Oftentimes, we take sleep for granted and it can be very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Whether you're depressed, anxious, or just really feel like you have a tough time sleeping, here are three tips to help you get a good night's sleep. Number one, no screens, 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Screens emit blue lights, which are harmful to our circadian rhythm. They make our bodies think it's daytime. When we have a screen in front of our face, our bodies say, okay, we're going to be awake, and then the second you shut it off, the body doesn't think, oh, alright, now it's time to go to sleep. It thinks now it's time to start winding down. So it's really important to not have any screen time including phones, tablets, televisions, computers, any kind between half an hour and an hour before bed. Second, develop a routine. Try and come up with a few different things you can do the night before to prepare yourself for the next day. Preferably things that don't include screens such as laying your clothes out for the next day, brushing your teeth, making your lunch, preparing something to help you get ready for bed. Just doing something that doesn't require a lot of thought and you can just do without looking at screen. As a side tip, many electronics now have a night mode where it eliminates all the blue lights and that are harmful for your eyes and for your circadian rhythm. That being said, it's still good to pair down the electronics as it gets closer and closer to bedtime. And number three, try to come up with a relaxing bedtime ritual such as mindful meditation or a breathing exercise that can help really bring your energy down so that you're ready to go to sleep. Keep in mind that it's a process to get yourself to sleep and be kind to yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to fall asleep. By utilizing these three steps, you'll find that you can have better what we call sleep hygiene or taking care of yourself towards sleep, and you'll find you'll have a much more restful sleep.
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