Just like having a balanced diet and proper exercise, sleep is also necessary in order for us to live a happy and healthy life.

Some people, especially those younger, fall asleep faster and can have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but for some a good night's rest doesn't come easy.

A lot of things can cause poor sleep hygiene, such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Most women at the age of 45 to 60 experience insomnia due to hormonal changes in the body. 

There are over-the-counter sleep aids like Melatonin that help with insomnia, but these aids do not address the real causes of insomnia. 

Here are 5 tips to help train your body to sleep well:

  1. No big meals before bed time.

Eating huge amounts of food before going to bed can cause acid reflux and indigestion,  making it hard to fall asleep or can pull you out of deep sleep.

Make it a habit to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep. If you can't help having that late night snack, something that's light on the stomach such as fruit or a warm glass of milk is enough.

  1. Avoid caffeine intake after lunch.

Caffeine stimulates the brain to keep you more awake and alert throughout the day. So if you're having trouble falling asleep early in the night try not to drink coffee, tea and other beverages that contain caffeine after lunch.

If you're craving for a hot drink later in the day, try herbal teas as they do not contain caffeine. Chamomile tea even has sleep-promoting effects for a more restful night.

  1. Exercise.

Exercise is not only for losing weight, it is also proven to promote better sleep.

For beginners, even doing 10 minutes per day of cardio/aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling can already improve sleep.

  1. Keep electronics away before going to bed.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends to stop using electronics at least 30 minutes before the time we go to sleep because our phones and laptops emit blue light that inhibit our brain from producing the sleep inducing hormone, Melatonin.

Also, any activity on the internet will make it hard to relax and become sleepy, so instead of being on your phone or laptop, grab a book and read a chapter or two.

  1. Check your pillows and mattress.

If you're still having a tough time getting good sleep despite following all the tips mentioned above, then it might be worth assessing the state of your pillows and mattress.

Make sure to launder your pillows once you see them looking dirty because the dust that collects on them can cause allergies that can inhibit your sleep.

Also, check if they might already be too squishy and not firm enough to give proper back and neck support. They may cause you pain and insomnia.

Following these tips are an easy way of improving your sleep, which will in turn also improve your health. That being said, some sleep disorders need more attention from medical professionals. So make sure to evaluate yourself and see if you need to seek help from a doctor.