Sleep affects everything in our life from our health to productivity, energy levels, stress, depression, physical appearance and lots more.

Having a good nights rest is more important than you think but most people shrug it off affecting their lives in the process.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your sleep.

  1. Your sleep position

Sleeping on the side or on your stomach puts your muscles and ligaments in awkward positions which causes improper body alignment. This causes your muscles to tense up and forces you to feel stiff when you wake up. The proper way to sleep is on your back. This is healthier cause it takes pressure off those points and your spine is naturally aligned in this position.

2. Control your thoughts and emotions

Some people can't go to sleep because they have millions of thoughts going through their mind at 100 miles an hour. This distracts you from your sleep causing you to sleep less. Take some time off before you go to bed, schedule your day, write down whatever's on your mind. Keep a journal where you can write down your thoughts and your emotions. No one needs to see them, it's personally for you .

3. Avoid distractions

You are about to go to bed. You've put your phone aside but then you hear your notification bell go off and you can't help it. Before you know it, your ten YouTube videos deep and it's 3 am. Your alarm clock goes off at 5 am. We've all gone through this. Put your phone on do not disturb mode to avoid getting notifications. If you need a more extreme method then keep your phone in another room.  But I use my phone for an alarm clock, What then?" Simple get an alarm clock, an actual one or use your trusty "mulika mwizi" which you charged five months ago and is still at 86 % power.

Not to mention the blue light coming from your phone disrupts your sleep. The bright light illuminating from your phone tricks your brain into thinking it's earlier in the day than it actually is. Turn on your night mode on two to three hours before you go to bed. The yellow tint mimics the sunset and makes it easier to go to bed. Plus you need to get rid of that TV in your room. Netflix won't go anywhere anytime soon you can catch up on your shows later.

4. Appropriate bedding

A good mattress is essential  when it comes to having a good nights sleep. It needs to be firm enough to support your weight. A mattress that bends too much will affect your spine and you could be uncomfortable causing you to turn countless times and have back aches.

5. Read a book

Not only will a book improve your cognitive skills, but it'll help you fall asleep faster. So it's best to keep a good book or reading material next to your bed. Read it before you go to sleep and before you know it lights out.

6. Prepare your skin

Some people just simply brush their teeth ad hop in, but you haven't washed off the dirt that's built up the whole day, and in doing so you leave bacteria building up on your pillow, resulting in acne. You need to wash your face with an appropriate facial, then moisturize before you go to bed. This hydrates your skin, improving your skin elasticity leaving you looking younger and healthier.

7. Have a bedtime

Remember when your parents had a curfew to sleep? Turns out they weren't being a bother, they actually had you health in mind. You need approximately 7-9 hours of sleep to function during the day. Having a bedtime will help your internal clock and help you sleep more. It doesn't have to be the same time as everyone else just make sure you get the appropriate amount of sleep you need.

8. Avoid certain drinks

Avoid taking caffeine past 2-3 pm. This gives your body enough time to wind down and prepare for sleep. One other drink to avoid before going to bed include alcohol.

9. Exercise during the day

Not only will this help improve your energy levels during the morning but it'll improve your sleep. Working out during the day helps when it's eventually bedtime.You won't have a problem falling asleep. It also helps to stretch before you sleep, to relax your muscles.

10. Sleep in cool temperatures

The appropriate temperature to fall asleep is between 15.6-19.4  degree Celsius. This keeps your body temperature down and helps your sleep. Too hot and you sweat uncontrollably. Plus you'll be uncomfortable and eventually no sleep.