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For Better Sleep, Do These Things 20 Minutes Before Bed

If you’re struggling through the day because you had a terrible night of sleep — or lack of sleep — Popsugar has several suggestions for preparing for better slumber. The list includes dimming the lights and sitting in a warm bath just prior to going to bed, doing a few stretching exercises and/or self-massage and reading a dull book.

While this list is a start, it’s far from complete, especially if you have a restless quest for sleep that you just can’t seem to satisfy. On any given night, about half of Americans toss and turn, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep and, needless to say, a tried-and-true solution to the epidemic of not sleeping, specifically one that doesn't involve taking risky and often-addictive sleeping pills, could yield immeasurable benefits to society.

One method of addressing sleep problems is a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which helps people to change their thoughts and behaviors regarding sleep. Each person's CBT-I treatment plan is tailored to his or her individual needs. The therapy has been shown to help most people improve their sleep quality and duration.

No. 1 on my list, however, is avoiding exposure to blue light, including LEDs, after sunset. Wearing blue-blocking glasses is a simple way to achieve this. Leading up to this, you also need to get bright light exposure during the day. Then, have a routine at night that leads up to actually going to bed and sleeping, including turning off electronics at least one hour before bed; keeping the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F; and sleeping in complete darkness or as close to it as possible.
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