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Evening Habits That Are Messing With Your Sleep

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The Secret to De-Stressing Before Bedtime

Sleep, sweet sleep. It can often feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t get enough of it to wake up feeling refreshed. What can you do about it? Many times, the answer is as simple as the advice your mother always gave you: Get to bed! But hitting the sack early is often easier said than done. Try these sleep-inducing strategies—so nothing stands between you and your bed each night.

Pamper Yourself

One quick way to motivate yourself to go to bed is to give yourself something to look forward to. Think: cozy pajamas that you can’t wait to put on at night and a luxurious sheet set that makes your bedroom feel like a five-star hotel. Opt for sheets that are made of natural materials like cotton, bamboo, or linen to help wick away sweat. And don’t go overboard when it comes to thread count for your sheets: Between 200 and 400 is a good sweet spot that feels soft and maintains its breathability.

Program Your Thermostat

You sleep best when the temperature is cool, between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. And your body temperature naturally declines as you prepare for sleep. That’s why stepping out of a warm bath can help to trigger sleepiness. So if you keep your thermostat higher during the day, setting a smart thermostat to drop the temperature of the house at a certain time each night can help to remind your body when it’s bedtime. Plus, it’s one less thing you need to do before bed.
Try an Aromatherapy Diffuser

To bring a spa-like soothing feeling to your bedroom at home, try aromatherapy. The right scent can help you to relax your body and mind, readying yourself for sleep. While lavender is most often associated with sleep, vanilla, valerian and jasmine have also been shown to aid relaxation and sleep.

Chill Out with Relaxing Music

Babies aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a good lullaby. Soothing music can help adults relax and fall asleep faster. Download a sleepy-time playlist to your go-to device (aim for songs with a tempo of between 60 and 80 beats per minute), and then let it do its thing.

Take a Book to Bed

Yes, a real, made-of-paper book. While you can get just about any reading material on  electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops these days, the blue light they emit can keep you up at night. If you just can’t go back to turning pages, consider an e-reader that doesn’t have a bright, backlit screen, like a basic Kindle.

Upgrade Your Bulbs

Speaking of lights, new technology in energy-efficient LED bulbs like these allows you to program your lights to automatically become warmer—and emit less blue light—as it gets closer to bedtime.