5 ways to improve your sleep, and your brain health

Multiple studies in recent years have linked sleep to brain health—the more sleep you get, the healthier your brain will be.

Research from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke indicates that sleep is important to several brain functions, including how nerve cells communicate with each other. Recent findings also suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.

Here are five quick tips for improving sleep habits and paving the way to greater brain health.

  • Avoid caffeine—even chocolate—in the afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid screens for at least one hour before going to bed.
  • Go to sleep at the same time each night.
  • Do something relaxing before bedtime, such as reading a book, meditating, or taking a bath.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature cool at night (about 65 degrees).

For more good tips about sleep, check out the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the World Sleep Society.

Another great source of information about brain health: National Academy of Neuropsychology President John Randolph’s book, The Brain Health Book: Using the Power of Neuroscience to Improve Your Life.