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June 22, 2018 3 min read

Falling asleep at night can be challenging.

We've all had those nights where we find ourselves staring up at the ceiling waiting for our brain's to shut down.

On those nights, counting sheep doesn't cut it.

As a sleep scientist, I've dug into the research to find a solution to sleepless nights. Below, I've put together a list of my top tips for falling asleep.

These tips are based off of my years of researching sleep, as well as my personal experiences.

Implement these tips and watch your sleep quality skyrocket!


1. Create An Evening Routine.

Life is chaotic. Oftentimes, the worries and cares of this world all come crashing down on us during the quiet hours of the night.

Creating a bedtime routine is a great way to settle your mind down for the night and prepare your body for sleep. An evening routine should have structure and should consist of relaxing activities. 

For example, before your bedtime you could take a bath, read a book, or do some relaxing stretching. The key is focus on activities that relax your mind and body (and avoid things that activate your mind and body).


2. Cut Off Caffeine After 3PM

Caffeine is fine to consume, just do it strategically. Although you may feel as if your espresso at 3 PM has no impact past 3:30 PM, it actually does. Caffeine takes 4 hours on average to metabolize in your body (this process is even longer for some people). 

This means that your brain will be feeling the effect of that espresso well into the evening. So do your body a favor and avoid caffeine after 3:00pm.


3. Take A Natural Sleep Aid

Some nights you need something a little extra to help your body wind down. On those nights consider taking a natural, herbal-based sleep aid. Here at Utzy we make award winning sleep aids, check out our Fall Asleep product, a formula designed to gently relax you into deep, restorative sleep.

Fall Asleep is made with natural herbal ingredients like Valerian Root, Passion Flower, and Lemon Balm Leaf.  At Utzy, we actually grow some of the herbal ingredients that go into our products on our certified organic herbal farm! If you struggle with falling asleep, then check out Fall Asleep!


4. Minimize Light At Night.

The inner workings of the biological clock are highly sensitive to light. Just like exposing your body to light during the day wakes up your body, light at night also wakes up your body.

Turning on the light in the middle of the night is not good. It signals your system that it's time to wake up. Start dimming the lights and embrace candle light an hour before bed. This will help your body to start winding down for bed.

5. Sleep With Minimal Clothing.

This is a personal hypothesis, but one of the best ways to increase your sleep quality is to lower your core body temperature. Because PJs and heavy blankets provide insulation, your core body temperature may not reach its programmed minimum to maximize the amount of REM sleep.

So sleep with less clothing and blankets and help your body reach restorative, deep stages of sleep.


Dr. Allison Brager

Dr. Allison Brager is a neuroscientist specializing in the physiology and genetics of sleep and performance. She is author of Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain, which debunks the myth of the "dumb jock" and serves as a manual for optimizing athletic performance through neuroscience. 


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