your sleep. If you are unable to fall asleep for over 20 minutes of being in bed, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy.

7. Mattress and Pillow

Make sure the mattress you sleep on supports your spine and is comfortable overall. Most good-quality mattresses can last up to a decade, so make sure you pick one that suits your posture when lying in bed. To drift off effortlessly every night, make sure to use comfortable pillows that support your neck. A great way to sleep better is to use a body pillow, such as a dva body pillow. It aligns your spine in a better manner; and hugging a body pillow helps release the relaxation hormone, Oxytocin, which helps you sleep well.

8. Read

Instead of checking emails on your laptop or watching videos on your smartphone when in bed, read a great book. This is a calming activity, which will help your body calm down and get into sleep mode. Listening to soothing music is another effective alternative. These activities help you make the transition from being fully awake to feeling naturally drowsy. Creating a bedtime ritual such as taking a warm bath or lighting candles have similar effects.

9. Watch What You Eat

Don’t eat anything too heavy before bedtime to avoid indigestion in the middle of the night. Don’t drink too much water before getting into bed either, if you want to avoid midnight trips to the bathroom as this may disturb your slumber.

These 9 tips are suggested to help you drift off to sleep effortlessly every night. Being productive during the day is something most people are concerned with, but the importance of getting a good night’s sleep should not be ignored as it has direct implications on your health and quality of life. The next time you have trouble falling asleep, follow these tips for refreshing sleep.