Today, I’m here to talk about getting your zzzs. Seriously, if it’s the middle of the night and you’ve got work in the am, put the phone down and get some sleep!

Do you know that sleep was once just seen as a waste of time? These days, we know it’s much more than that, with research telling us that not getting enough sleep can affect our mood and physical health. Lack of proper sleep can even ding your reaction time and increase accident risk, with the CDC estimating that 6,000 fatal crashes happen every year because of drowsy drivers (https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html).

But despite knowing all that, a lot of us still act as if proper sleep isn’t a goal to aim for. With the tips below, you can optimize your sleep sanctuary so you’re finally getting your recommended seven to nine hours each night.

Sleep in the total dark

Sleep in full darkness or as close to that as you can get. Even just a little light, such as the glow from your LCD clock radio, can throw off your internal clock and your production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which will interfere with your sleep quality.

Hands off of that thermostat

Your bedroom should not be higher than 70 degrees F. According to Sleep.org, the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees F (https://www.sleep.org/articles/temperature-for-sleep/). When you are trying to sleep, your body drops your internal temperature, and dropping the room temperature will help with this natural process. If your room is too hot, you will struggle to get quality sleep.

Get electrical devices away from your bed

Keep electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. If you need to use an alarm clock, keep that as far away from your bed as you can, too, and don’t use a super loud one. Your body experiences stress when it is jolted awake by a blaring alarm. If you are sleeping well on a regular basis, you may not need an alarm, but if you do, consider a gentler one. A sun alarm clock, for example, wakes you up by gradually increasing light intensity like a sunrise.

We all know sleep isn’t just a luxury or for the “lazy.” You need it for good physical and mental health, so do whatever you can to ensure you’re getting the best sleep possible no matter how busy you get!