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11 ways to get to sleep faster

Having trouble falling asleep? Here are some basic tips and tricks to help you reach a faster, blissful slumber.
/ Source: TODAY

Do you spend a majority of your nights tossing and turning, struggling to catch some zzz's? You're not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans experience poor or insufficient sleep.

Those who report experiencing poor sleep also report poor health quality, like low life satisfaction and high stress. For those who don’t have a sleep disorder, there are quite a few ways to speed your journey to serene slumbers.

1. Get up at the same time every morning — it’s much more important than when you go to bed.

It helps to regulate your body's internal clock.

2. Head off to the bedroom only when you feel tired enough to fall asleep.

Following an arbitrary bedtime is not ideal. Go to sleep when you feel tired.

3. If you’re not sleepy, leave the bedroom and do something else till you are.

Grab a book and read in your living room, don't just lay in bed thinking about how you're not sleeping.

4. Exercise daily, but not within four hours of your bedtime.

Exercising is essential to a health lifestyle, but if you're someone who struggles with a regular sleep habit exercising close to your bedtime could have a negative effect.

5. Don’t spend any more time in bed than you can actually sleep.

Find another spot to read and catch up on emails — avoid doing it in bed.

6. Stay away from bright lights as bedtime approaches.

Translation: Stop looking at your phone! Power down as you get ready for bed.

7. Don’t use electronic devices in bed.

It will send your brain the wrong signals.

8. Avoid napping during the day if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night.

9. Keep your bedroom cool: Best temps are between 60 and 67 degrees.

Everyone is different, but studies have found that these are the most comfortable sleeping temperatures.

10. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco in the evening.

All three types of beverages can interrupt your sleeping habits.

11.Do something relaxing in the hour or so before bed, so you can wind down.

Read, have a cup of decaffeinated tea or journal.

Sources: Dr. Dan Buysse, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh; Natalie Dautovich, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University and the National Sleep Foundation’s Environmental Scholar

This story was originally published in 2015.