Sleep hygiene consists of a variety of different practices necessary for normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness. Without proper sleep hygiene, you could be harming your body's natural ability to fall and stay asleep on its own. Additionally, sleepless nights can lead to long-term health consequences, such as insomnia.

In order to get a good night's rest each and every night, it is essential that you follow the Six Sleep Steps that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized each morning.

  1. Avoid napping during the day. While naps may be tempting, especially on the weekends, they actually disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness. If you feel yourself wanting to doze off, lace up your tennis shoes and go for a walk. The physical activity and natural vitamin D from the sunlight will wake you up in no time.
  2. Switch to all natural soaps and lotions. The various petrochemicals in the products that we use on our skin have detrimental effects on hormone levels, most profoundly with estrogen. An increase in estrogen levels can cause insomnia in both men and women. Instead, opt for natural moisturizers, such as coconut oil, or a chemical-free skin care line, such as Andalou, sold at Hotze Vitamins.
  3. Control your portions. Large meals close to bedtime can get in the way of a good night's sleep. Remember to keep dinner one of your smaller meals of the day, and avoid chocolate afterwards. Chocolate contains caffeine, which can disrupt sleep.
  4. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. Following the same schedule each night prepares your body for what's to come next: sleep. Just like a child needs a strict bedtime routine, it's important that adults follow the same advice. Dim the lights, wash your face, brush your teeth, turn off all electronics and turn down the air. You'll be surprised at how creating a sleep routine can help prepare your body for sleep.
  5. Only associate your bed with sleep. Avoid watching TV, listening to the radio or reading in your bed. When you only use your bed for sleep, your body will naturally begin to associate it with catching those important zzz's.
  6. Optimize your bedtime vitamin routine. Magnesium is a key mineral that helps ease muscle tension, while also promoting nerve health and relaxation. Because it's so easily depleted through stress and exercise, you want to make sure you're supplementing with at least 600 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate daily. Additionally, Sleep Formula is a blend of sleep-promoting nutrients, such as melatonin and valerian, that supports a full night's sleep without leaving you groggy the next morning.

What's your best sleepy time tip? Share it with us in the comments below.