8 Small Changes to Sleep Better Today

Sleep disorders are among the causes of insomnia (besides sleep apnea). Sleep disorders affect 70 million Americans a year, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If stretching before bed, limiting caffeine, and drinking chamomile tea haven't helped you sleep better, you may want to start working on it when you wake up. Here's how to sleep better tonight.

How to improve sleep now

Stay awake to sleep faster. "Do the opposite if you can't sleep because you're worried about falling asleep," says Sujay Kansagra, MD, director of Duke University's Sleep Medicine programme and Mattress Firm's sleep health consultant. When we're anxious, we look at the clock and calculate how little sleep we'll get, causing sleep performance anxiety." Consider staying awake instead of falling asleep.

Try some reverse psychology

Noshing in bed hinders sleep. "Eating in the bedroom, especially before bedtime, can disrupt sleep," says Robert I. Danoff, DO, of Aria Health System. Salty snacks can make you thirsty, too much fluid before bed can cause extra bathroom trips, and caffeine within four hours of sleep can keep you awake or disrupt sleep. Caffeine causes anxiety and jitteriness. Eating before bed is another weight-gaining nighttime habit.

Stop snacking in bed

A lullaby soothed us to sleep even if our parents couldn't sing. They knew then that music can improve sleep quality. Scientific Reports found that relaxing music improves sleep. Music listeners fell asleep faster. Music may help insomniacs, according to other research.

Listen to these grown-up lullabies

Watch a dog fall asleep. He circles, lands, adjusts his position, and then sleeps. He must be neutral. "Quality of sleep is just as important as quantity," says Param Dedhia, MD, director of Sleep Medicine at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. "Neutral spines can be back or side. Pillow placement is crucial. When our body is neutral, our musculoskeletal and neurological systems twist, push, and pull less.

Put it in neutral

Magnesium may help you sleep tonight. Magnesium deficiency causes insomnia and other issues. Depending on sex and age, the recommended daily magnesium intake for adults is 310-420 mg. Discuss supplements with your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about magnesium

If you're having trouble sleeping and have eliminated other causes, try cosleeping with your pet. Mark Buchfuhrer, MD, medical director of Good Samaritan Hospital's Comprehensive Sleep Center, says pets' movements and breathing can be distracting. Pet-allergic patients may have runny noses or nasal congestion that disrupt sleep.

Kick your pooch out of bed

Simple tips can make your bedroom the ultimate sleep oasis. Dr. Buchfuhrer has a handy checklist. Noises can wake light sleepers. Earplugs or fan noise can help maintain a hum. "Blue light" from devices, TVs, and other electronics can affect melatonin production, a sleep hormone.

Use earplugs or a mask

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