As important as sleep is to how well we perform at work, in the gym, and between the sheets, it’s a shame it’s always getting shafted. About 50-70 million Americans suffer from a sleep or wakefulness disorder, clipping the amount of time they spend in deep sleep, according to the CDC.
This slow-wave sleep is absolutely crucial for physical restoration, while rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a lighter stage, is essential for restoring mental clarity and alertness. And, while both are important, a helpful strategy is to focus on “solid, unbroken sleep” overall, says J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Michigan.
Your goal should be to get three or more nights per week of unbroken sleep, he says. Anything less and you should consult your doctor. “There are safe and effective medication and non-medication treatments available to help,” Arnedt says.
Here, we highlight 10 natural ways to get your sleep on the right track.