It happens to the best of us: Our day has come to an end, and we’re slowly winding down and getting ready for bed. Yes, comfy sheets, soft pillows, and counting sheep are just minutes away. You tuck yourself in and find your favorite sleeping position, and then… nothing. Your eyes stubbornly remain open, and the nighttime silence is deafening as the minutes pass and sleep is nowhere to be found. Your night gradually turns into one of tossing and turning, and hopelessly trying to turn your mind off.

Sleep is one of the most important pieces of our puzzle as humans. It is required for clear thinking and productivity, not to mention we tend to be much happier people when we do get the right amount of sleep (we all know first-hand what it’s like to be sleep deprived and then forced to interact with society). So, what can we do to ensure that we get the necessary amount of sleep in order to go about our lives? Here are just a few ways you can get to sleep faster, and wake up more rested and prepared for your day.

Limit Caffeine Intake During the Day

Coffee, chocolate, soda, energy drinks, and select teas can and often do contain caffeine, which, if consumed less than six hours before bed, can have a huge impact on sleep. If you’re one of those people who uses caffeine during the day to kickstart alertness and fend off fatigue, consider giving yourself a cut off time for caffeine consumption so you have better chances of a good night’s rest.

Workout Earlier

While working out has been linked to getting a better night’s sleep, timing is very important to this equation (just like everything else!). Studies have shown that working out earlier in the morning is more beneficial when it comes to good sleep. Also keep in mind how hard you’re working out, as strenuous exercise has been linked to poor sleep.

Watch What You Eat Around Bedtime

Bedtime snacks are not without the best intentions. It’s natural to want to reward yourself after a long day to something you enjoy, but remember the effects of specific types of food on sleep. For example, studies have found that high-fat meals could lead to a deeper and more restful sleep, while high-carb meals are good for getting to sleep but do not yield a particularly comfortable slumber. Long story short, do some research on your favorite bedtime snacks and see which are better for sleep. For example, plain popcorn contains serotonin which helps you fall asleep. For other bedtime snack options, click here.

Create a Quiet Evening Routine

When the day is done, and everything has been tackled, there’s little better than settling into a calm evening before sending yourself off to slumberland. This can take the form of reading a good book, journaling about your day, or taking a hot bath with some music. Cutting yourself off from electronics like your phone, tablet, television or even from looking at the clock can also help you unwind.

Consume a Small Amount of Cannabis

Cannabis can help restore the natural sleeping cycle. When our minds are plagued by stress, or if we are in pain, marijuana can help reduce pain and chill out the mind, thus potentially minimizing the time we spend lying in bed waiting for the sandman. When it comes to knowing which strain works best for you, a CBD/THC combo strain can be helpful. It is also recommended to use a strain with less than 20% THC. Finally, remember Indica strains will be much better than Sativas as they have been linked more closely to improving insomnia than their mentally stimulating counterpart. For more info on how marijuana can help with insomnia, click here.

Try Other Sleep-Enhancing Supplements

If you’re looking for something natural to help you fall asleep that doesn’t involve THC, there’s plenty of options. Magnesium, Melatonin, and Theanine are just a few of the choices when you need to induce sleep. Check out other natural  options for inducing sleep here.

Sleep is such an important element in all of our lives, and should be guarded as such. WIthout sleep, we are crabby, unproductive, and lack the creativity and energy to get our jobs done. Even if you’re suffering from insomnia, there are plenty of ways to get yourself back onto a healthy sleeping cycle, and back into your normal routine.