Sleeping woman wrapped up in white blankets.

Nothing beats a long, restful slumber. Many people, however, don't give sleep a high enough priority. Work, family, and other circumstances seem always to take precedence. Still, a good night of sleep rejuvenates your mind and body while elevating your mood. Humans require a certain amount of sleep to stay alive, so it's vital to do whatever you can to make time for adequate sleep and ward off insomnia. Here are a few ways to do just that.

1. Keep Your Feet Warm

Studies show that keeping your feet warm helps you to rest better when you're trying to sleep. Warmer feet tend to have greater blood flow; healthier blood flow promotes better sleep. Put on a pair of warm, comfortable socks before you go to bed.

2. Choose a Comfortable Bed

Comfort varies from person to person. One person may sleep great on a bed so soft it practically envelops them. Another person may require one that seems as firm as a concrete slab. Since no two mattresses' styles will be exactly alike, it helps to go to the store and compare mattress firmness in person. These days, you have a wide variety of mattresses from which to choose. This ever-improving technology gives you options such as regulating the firmness with a remote control. You can also get mattresses that are more scientifically-designed to avoid transferring movement and ones that stay cool despite body heat.

3. Paint Bedroom Walls Blue

Blue bedrooms are associated with getting more hours of sleep. Opt for lighter shades of blue. These shades promote relaxation better than brighter tones such as royal blue.

4. Avoid Blue Light

A blue bedroom may help you sleep, but blue light from electronics should be avoided before bed. This light will keep your brain active for a while after you power off your device. Go device-free at least 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep. This means everything from TV to smartphones to laptops. Even clocks with bright displays can cause sleep disturbances. If you absolutely have to use a device right before bed, many screened electronics have settings to eliminate the blue light.

5. Listen To Soothing Sounds

Looking at a screen can keep you from sleeping, but listening to certain sounds can lull you to sleep. What's soothing to one person may be annoying to another, so it may take some trial and error to find what relaxes you the best. Try listening to an audiobook. White noise or the sound of rain or the ocean may help clear your mind. Sound machines and phone apps are available for this use. Calming music may also help you sleep.

6. Avoid Caffeine

Most people drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages to wake up, so it just makes sense to avoid caffeine before bedtime. Stop caffeine by late afternoon or early evening to make sure it's out of your system before bedtime.

7. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, but when it comes to trying to sleep, it doesn't help. You might go to sleep after an evening of drinking, but the chemicals in it keep your brain from being able to drift into a restful, deep sleep.

8. Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can help in all aspects of your life, whether you want to relax your mind or boost your mood. Lavender is extremely helpful for relaxation, de-stressing, and falling into a deeper sleep.

9. Meditate Mindfully

Meditating before bed can help to relax and clear the mind. Try mindful meditation, which challenges you to only be in the present. Don't think about the past or the future, only what's going on at the moment. Notice the sound of crickets chirping, the breeze from open windows or a fan; concentrate on relaxing. Yoga or prayer can also help you decompress.

Insomnia affects millions of people, but most should be capable of enhancing their sleep by implementing some or all of these methods. It won't take long before you notice an improvement in your health, as well as your life in general.

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About The Author

Mikkie Mills's picture

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer who's passionate about health, fitness, organic cooking and eating, and yoga. When not writing she loves traveling, hiking, and cooking. Find more from Mikkie on Google+.

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