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Calling Mr. Sandman: 5 Tips for better sleep

Is sleep a struggle for you? Getting a good night's sleep is an important part of your overall health.

Failing to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night can not only make you grumpy and

less focused, it can also impact your cardiovascular and neurological health. If catching the proper amount of "zzz's" is elusive, here are 5 ideas to help you have a more restful night's sleep.

1) Regular bedtime: This may seem "old-school" but humans have a natural sleep-wake cycle and if you are sleeping and waking up at different times, it can lead to sleep problems. It's important to try and stick to regular bedtime and wake-up times all throughout the week.

2) Put away the electronics: As tempting as it might be to retire to your bed with your cell phone and catch up with your friends on social media, that time is robbing you of quality sleep. Studies have shown that technology interferes with your circadian rhythm and also reduces sleep time.

3) Avoid alcohol: While alcohol does have a sedating effect, it also interferes with sleep cycles and increases the likelihood of you waking up in the middle of the night.

4) Cut out the caffeine: Consuming caffeinated beverages in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep and may negatively affect your quality of sleep as well.

5) Have a spot of tea: Not just any tea - chamomille tea. Chamomile tea has been found to have flavonoids that interact with specific brain receptors that can aid your ability to fall asleep.

So if you are struggling for sleep, try these five tips to help sweeten your time in slumberland.


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