Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to eat more, gain weight, and have high blood sugar. There’s more info on how sleep affects your health here.

When it comes to reasons why it’s hard to get enough sleep, we’ve heard it all: from temperature to snoring, to having a busy lifestyle. So we put together some tips based on the five key things you need to get a good night’s sleep:

01 A Comfortable Environment

Not too hot, not too cold, but just right! If temperature’s an issue, you can try changing the thermostat or opening a window. You can also consider wearing something different to bed, or use different bedding. Flannel is great in the winter heat, but a lighter fabric is essential for the summer months. You can also put a cool, wet washcloth on your forehead and wrists if you’re having a hard time cooling down.

02 Peace and Quiet

If your sleep partner is restless, you should have a conversation about it. They might need to get help from their health care provider to improve their sleep as well as yours.

If noise is the issue, you can try using earplugs. If those are uncomfortable, you can try using a fan or white noise machine to drown out unwanted sounds.

03 A Window of Time

If you’re so busy that you can’t find the time for at least seven hours of sleep, you may need to reexamine your schedule. Members, ask your Health Advisor about the Pack Health day planner for a better night’s sleep!

04 Ways to Wind Down

Finding time for exercise and self-expression can help you get out any pent-up energy and make it easier to sleep when bedtime rolls around. Go for a walk. Write in a journal. Talk to a friend or family member. Dance, draw, or paint. Whatever works for you to get things out of your system and really let loose.

05 A Bedtime Routine

Give yourself an hour before bed to unwind, and keep key things consistent during that hour. For example, say no to TVs and electronic devices and dim the lights. Say no to snacks (we recommend having an eat before 9 p.m. rule). These adjustments are tried-and-true strategies that tell your biological clock it’s time for bed. You can talk to your Health Advisor to find additional strategies that meet your specific needs.

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