Why is something so natural and hardwired into us, sometimes so troublesome to accomplish?
We may be able to 'manage' on less than 8 hours a night but our bodies are designed so that during sleeping hours, various functions necessary (yes, I use that word with emphasis) to our health, are being carried out.
How we react to less than 8 hours is an individual thing. Some feel physically ill (the sick in 'sick and tired') on 5 hours or less, others can still move through their day with a semblance of normality.
So what can you do if you are struggling to sleep - for reasons beyond those of being woken by babies/children/teens? Yes, parents you will sleep again one day ; )
Alter your bedroom ambiance
Switch off your mobile phone
Switch off wifi at the mains for the night
Switch off any other electrical appliances in the bedroom at the mains
Don't be charging any appliance in the bedroom overnight!!
Have a window open for airflow
Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark
Don't watch TV or use any screen/gadgets an hour before sleep - get back into old school - read a book!
Don't eat or drink too late
Alcohol may send you to sleep but it will invariably cause you to wake at 4 a.m if not before.
Eat your last meal 2 hours at least, before bedtime.
Keep any non alcoholic drinks in the evening minimal to avoid a full bladder
Don't consume caffeine after 5 pm - it may need to be earlier, it depends from person to person.
Supplements that help
Magnesium is very beneficial for aiding sleep. Most people can take it before bed and sleep soundly, with a few (yours truly) it can have the reverse effect. In which case you need to make sure you supplement during the day - I take mine in the morning.
Inulin powder - this has been tested out by Dr Michael Mosley for the BBC and is extremely effective.
Chamomile tea and honey - this will work in relaxing and sending you off to sleep sooner, but it does need to be high quality herb such as is available from Neals Yard Remedies.
Rescue Remedy is excellent for calming you, if anxiety is keeping you awake.
CBD oil - a few drops rubbed on the face and bam - great sleep!
Memory foam mattress
Grounding /earthing sheets
Himalayan salt lamp (have this on in the bedroom for some hours before bed)
Various sleep inducing sounds/music played before bed, available free on youtube