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Bedtime Routine

How to Train Yourself to Go to Sleep Earlier

Whether it’s because your schedule has changed and you need to start waking up earlier or you just want to sneak in more snooze time, sometimes it makes sense to move your bedtime earlier. The question is: How can you do that without setting yourself up to lie in bed counting sheep? It takes a little advanced planning, but it can be done. Here’s how. Give yourself a curfew. First, set a specific bedtime for yourself. Turn off all digital devices 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to turn in for the night. The reason: Exposure to light-emitting screens can reset your body’s circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep when you…

Making a Resolution to Sleep Better? 5 Simple Tips

While the most popular New Year’s resolutions tend to be about exercising more often or eating more healthfully, many people also vow to become better sleepers. If you want to make 2017 the year that you finally prioritize your zzz’s, try these five easy tips.  Cut out your afternoon coffee and your nightcap. Caffeine and alcohol can make it tough to get quality sleep. Consider having caffeine only in the morning and early afternoon—you definitely don’t want any in the six hours leading up to bedtime. And while alcohol may help you nod off initially, it does cause you to wake up throughout the night. A good rule of thumb: Don’t drink booze…

Maximizing Sleep During Summer Travel

During a recent trip, my return flight was repeatedly delayed and ultimately cancelled. Automatically, the airline rebooked me for three flights that night so I would arrive at my destination mid-morning the next day. Instead, I chose to stay in a hotel overnight and travel during the day. It was an easy choice – I had no major obligations the following day, and, most importantly, I needed to sleep. Talking with fellow passengers in the long line as we waited to rebook our flights, it was interesting to hear how sleep factored into their decision. Some people were determined to travel as soon as possible, even if it meant multiple flights across the night. However, many recognized…

Five Tips for Getting Your Kids Out of Bed for School

Summer is coming to a close, which means that your kids will soon have to snap back to reality. Their relaxed routines of June, July, and August are about to be replaced with an early wake-up call Monday through Friday. Want to make the transition as smooth as possible? Follow these five tips.Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute.It takes about a week to easily go from sleeping in late to waking up bright and early. Start by gradually moving your child’s wake-up time earlier in 15-minute or 30-minute increments each night, depending on how much shifting needs to happen. And while you’re figuring out bedtimes, make sure that your kids are getting the…

Don't Let Sunday Nights Get You Down—or Keep You Up

If there were one universal soundtrack for Sunday nights, it would sound like tossing and turning. In the U.S. and beyond, Sundays tend to be the toughest nights for people to fall asleep. Why? Often it’s as simple as staying up later—and sleeping in later—on the weekends, which is sometimes called “social jetlag.” That’s right: Staying up past midnight for a couple of nights when your usual bedtime is 10:00pm can have the same effect as flying from New York to L.A. and back again. Add in stress about the upcoming workweek, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for sleeplessness. Follow these four easy pieces of advice to conquer the Sunday night blues.Stick…

Reading Lights for Your Bedroom

Staying awake to page through a good book doesn’t need to keep your partner up.  Choosing the right nightstand lamp is a bright idea for two reasons: Not only will it ensure that your significant other gets a good night’s sleep, but it can also improve the quality of your own shuteye. That’s because any glowing light—whether it comes from your lamp or a phone—prevents the release of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. But if you use the following advice on picking the perfect light (and light bulbs) for your bedroom, you can reduce the problem—and still dive into a great read! Try a Book Light.Skip the overhead…

How to Get Restful Sleep When Away From Home

Are you traveling this holiday season? Whether you’re catching zzz’s at a five-star hotel or on an air mattress in your aunt and uncle’s basement, it can be tough to get a good night’s sleep when you’re not in your own bed. No matter how comfortable (or uncomfortable) your temporary mattress is, being in an unfamiliar place can make it harder to relax. But there are some easy ways to make yourself feel like you’re at home—even when you’re not. BYO Pillow. Even the highest-quality mattress in the world won’t be comfortable if you’re putting your head on the wrong pillow. Getting the right fit under your head and neck helps keep your…

Get Better ZZZs on Vacation

Vacation is supposed to be all about R&R. But the reality is that both itinerary-obsessed sightseers and beach loungers alike can wind up heading home drained, rather than rejuvenated. The reason: vacation-induced sleep debt. Below, check out some of the worst culprits—and find out how to avoid them, so you can cut loose, relax, and still get the sleep that you need. Resist Partying All Night & Sleeping All Day Whether or not your vacation involves a time change, there’s a good chance that some schedule-shifting may be involved. After all, since you don’t have to punch a clock each morning, you may be more inclined to explore the nightlife options at your destination….

The Summer (Sleep) Slide

You’ve probably heard of the “summer slide” in academic learning—the tendency for kids to fall behind in reading and math skills on summer vacation. The summer sleep slide is real, too. Without the structure of school, kids tend to stay up later—sometimes much later—and not sleep in consistently enough to make up for it. Rather than spend the summer catching up on sleep, kids can accumulate sleep debt that affects their health, mood, and ability to learn. In our house—with a 7 and 3-year-old—we’re trying to balance the joy and freedom of long summer nights, with the reality of two little kids’ sizable sleep needs. We visit with friends, we go out for dinner or to…

#GoodNights Challenge with Julia from the Lemon Stripes

Julia shares how sticking to a routine and powering down electronics helped her get better sleep Each month, the National Sleep Foundation is partnering with select bloggers and digital influencers for a new iteration of the #GoodNights challenge. We’ll explore new ways to get a good night’s rest by showcasing real life examples of how a good night’s sleep can positively impact your body, mind and spirit. We know that many of our readers want real life tips for sleeping better, so follow along and share your own #GoodNights stories by using hashtag across social media channels like Twitter and Instagram. July’s Challenge This month, we asked Julia, the blogger behind the lifestyle blog Lemon Stripes, to take…