A good night's sleep is surprisingly elusive, isn't it? Sure, some people seem to fall unconscious almost the second their head hits the pillow, but for the rest of us, it can be a bit of a struggle. Yet it's also a necessity: After all, effects of sleep deprivation range from garden variety crabbiness to a weakened immune system. So, what's a gal to do?
Yes, you can always talk to your doctor or, say, a sleep expert — but I was curious to see what real people do: So I reached out to my Instagram followers using a "questions" sticker. I explained that, while I don't typically have trouble falling asleep, I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night — after which, it's near-impossible for me to get back to sleep.
They came through with the advice, with tips for falling asleep easier, as well as pointers for sleeping through the night. Keep reading for some of their tried-and-true sleep tips.
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Melatonin is essentially a hormone that plays a huge role in your natural sleep-wake cycle, according to the Mayo Clinic. In today's world, it's easy to find on the shelves of just about any supermarket, drugstore, or Target in the country. Whether you choose to take it in a pill form, gummy form, or even in your food/drink, it's generally suggested to take them right before bed. Many people who responded to my poll specifically recommended the Olly Restful Sleep, $13.99
Meditation for Sleep
I consider myself a skeptic and I've never been huge on the more spiritual types of home remedies, but I did find this method useful: A friend of mine recommended the Yoga Nidra for Sleep playlist on Spotify, and it's very relaxing. I also love the fact that you don't even have to get out of bed to find it on your phone and listen.
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No Screens Before Bed
This was very highly suggested by almost too many of my followers. Not going to lie, it was tough — especially for someone like me who a) is constantly working on a computer into the wee hours of the night and b) has basically been trained from childhood to only fall asleep when the TV is on. My biggest issue is that when I wake up in the middle of the night, my first instinct is to put on an episode of "Criminal Minds" — and suddenly, I'm just as invested in finding the serial killer as the BAU is. While I don't think it's 100 percent possible for me to completely quit screen usage before bed, I've diminished the time I'm spending on them at night, and I've noticed quite the change in my sleep habits.
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Many of my followers suggested magnesium supplements — and it was actually one of the first tips I tried. I grabbed a bottle from my local Walgreens and started taking it once a day, at night before bed. This was a game changer for me: Once I started taking these supplements, I was sleeping through the night more often than not. Natural Vitality Natural Calm, $23.95, is a particular popular option, if you're looking for suggestions.
Of course, I didn't want to have to rely on magnesium for the rest of my life, so I decided to change up my diet and make sure that I was overall eating healthier and getting the nutrients my body needs. Ever since making this change, I've been sleeping like a baby.