Catching good sleep is everything. We need a strong foundation of rest for so many reasons: our health, our energy, and our sanity. It can even have effects on our heart, mental, and immune health, too.

Some of us struggle chronically with getting enough sleep, and for many reasons. But before you start asking your doctor for sleeping pills, your body might thank you in the long run for trying one of these more simple and natural activities instead to help you sleep better at night.

Exercise

It may sound odd— but getting a good dose of exercise on the regular could help you sleep better. Some research shows certain types of exercises are especially helpful for getting better sleep at night, especially high intensity ones.

And it goes both ways: if you sleep better, studies similarly show you’ll have more energy to exercise! The ultimate key to both? Just getting started.

Make sure you don’t exercise too late. Workouts within 3 hours prior to sleeping can make you more alert instead, while getting it in earlier may be the perfect thing to tire you out.

Cut Down on Screen Time

It’s a common habit to scroll your feeds or stream content right before bed. You may even do it to help you sleep, too. But this might not be helping you at all!

Studies show too much screen time, especially right before bed, can lead to disturbed and unrestful sleep. If you like binging shows or social media to help you get some shut eye, you may want to limit that amount you do. The blue light effects of your screen might be bringing you more harm than help.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

For many, caffeine is an obvious vice that can really benefit sleep when cut down. But watch out for alcohol, too. Though you might not realize it, alcohol is made up mostly of carbohydrates, which are converted into sugars.

If you drink right before bed, you might wake up with something not unlike a sugar rush! It’s hard to shake the caffeine or alcohol, but at least try to limit its consumption to much earlier in the day: mornings only with coffee, and space alcohol a good number of hours before sleeping.

Try Magnesium

There are tricks and remedies of all kinds for sleep. But one of the health world’s many hidden gems is using the mineral magnesium for sleep.

Research shows magnesium helps the body produce certain neurotransmitters that help us sleep. There are also studies that show restless leg syndrome, a condition that can interfere with sleep, may be caused by magnesium deficiency. Cramping muscles or legs that keep us awake can be helped by magnesium supplements, too.

Good sleep can be a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be— and you don’t always need prescription drugs to help.

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