For many of us, it can be difficult to wind down at the end of the day. Life in the 21st century is fast-paced, there’s a lot of people, events, and variables that demand our attention. So, when the day is done and it’s time to get some much-needed rest, how can we go about getting to sleep faster and staying asleep longer?

Here are four tips that you can use to help you enjoy the benefits of more restful, plentiful sleep.

Tip #1: Start with the 5:00 Rule

One way to help ensure that your body is ready for sleep is to eliminate sugars and stimulating substances after 5:00 pm. This might be difficult if you enjoy eating a nice dessert after a large meal, or if you enjoy an evening cup of tea or coffee. But, as soon as you remove these things from your diet in the evenings, you should notice that you’ll be able to fall asleep faster.

Tip #2: Do Some Breathing Exercises or Meditation

Many of us are kept awake at night not by extra caffeine or sugar, but by our own minds. If the day has been especially stressful, we can be prone to thinking about it well into bedtime. To help thwart this, do some concentrated breathing exercises or meditation before bed. Spend a good 10-15 minutes focusing on the breath, and see how quickly your body responds.

Tip #3: Don’t Use Your Phone or Tablet in Bed

This should be a no-brainer for people who want better sleep, but it bears reminding. If you’re someone who uses your mobile device a lot, know that it could be contributing to your sleeplessness if you use it a lot before bedtime. Try turning your phone off completely (not just silencing it) before bed as a way to remove the temptation of constantly checking it.

Tip #4: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

It’s been shown that rigorous exercise during the day can promote better sleep at night. This is because the body needs to repair itself, and the best time for it to do that is during deep, restorative REM sleep. By exercising vigorously at least a few times a week, you’re giving your body a reason to need better sleep. In addition to getting better sleep, exercising regularly will reward you with lower body fat, leaner muscles, and less inflammation.

Are there other sleep tips you use, that we failed to mention? Drop a comment and let us know!