How to get a better night's sleep

Sleep is key to helping you stay healthy. High-quality sleep protects your heart, can prevent cancer, repairs the body, and can ward off depression. Yet, the American Sleep Apnea Association reports 70 percent of American adults to get insufficient sleep at least once a month, and 11 percent have a poor sleep every night.

When you're tossing and turning, waking up in the middle of the night, or stuck up wishing you could nod off, you're losing out on the benefits your mind and body need to stay working in tip-top condition.

Here are four tips for good sleep to consider if you want to sleep better every night.

1. Be cool 

    If you're hot or even just warm in bed, it can wreak havoc on your sleep quality. Your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep, and laying on a cool mattress in a cool room helps you fall asleep more quickly.

    2. Ditch the devices

      Resist the urge to bring your smartphone, tablet, or other devices into bed. Make your mattress a no-phone zone since blue light exposure from devices can keep you up past your desired bedtime.

      We're built with circadian rhythms, which are internal body clocks that are affected by things like light and darkness. When you're looking at a screen when you should be falling asleep, the light tells your body it's not time to go to bed yet. When hormones like melatonin are supposed to kick in to lull you to dreamland, you stay alert instead. 

      The best tip for good sleep is to stop watching screens around two hours before bedtime. You should also ditch bright lights. If you have to have your phone by your bed, flip it over and wear an eye mask, so you're not woken up by a late-night text or alert.

      3. Work it out

        Regular aerobic exercise helps you sleep better at night. It helps reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, decreases wakefulness throughout the night, and increases total sleep time. It can also help ease anxiety, which gives sleep quality a boost.  

        Exercise regularly, around 30 minutes to an hour, most days. Just try to avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime. When you're getting your heart pumped up and those endorphins flowing, it makes you more alert. It might take you longer to fall asleep, which can mess with your circadian rhythm and throw off your whole sleep schedule. 

        4. Get your zen on

          One of the best ways to get primed for bedtime is by relaxing. Relaxation techniques are used to help people with insomnia, and they can help people with milder sleep issues, too.