Getting a good night sleep can be very difficult for people for a multitude of reasons including stress, overactivity and medical reasons. In this article we're going to have a look at 5 proven ways to help you fall asleep and get a good nights rest.

1. Give the backlit devices a break before sleep

Its no secret that electronics have taken over most of our lives. These days we constantly have outer stimuli such as TVs, phones, computers and tablets demanding our attention. The Lighting Research Centre in NYC have discovered that long exposure to backlit devices suppress the melatonin in our brains which can effect our sleep.

If you tend to use your backlit devices before bed it is best to give them a break for at least 30 minutes before you turn in for the night, this could drastically effect how quickly you fall asleep and the quality of your sleep.

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2. Exercise 

It is widely believed that exercise can improve how fast we fall asleep and how long we sleep. Recent studies have shown that moderate exercise (e.g walking) regularly can significantly improve the sleep of insomniacs.

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Heavy exercise can impact how quickly we fall asleep if performed within a few hours of going to bed as there is an increase of adrenaline in our bodies which keeps us awake.

3. Valerian

Valerian is a flowering plant which generally comes in the form of an extract or tea and is a natural remedy to aid with sleep. The herb is believed to have been used for thousands of years to aid people suffering with insomnia. Valerian is a great alternative for people who want to avoid using sleeping tablets and prescription medication. Valerian is not recommended for pregnant women and people taking anxiety medication.


4. Stick to a sleep pattern

One of the most common reasons for people having sleep problems is that they do not have a regular sleep pattern so the body does not become properly accustomed to when its time for sleep. Set yourself a regular sleep pattern. For example try to sleep from 11pm - 8am Monday - Sunday.

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If you haven't had a regular sleep pattern for some time this may be difficult in the beginning but with practice your body will adapt and your sleep should improve dramatically. If possible you should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

5. Avoid chemical stimuli before bed

Our final tip is to avoid chemical stimuli before bed. Chemical stimuli include things like caffeine (tea/coffee/cola),  nicotine, energy drinks, chocolate and alcohol. It has been concluded in multiple scientific studies that chemical stimuli even 6 hours before bedtime can have a disruptive effect on how quickly we fall asleep and the quality of our sleep.

Chemical stimuli before bedCredit: morguefile