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There are a number of reasons why we have trouble falling asleep: our partner snores, kids wake up in the middle of the night, or we’re feeling anxious about that big project at work. The trouble is, we need sleep, and when we don’t get it, our physical and mental health suffers.

10 Ways To Improve How You Fall Asleep

1. Wear a sleep mask. Our brains need a darker space in order to fall asleep. A dark room is ideal, but when you can’t get the right degree of darkness, try a soft sleep mask to help you create the ideal “space” for sleeping.

2. Manage noise.

A quiet space is a restful one. Try to create a space that allows your brain and body to relax, and either eliminate noise by wearing sleep headphones. Sometimes we need noise to help our brains shut of lingering thoughts of the day. Try playing quiet music, like classical or something spa-themed, at a low volume, to help you drift off to sleep, or even a white-noise device.

3. Learn how to breathe.

Learning how to manage our breathing at bedtime can be another helpful sleep-aid. The “4-7-8” method is a controlled breathing practice designed to help us fall into a restful state faster. Breathe in through your nose for a four-count. Hold that breath for a seven-count, then slowly release your breath over an eight-count. Repeat as needed, and allow your body to relax each time you exhale.

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