Tips for Falling Asleep
September 13, 2012
During the day
Squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Doing even half of the recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate activity and two muscle-training sessions has been shown to significantly reduce sleep problems in women, in part by regulating body temperature and reducing anxiety and depression.
Two hours before bedtime
Lower the lights. Turning off lights and lamps signals to the body that sleep time is near—the way twilight did before we had electric lighting. Check lightbulb packaging for the words "soft" or "warm" and for a color temperature of 3000 kelvins or less, which is less likely to trigger insomnia.
One hour before bedtime
Dim your screens. Watching TV or tooling around online may help you decompress, but most screens emit more blue light than lamps do, and that—plus any exciting or disturbing stuff you see—will keep your brain going. So if you can't give up your late-night screen time, at least turn down the brightness on your TV, tablet, or computer. You can also install a free program called f.lux on your laptop to automatically reduce the blue light it emits at night.
Half an hour before bedtime
Power down. Now's the time to turn off the tube—experts recommend reading by low lamplight.