Sleep has many benefits and you know what it feels like when you haven't gotten enough of it. Sleep can help you think more clearly and studies have shown that it can improve memory. Stage 4 of your sleep cycle is when your body starts to repair itself, which is why you look terrible when you don't sleep enough. A lack of sleep can result in depressed immune function and can lead to increased weight gain, scary stuff.
I have been researching how to get better sleep as I am a light sleeper, who never seems to get enough. I stay up late (sometimes involuntarily) and many mornings I have to get up early. This is not a great combination and puts you into a sleep deficit. To make this up researchers suggest getting 1 to 2 extra hours of sleep at the weekends, which suits me just fine.
Over the course of my research (or 'rest-search' if you will) I have picked up a few tips for getting better sleep.
As you know caffeine is a stimulus and over indulging in soy lattes throughout the day can lead to trouble sleeping at night. Try to cut out the bean if you are having trouble getting some ZZZ's. I know that after a restless night you may need a few cups to feel more awake but try to cut back or only drink coffee before 4pm.
Paint it black
Metaphorically speaking of course. Use heavy curtains or black out blinds to exclude light from your bedroom and encourage sleep. Some research has suggested that even the red light of your television can be enough to disturb sleep, but it has never bothered me.
Exercise has so many benefits, but have you considered that your work outs could be the reason why you are tossing and turning. High intensity work outs can stimulate brain activity and prevent sleep. It is best to do a high intensity work out in the morning and something relaxing like yoga in the evening.
Play some soothing sounds while you are trying to nod off. I personally like the simply being app which is designed for meditation but I find it relaxing to play before bed or a nap.
Switch off to switch off
The blue light cast from laptops and mobile devices has been linked with sleep disorders, so we are told not to use them up to an hour before bed. This is a tough one, especially for me, because Instagram always has one more picture to scroll through. Turing my phone on to aeroplane mode prevents me from connecting and stops disturbances throughout the night.
I hope you have found these tips helpful, if there are any tips you have for getting more sleep let me know in the comments.