Getting into a healthy sleep routine can not only be beneficial for your mental state, but it is also proven to reduce your risk of developing a chronic health condition, thus adding more years onto your life.

Now I know it can be hard, or in some cases nearly impossible to get in a full 8 hours each night, but I’m going to let you know about a few sleep practices that could add years onto your life.

Plan out a night time routine

Oftentimes, even if you are exhausted, when you hit the pillow at night it is extremely hard to actually fall asleep. This is because it takes the body quite some time to wind down and relax, prohibiting you from drifting off to sleep when you want to.

A good way to avoid those sleepless nights is to have a set night routine to help prepare your body for a good night’s rest. This does not have to be some elaborate routine, just a few simple steps to relax yourself.

You could try not looking at screens a few hours before you hit the hay, meditating before going to bed, or even taking a bath to really wind down from the day.

This will ensure you’re getting to bed on time each night and getting enough sleep to reap the benefits. This is also just a good way to de-stress, and a lack of stress also adds years to your life.

Sleep in on the weekends

Studies show that adults who get at least 7 hours of sleep a night have a longer life expectancy than those who do not. Now I know for some people 7 hours is not something you can fit in every night, especially during the busy work week.

Fortunately there is something you can do that may be just as beneficial. Studies show that sleeping in on the weekends when you can not get adequate sleep during the week can be just as good for you.

So, if you can’t spare the time during the week, set some time aside each weekend for yourself to catch some extra Z’s. In the long run you are going to benefit from spending those few extra hours in bed each weekend sleeping in because you will live a longer life!

Make sure you have the right sleeping conditions

Many times it is almost impossible to get to sleep or stay asleep because of various distractions coming from our surroundings. In order to reap the benefits you get from sleep you kind of actually need to be able to sleep. Now this could be hard because some factors are not easily avoidable.

For example, if you live on a busy street in Chicago it may be hard to control noise levels from the street below. Now I’m not suggesting you search for Chicago real estate and move for the sake of your sleep schedule, but there are some things you can do to help the situation.

You can start by making sure your sleeping area is clean and clear from distractions like noise or bright light.

You can do this by getting rid of any clutter you have around your room, investing in a white noise machine or some earplugs, and getting some curtains to block out the light.