Over the years, I've learned a thing or two about sleep.
I'm not going to lie, there were times like in college when I would pull all-nighters. I loaded up on caffeine and tried to remain high energy through the wee hours of the night into the early morning.
Now I also had higher metabolism at the time, so it may have worked then. But it's not a sustainable habit.
And that's the thing. It's all about creating good habits. Then you'll be set up for better sleep.
Those good habits include:
1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
If you go to bed at 10 p.m., go to bed at 10 p.m. every day of the week. Same with waking up. Try to stick to the same times every time, including on the weekends. It'll regulate your sleep cycle and improve your quality of sleep.
2. Set the mood before bed
Whether it's lighting, sounds (sound machines are great), or routines that involve your senses, you want to create a "mood" or vibe for bedtime.
3. Consume something
Whether you read a book, watch TV, or play on your phone for a bit, consume some type of media an hour before bedtime to stimulate some brain activity before you power down. And then have a short downtime after that, 30 minutes if possible, before you fall asleep, when everything is turned off and put away.
4. Make sure you have a sleep-friendly environment
Quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature should do the trick. This one would also include having comfy covers and pillows so you can easily be snug and ready for sleep.
5. Avoid substances before bed that can keep you awake
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine... normally you might enjoy these things, but they're a no-no before bed. At least a few hours before bed, you should have none of these things.
6. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly will put your body in a state that it's ready for sleep to rest and recover.
7. Invest in a cover for your eyes
An eye mask isn't just practical on an airplane, it's great for home too and your normal sleeping routine. I've found I sleep way better with an eye mask.
And that's it! Try these things and you'll be sure to have better sleep in no time. Continue them over time, create good habits, and you'll succeed in the longterm too.