Tag Archives: Sleep Tips

Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

5 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

We all struggle with insomnia from time to time. Luckily, there are simple, time-tested tools to lean on when this sleep-stealer pays a visit. Read on for five ways to fall asleep fast when restlessness rears its ugly head.

Temperature Trick

Did you know a healthy sleeper’s body temperature naturally lowers about two hours before sleep? To simulate this dip and piggyback on its benefits, soak in a warm bath for 20 minutes in the evening. When you get out, your internal temperature will plunge, signaling to your brain that it’s time for sleep. To maintain your cool throughout the night, set the thermostat to 68, invest in breathable cotton sheets, and experiment with cooling sleep products.

Source: Health.com

Have a Sleep Snack

A few hours before bed, try a snack loaded with tryptophan, a known sleep-inducer. Bananas, dairy, honey and walnuts are all good sources. Why it works: The brain converts tryptophan into serotonin, which in turn becomes melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

Practice Visualization

Can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s early morning meeting, that bill you need to pay or the class project you promised to help with? If stressful thoughts make it difficult for you to wind down, visualization may help. Experts suggest imagining an environment where you feel at peace (sitting on a warm beach or wandering through a lush forest). Pay attention to each detail: the time of day, temperature, sounds and smells. This calming visual exercise can help you set aside your stress long enough to get some rest.

Source: University of Nevada, Reno

Set a Routine

It works for children, and it works for adults: a nighttime routine can get you in the right mindset to doze off fast. You routine can be as simple as reading a few pages of a book, brushing your teeth, and flipping off the light. As long as it’s consistent and doesn’t include over-stimulating activities like checking email or watching TV, a nighttime routine is a great go-to tool for transitioning into restful sleep.

Clear the Clutter

You may have heard that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. When it comes to sleep, this is especially true. Having clutter lying around, especially work papers, mail or bills, can cause subconscious stress. Invest in some attractive bins or baskets, and tuck away the nonessentials. By creating a clean visual landscape, you help your mind let go of the details of the day. Do your best to make the bed each morning, too, so when it’s time to hit the hay, you’re greeted with a neat, welcoming sleep space.

10 ways to banish sleep deprivation

10 Ways to Banish Your Sleep Deprived State and Sleep Better Every Night

Did the Zzz Test tell you it was time to get more sleep? Here’s 10 tips to banish your sleep deprived state and sleep better tonight!

  1. Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. Put away your to-do lists and make sleep a priority.
  2. Unwind early in the evening. Try to deal with worries and distractions several hours before bedtime.
  3. Develop a sleep ritual. Doing the same thing each night just before bed signals your body to settle down for the night.
  4. Keep regular hours. Keep your biological clock in check by going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends.
  5. Create a restful place to sleep. Sleep in a cool, dark room that is free from noises that disturb your sleep.
  6. Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. It’s difficult to sleep in a bed that’s too small, too soft, too hard or too old.
  7. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help relieve daily tension and stress–but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may have trouble falling asleep.
  8. Cut down on stimulants. Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  9. Don’t smoke. Smokers take longer to fall asleep and wake up more often during the night.
  10. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking shortly before bedtime interrupts and fragments your sleep.
Tips for a better night's sleep

9 Tips to a Better Night’s Sleep

Well-rested folks are known to be more alert and creative, less stressed and stronger in their relationships. Want in? The savviest sleepers swear by these simple tips.

1. Snack Attack

Late-night noshing often gets blamed for widening waistlines, but a light snack before bed can actually boost your metabolism—and improve your quality of sleep. Munching on a 200-calorie high-carb, low protein snack about an hour before hitting the hay will keep hunger signals at bay and help you sleep soundly through the night. Complex carbohydrates are your best bet for a night-cap snack, experts suggest, as they’re easier to digest and may boost your level of sleep-inducing tryptophan. Try whole grain toast with a little peanut butter or a bowl of cereal with skim milk.

2. Sleep Scents

Lavender, jasmine, rose… these renowned relaxers have been shown to clear the mind, soothe the nerves and even lower blood pressure. Try spritzing a calming linen spray on your pillow, lighting a relaxing candle or positioning a diffuser on your nightstand.

3. Get Moving

Regular exercise yields a ton of health benefits, and enhanced sleep quality is among them. A good old-fashioned sweat-fest can ease the transition to sleep, increase sleep duration and even decrease daytime fatigue. In one study, participants who exercised 150 minutes a week (or about 20 minutes a day) experienced 65 percent better sleep than their less-rested cohorts.

If your energy levels tend to spike after exercise, try working out in the morning or at least two hours before your usual bedtime.

Desk-bound during the day? Find ways to sneak in a few minutes of activity at a time—park a little further away from the office, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or slip out for a brisk walk on your lunch break.

4. Deep Breathing

There’s a reason yogis practice this centuries-old relaxation method. Deep breathing lowers blood pressure, clears the mind and calms the central nervous system. As you wind down for the night, try this easy-to-follow technique: breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat the sequence four times, and soon you’ll be de-stressed and ready for rest.

5. Write it Out

Stresses from the day have a knack for following us into the night. To combat anxiety-induced insomnia, experts suggest jotting down any concerns, questions or to-dos a few hours before turning out the lights. By writing out your worries, you give your mind permission to let them go, making way for a more peaceful shut-eye session.

6. Soak in the Sun

Experts recommend soaking up 20-30 minutes of bright early-morning sunlight each day to reset the body’s internal clock and reinforce its natural sleep-wake cycle. Light sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to be awake, which eases the transition to sleep when the lights go out. For best results, aim to get a dose of daylight between the hours of 6 and 8:30 AM, when the sun is at its brightest, and go sunglasses-free to ensure your exposure is uninterrupted.

7. Be Phone Smart

Many of us are accustomed to winding down with a smart phone or tablet in hand, but the bright light emitted by these gadgets has been shown to interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Add stimulating activities like checking email or watching an action-packed TV show to the mix, and your mind can stay stuck in overdrive for hours after you’ve powered down. Do your best to banish electronics from the bedroom, and ask your sleep partner to do the same.

8. Sleep Sober

The calming power of alcohol may lull you to sleep initially, but halfway through a sleep cycle, dehydration and alcohol withdrawal hit hard, causing you to miss out on valuable minutes of REM sleep, the phase thought to be most restorative for the body and mind.

Do your best to avoid consuming alcohol within a few hours of bedtime, limit your number of drinks, and aim to match each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to offset dehydration.

9. Caffeine Conscious

There’s nothing like a hot mug of coffee or tea to perk you up first thing in the morning. But when consumed too late in the day, caffeine can wreak major havoc on your sleep schedule. Aim to enjoy your last caffeinated cup four to six hours before bedtime, and be sure to avoid caffeine-laced foods, like chocolate, by that time as well.