Duke experts offer simple steps that help set the stage for better sleep.

You can help your body establish a defined internal rhythm by keeping bedtimes, wake-up times, meals and exercise on a somewhat consistent schedule. Danforth pointed out that each of these activities sends signals to the brain, which regulates the body’s internal clock and can cue the release of melatonin, a hormone that can relax the body and help you get to sleep.

Secondly, Danforth said it’s important to protect the connection between your bed and sleep. By spending too much time watching television, staring at your phone or doing work in bed, you can send mixed signals to your body about the purpose of being in bed.

“You want to make sure that your bed and bedroom creates a consistent cue for sleep,” Danforth said. “That means don’t go to bed unless you feel like you can fall asleep quickly. If you go to bed before you’re sleepy, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.”