Sleep is a time for uninterrupted therapy and natural regeneration. If you don’t get enough, your mental and physical activity suffers. Natural sleep cycles follow a pattern called the circadian clock, which dictates when you are awake and when you’re ready to sleep. In addition, the different phases of sleep allow you to dream, repair your body, and prepare you for the next day. Here’s how to take control of your sleep schedule and get high-quality rest, every night.

STAY ACTIVE

Studies show that physical activity has positive effects on sleep. Try to exercise every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. A quick, interval-based resistance band exercise can make a big difference. Sticking to a daily workout schedule can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. Following a regular exercise schedule will benefit your sleep and leave you feeling well rested and ready to attack your day each morning.

NO ALCOHOL OR CAFFEINE BEFORE BED

Caffeine is a stimulant, whether you drink it at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. Drinking coffee in the afternoon will keep you awake later into the night, disrupting your normal sleep cycle and throwing off your circadian clock. Alcohol, on the other hand, may cause you to fall asleep faster, but it will reduce your quality of sleep. Alcohol lowers the amount of REM sleep cycles throughout the night, making your sleep less beneficial. It’s also dehydrating, so you’ll deprive your body of the hydration it needs. Avoiding both alcohol and caffeine around bedtime will improve your sleep.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Since you spend about one third of your life sleeping, it’s important to have a good mattress. You can even reinforce your healing through functional fabrics like our TB12™ Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. TB12™ developed this sleepwear with Under Armour, and it’s been shown to stimulate faster recovery and promote better sleep. The inside lining reflects far infrared rays back into your skin, and the fabric’s also breathable to help regulate your body’s temperature. This sleepwear is an absolute must, especially if you’re an athlete relying on good sleep for recovery.

JUST RELAX

Some studies found that the blue light from computer screens, TVs, and smartphones negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. Turning off all your electronic devices at least a half-hour before bedtime will quiet your mind. Instead of surfing the web, focus on something relaxing and serene. Turn off or down the lights in your room and create a relaxing environment before bed. This will help you get to sleep on time, every night.

STAY COOL

The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.5 degrees Celsius. If you’re too hot or cold at night, you’ll be too uncomfortable for quality sleep. Keeping your bedroom around that temperature will help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

BE CONSISTENT

Take advantage of your circadian clock by sticking to a schedule. A rhythm of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will help your body get the most out of your sleep. Yes, that includes weekends! Choose a bedtime and wake time, ideally 8 hours apart, and commit to it. It might be hard at first, but a consistent schedule does wonders for the body and mind. You’ll feel the difference.

KEEP IT QUIET

While you’re trying to sleep, noise can be very disruptive. If you’re in a noisy area like a city, consider using a sound masking or noise-cancellation machine — white noise machines are great for this. It’ll block out all the cars speeding by with a soothing, gentle sound in the background. Creating a quiet environment will improve your sleep tenfold.

SLEEP BETTER NOW

Even just one of these simple tips can greatly improve your rest. Sleep is an opportunity to relax every part of your body, and it’s an essential part of your regular recovery.

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