There are many potential reasons why a person’s sleep may be disturbed, experts tell Bustle, and many of them start with how you wind down at night.
“There are physiologic factors involved, such as presence of sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders, and others,” Dr. Vernon Williams, MD, a sports neurologist and founder of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, tells Bustle.
One of the main ways to improve your sleep quickly, says Dr. Williams, is to improve something called sleep hygiene, otherwise known as the lifestyle factors surrounding your sleep and waking. A major contributor to poor sleep hygiene, and a quick fix if you’re fixing your sleep routine, is electronics. “Get rid of bedroom distractions: smartphones, tablets, televisions and other bright light sources that can disrupt your brain’s sleep signals,” Dr. Williams tells Bustle.
The things you do directly before bed form the most important part of your sleep routine. Make it a calming time free of distractions to give yourself the best chance of sleep. “Finding ways to help your brain unwind before bed and throughout the day is crucial,” says Dr. Williams. “Mindfulness meditation, light yoga or taking a warm bath can all help.” Avoid caffeine and stressful activities to avoid lying awake thinking endlessly until late at night.