When we are busily rushing through our lives and looking at where we can pull more time from, we often sacrifice our sleep.  But getting high-quality sleep in proper amounts for your body is what keeps you fresh, energized and able to accomplish more in less time.  It is quite the catch-22!  Most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, according to many experts.  Are you getting that amount of sleep?  If not, you are putting your health at risk because you may not be allowing your body enough time to recuperate from the day and regenerate the cells needed to keep you going full speed ahead.

Here are some tips to help you catch some ZZZs:

1. Be consistent.  Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day of the week helps your body to know it will be getting enough sleep and when to expect it.  That includes on weekends.  If you’re still feeling tired, take a short nap mid-day.

2. Shut off the technology.  Turn off all electronics at least an hour before lights out.  The light emitted from your computer screen, kindle, TV or cell phone turns on parts of your brain that should be winding down as you near bedtime.  Consider using low-watt lighting or yellow lights to cue your brain to begin producing sleep chemicals.

3. Create a bedtime routine.  Instead of checking email, playing a video game or watching the news, try relaxing with a good book, drinking some herbal tea, taking a hot bath or shower or doing some other relaxing form of self-care to help you unwind and begin relaxing.  Maybe you want to journal any thoughts that are on your mind before you go to sleep, or visualize your goals so your subconscious can go to work on them overnight.

4. Create a sleep-inducing environment.  Make your room as dark as possible for sleep time.  Use blackout curtains or sleep with an eye mask to block out the lights of civilization that simulate the sun of daytime.  Use repetitive noise or white noise with a fan or noise machine to lull yourself into sleep.  Remove anything that blinks, glows or otherwise can disrupt your sleep patterns from your bedroom.

Using these tips can help you achieve more restful sleep, which allows you to prepare for the coming day and awaken energized and refreshed.