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Sleep is one of the most difficult things to get these days.

About 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. The most common ones being insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.

Whether you have a hard time falling asleep from stress, travel, illness, or something else, there are a few things you can do to improve your situation. That could mean improving your sleep hygiene, revising your daytime habits and learning to relax.


Redditor Joydipisalamer asked:

"What is your life hack to fall asleep faster?"

We went to AskReddit to hear the best hacks for getting a good night's sleep.

Muscle relaxation.

"Progressive Muscle Relaxation. I learned about it from therapy, but it's also very useful in helping you relax both your body and mind."

"The practice basically boils down to the intentional tensing and releasing of muscles in a specific order, while maintaining your breathing."

- Technical_Worker_264

"I learned something similar in the army. It works."

- 02K30C1

"I do this and I start from my toes and work my way up. Another good one is the "stone" game where you also start with the feet and imagine them as heavy as you can and travel upwards getting really really heavy (and hopefully sleeeepyy...)"

- Melonby77

Hard work.

"A hard day of physical labor."

"A lot of people complaining about aches and pains and not being able to get to sleep because of it. Revisit your diet and physical state, I used to have the same issues. We labeled restless leg, then I lost weight and started eating better. Magically disappeared."

- ZombieCzar

"Absolutely! As a physician, I tell my patients that I have never had to prescribe sleep medicine to a ditch digger!"

- GatedcommunityDr

The right timing and evironment.

"If possible, go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. But you have to really stick with it... not just do it for 3 days and then go 'oh it isn't working.' As you keep doing it, your body will get used to it and you'll naturally get tired at the same time every day."

"Also, make sure you are in a cool dark room. Those are ideal sleeping conditions."

"If it's too hot, it's really hard to fall asleep. Ideally, you should NEED your blanket to actually be a comfortable temperature. If you are not a bit chilly without the blanket, the room ain't cool enough."

"And if you have a night light or light coming in from a window, that also makes it tough. Even just a TINY bit of light coming in compared to pitch black makes a huge difference. Blackout curtains are great."

- mew5175_TheSecond

"Make the room really cold and sleep in a down jacket. I learned this staying in hotel rooms in the winter that were sometimes cold. Something about the down jacket with it's puffiness. You can thank me later."

- cheeeetoes

"I learned this technique growing up with an Asian mom. Thermostat never moved. Wear layers or freeze."

- Buffalongo

"That's how I am, I use a giant down comforter though. The only downside is getting out of bed when it's 62 degrees in the bedroom and it's shivering cold to get out from the covers. I did find that smart thermostats are a life saver, I cool down the room all night until an hour before I wake up, I crank it up to like 75 degrees so I wake up warm and loose."

- Crossfire7

"I can't go to sleep at the same time every night though that's the whole reason of the question it's like for me if I got to bed at 10 I won't sleep till like 2."

- Denbro010

"I think they mean get your circadian rhythm in a cycle, e.g. if you go to bed at different times every night and wake up at different times it's of course going to be difficult to sleep early because your circadian rhythm isn't synced, if you start getting yourself in a cycle ( which I know it's really hard) of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time you'll notice after a while that you will sleep much earlier and it will be a lot easier."

- izzyxxcooke

Counting and breathing.

"Count down from 1,000 but say each digit in your head."

"One zero zero zero"

"Nine nine nine"

"Nine nine eight"

"Nine nine seven"

"I challenge you to get into the six hundreds."

- skirunski

"I do something similar, but I count down from 100. I breathe in on the even numbers and out on the odd ones. I start over if I get my breathing/counting wrong."

- swerly2

"I start at/near 100 but count down by 3s. You have to think about it so it shuts out other thoughts."

- purplesprings

Putting on some background noise.

"Put on a NASCAR race. Down on 5 minutes."

- Teknolyzer

"I'm a massive motorsports fan but listening to Cars going around, doesn't matter if its NASCAR, Formula 1, GTs or Prototypes, is so calming to me and helps me fall asleep so fast."

- TommyGames36

"Forensic files. I literally fall asleep so peacefully once I put this on TV. I know it's strange and not the content to watch before bed but like the narrator puts me to sleep. Also it's on literally every night so it's routine now"

- bethp2006

"I do this too!"

"My husband always accuses me of wanting to collect subconscious ideas on how to murder him because 95% of the time it's the spouse."

- PinkMoonrise

"This absolutely works! Even when I intend to actually watch the episode."

- Moonlight1219

Sleep hygiene.

"Stay out of your bedroom and definitely off of your bed unless it is sleepy time. Go to sleep at the same time every night. Do the exact same thing before going to sleep every night. Think about advanced integral calculus."

- noguarde

"Unfortunately my bedroom is my only space, and my bed is the only comfortable place to sit in that space. I don't even know what basic calculus is."

- Zryth

"No problem, the underlying strategies is to create a routine. That is the main idea."

- noguarde

Weighted blankets.

"A cooling weighted blanket. Chef's kiss."

- Krabbi

"I only have intermittent issues with falling asleep, but I did try a weighted blanket. I've heard it works wonders and I'm sure it does for many, but for me it gave me night terrors."

"I'm already prone to them, and maybe if I gave my body time to adjust to the feel it wouldn't last, but night terrors are awful and it wasn't worth it for me."

"So just a note of caution for anyone who gets occasional night terrors. I'm glad it helps you Krabbi, I did love the feel of it, but my subconscious did not."

- chikaygo

A lack of sleep can cause serious health problems, like heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes.

Take some of these people's advice and see how your sleep changes your waking life.

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