Sleep Solutions

While we all know how important it is to get enough sleep, it can be challenging for many of us. Below is a list of simple strategies for getting more—and higher quality—sleep.  
Unplug: The glow from your laptop, iPad, smart phone, or other electronics on your nightstand may pass through your closed eyelids into your hypothalamus - the part of your brain that controls sleep. The stimulating effects of electronics can also impact our ability to fall asleep - if you have trouble sleeping, avoid using electronics before bed or if you wake up in the middle of the night.  
Eliminate other sources of light: Invest in room-darkening shades, turn off that light in the hall or in your yard...etc. The darker your room is, the more soundly you'll sleep.  
Stick to a sleep schedule: Though it may be difficult at first, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.  
Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms: Expose yourself to sunlight each morning.  
Cut back on naps: If you do nap, keep it to 30 minutes max, during the afternoon.
Consider an alternate bed for your pets: Pets can interfere with the quality of our sleep. However, if you find that having your pet in the bed helps you to fall asleep, and he or she doesn't wake you during the night, it's fine to continue with the current sleeping arrangement.
Exercise regularly:  Regular exercise helps us fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. What's one action step you'll take this week toward a better night's sleep?