How important is sleep? On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being poor and 10 being best night’s sleep ever, where are you? Are you in bed at least 7 hours per night but wake up feeling less than ideal?

Sleep affects everything . . . how we feel, our moods, how often we get sick, how we recover, our endurance, our nutrition, ability to make decisions, etc. Too few people realize just how important sleep is to leading a balanced and healthy life. According to healthline and an article by Rudy Mawer a good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet so if you are already exercising regularly and eating right but not feeling great look at your sleep habits.

Here are 17 evidence-based tips to sleep better at night.

  1. increase bright light exposure during the day
  2. reduce blue light exposure in the evening
  3. don’t consume caffeine late in the day
  4. reduce irregular or long daytime naps
  5. try to sleep and wake at consistent times
  6. take a melatonin supplement
  7. try another natural supplement such as ginkgo biloba, glycine, valerian root, magnesium, L-theanine, or lavendar
  8. don’t drink alcohol
  9. optimize your bedroom environment
  10. set your bedroom temperature
  11. don’t eat late in the evening
  12. relax and clear your mind in the evening
  13. take a relaxing bath or shower
  14. rule out a sleep disorder
  15. get a comfortable bed, mattress and pillow
  16. exercise regularly – but not before bed
  17. don’t drink any liquids before bed

Try working on these tips and see if it helps you feel more rested and restored. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Here’s to a great night’s sleep!