Slumber may not be the most exciting daily activity, but it’s absolutely essential for good physical and mental health. A couple restless nights isn’t a big deal to most, but prolonged periods of insufficient rest can have serious ramifications on every aspect of life. There are dozens of reasons people struggle with sleep, whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or staying that way, but many of these problems are easy to fix by following a few basic tips.

If You’re Having Trouble Sleeping, Give These 4 Tips a Try

Stick to Schedule

One of the most common bad sleeping habits is lack of a schedule. The human brain and body functions on a cycle, periodically releasing hormones to trigger physical reactions. People who sleep on an erratic schedule are at higher risk of sleep problems, so it’s a good idea to maintain a daily bed and wake time. Taking a small, measured nap during the day can help bridge the gap if you don’t think you can stay up until the normal time.

Upgrade Your Pillows

Pillows may be simple, but they can have a profound impact on a person’s comfort and ability to sleep. Even though many customers balk at the idea of buying a high-quality pillow, it’s worth noting that the human head spends about one third of its time resting on these little cushions. Specialized pillows, like those from Lincove, can provide immense personal value in the form of improved posture and better sleep. There are a lot of options regarding size, shape and material composition to accommodate individual needs.

Relax Before Bed

Even though it’s tempting to distract yourself with television or a digital device before bed, this is a bad habit that can cripple your ability to sleep. Participating in any kind of simulating or social activity engages the mind, which can make it hard to actually relax and fall asleep. People who struggle to achieve mental relaxation should consider following a night-time routine that prepares their mind and body for bed.

Avoid Stimulant Chemicals

It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t eat right before bed, but this also applies to many other kinds of consumables. Any products that contain caffeine, like coffee and chocolate, can prevent restful sleep for hours after ingestion. Struggling sleepers should also avoid tobacco products and certain types of pain relievers before bed, according to Harvard Medical School.

These tips are good general practices for anyone, even those who get solid rest every night. People who consistently struggle to sleep should consult with a licensed physician who can check for potential health conditions. Many illnesses and injuries interfere with sleep patterns, so it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion.