Most of us wish we could spend more time on vacation, but we forget that nature has provided for us a piece of every single day designed for our rest and rejuvenation.

If only it were that simple. Daily stresses can build up and interfere with sleep patterns, not to mention working overtime and feeling like there isn’t enough time to get everything done, much less get a good night’s sleep. That’s why it’s so important to get the most out of the sleep you do get, and here are some simple tips from to help you do so. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and you will have to experiment to discover your best sleeping patterns.

Tip 1: Keep a regular sleep schedule
Get back in sync with your body’s natural sleep–wake cycle. If you go to bed and get up at the same time each day, you will feel more refreshed and energized. Consistency is important, so set a regular bedtime, wake up at the same time every day, and nap to make up for lost sleep.

Tip 2: Make your bedroom more sleep friendly
You’ll sleep better when your bedroom is quiet. If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise, try masking it with a fan, recordings of soothing sounds, or white noise.  Keep your room dark and cool.

Your mattress and bedding are also important. Make sure your bed is comfortable. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to invest in a new mattress or a different pillow.  Experiment with different mattress and pillow firmness.

Tip 3: Create a relaxing bedtime routine 
A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to let go of the day’s stresses. Turn off your television, which actually stimulates the mind. And if you associate your bed with work or other obligations, it will be harder to wind down at night, so use your bed only for sleep and sex. That way, when you go to bed, your body gets that it’s time to nod off.

Tip 4: Eat right and get regular exercise 
Your eating and exercise habits play a role in how well you sleep. Stay away from big meals at night. Avoid alcohol before bed. Cut down on caffeine. Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening. Quit smoking. And you’ll sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly, as little as 20-30 minutes each day.

Tip 5: Get anxiety and stress in check 
Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or can’t get to sleep, take note of any recurring theme, to help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control during the day. Learn how to manage your time effectively, handle stress in a productive way, and maintain a calm, positive outlook. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or simply visualizing a peaceful, restful place.

If you have questions about mattresses and pillows, ask your family chiropractor for his or her advice – doctors of chiropractic are often familiar with the various products and also with your particular needs, so make sure you have comfortable and properly supportive bedding – it will make a big difference in the quality of your sleep, and the quality of your life.