For optimum health and wellbeing, it's recommended that you sleep 7 hours a night. But with 35% of Americans currently falling short of that, it's no surprise that many of us are waking up tired.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to revamp your sleeping habits. Here are our top tips for smart sleeping that will have you waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go.
With a goal of seven hours of sleep, you probably don't need more than 8 hours in bed. The first step to regulating your sleep is to set a regular bedtime, and alarm for the morning.
If you need to be awake by 6 am, you need to be in bed by 10 pm. This doesn't just hold true for weekdays, try not to deviate from your schedule by more than an hour even on the weekend. This helps your body get used to a new pattern of sleep.
Do you struggle to get to sleep? Don't waste hours doing that. If you can't get to sleep within 20 minutes then get up and go and do something restful. Stay away from your smartphone or laptop as the blue light can affect sleep. Read, meditate or listen to gentle music until you feel sleepy and then try to sleep again.
Caffeine has a half-life of five hours. That means if you drink a cup containing 40 mg of caffeine, you still have 20 mg in your system five hours later. If you're sensitive to caffeine, try making your last cup at lunchtime rather than after dinner.
Eating a heavy meal later in the day can make you uncomfortable come bedtime. Drinking lots of water may mean your bladder wakes you earlier than you'd like. Even alcohol, which can make us sleepy, to begin with, can cause us to wake during the night.
Light sleepers may want to use earplugs and sleeping masks to help them cut off from the world around them. Others might benefit from a weighted blanket, to help keep them feeling snug and secure.
If you sleep on your stomach, you'll know the struggle of trying to find the right pillow. Our Belly Sleeper pillow is the perfect solution, reducing head & neck rotation and making breathing easier.
One of the key tips to fall asleep is to manage your bedroom environment. While we're all different, most people sleep well in a cool, dark and calm environment.
Minimalism in the bedroom works well, keeping distractions out of sight and letting you relax. Buy an alarm clock to wake you, and leave your smartphone to charge in another room. You'll be less tempted to pick it up should you wake up.
If you and your partner need different depths of duvet then consider buying two singles rather than a double. It might feel less friendly, but it is better than not sleeping well because you are freezing or boiling. It also helps battle duvet thieves!
If you struggle with how to go to sleep, this section is for you. As we've already discussed, putting down the laptop and smartphone is a big help, letting your brain switch off.
Other things to make you sleepy include a warm bath, meditation, and lavender essential oil. Take a book to bed rather than a phone. If you need music or white noise then a smart speaker such as Amazon's Alexa or Google's Home can help.
Put together a 'going to bed ritual'. Think about how we prepare a baby for bed, teaching them that a bath and story means sleep. You can do the same thing for yourself, retraining your brain to sleep better.
Exercise has many health benefits, including lowering anxiety and blood pressure. It's also one of those sleeping secrets, taking exercise up every day increases the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep.
The NIH and American Heart Foundation both recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week - or half an hour 5 days a week. Adding exercise to your sleep routine will not only help you to sleep peacefully, but it will also help reduce stress and improve your overall health.
The advice on napping is mixed. Short naps are beneficial, with a sleep of fewer than 30 minutes enhancing brain activity. But any longer than that, and you can affect the quality of your important, night-time sleep.
When you sleep in the daytime, either regularly or as a one-off, you confuse your body clock. In fact, in one study those who took naps ended up feeling more tired than their counterparts who had pushed through.
There is a wide range of supplements available which claim to help you sleep better. These include Melatonin, one of the sleep hormones that lets your brain know when it's time to go to sleep.
But other supplements include Valerian, a herb known for making people sleepy, and Magnesium which is used by over 600 reactions in the body. Increasing magnesium may help those with Restless Leg Syndrome.
Other supplements to consider are Ginkgo Biloba, Glycine, and L-theanine which can also support better sleep. But don't try them all at once! Experiment, one at a time, to find the solution that works best for you alongside our other tips.
If you've tried all of these different approaches and you're still struggling to get to sleep then it might be time to talk to your doctor. It's possible that you might have a sleep disorder, which is causing your tiredness.
Up to 24% of men and 9% of women suffer from sleep apnea. This condition means that breathing is inconsistent during sleep, people with sleep apnea actually stop breathing for periods when they are asleep.
If the reason that you struggle to sleep is your pillow, then we can help. Our Belly Sleeper pillow has been specially designed with belly sleepers in mind.
We want to support your sleep and have put together a list of smart sleeping tips just for belly sleepers. Browse our list of products today, and see if we can help you towards a better night's sleep.