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People realize that sleep is important but they actually don’t realize how “incredibly” important it is. Not getting enough sleep is the single best way to destroy your health. 

If you are serious about losing fat, building muscles or maximizing your athletic performance then you must get enough sleep. Here are the natural ways to sleep better without taking pills.

Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.

A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Sticking to a schedule helps to regulate your body's clock and it allows your body to set its internal rhythm so you can get up at the time you want, consistently, every single day. Also, make sure you try to keep the same schedule on weekends too, otherwise the next morning; you would wake later and it will disturb your body’s clock.

Eat a banana / drink warm milk before bed.

It's a great natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan. The time-honoured tradition, of course, is warm milk, also a good source of tryptophan.

Lighten up your dinner.

Eating a pepperoni pizza at 10 p.m. may be a recipe for insomnia. Finish dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you get hungry at night, drink warm milk or eat a banana.

Spray a sleep-inducing scent.

Certain smells, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which leads to relaxation and helps you sleep more soundly. 

Avoid naps.

Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, avoid naps completely. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must nap, it is better to keep it very short.

Take a hot shower before bedtime.

Taking a hot shower before bed helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles. 

No TV right before bed. 

TV is too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

Cut caffeine at night.

Caffeine has a half-life of five hours. It means, five hours after your last cup of coffee, half of its caffeine content is still in your system. Caffeinated products decrease a person’s quality of sleep. 

Switch to herbal tea.

Caffeine is a no-no, but caffeine-free herbal tea may actually help you sleep. Many "Sleepy Time" teas are made from the same compounds used in supplements that promote sleep, like valerian or chamomile. 

Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment.

A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light. Keep the temperature comfortably cool. Also, if a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom. Try to keep computers, laptops, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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