It’s 3 p.m. on a Thursday, and you can barely keep your eyes open. You are not alone. Despite mounds and mounds of scientific proof pointing to the vital importance of a good night’s sleep, the majority of us don’t catch nearly enough zzz’s. But alas, today is a new day. This time tomorrow, you could be reading this article bright eyed and bushy tailed…if you want.
Here are our top 10 tricks you can start this evening to ensure a brighter, better, more energetic tomorrow:
- Set an alarm…for bedtime. The Sleep Health Foundation recommends anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Based on what time your morning alarm chimes, calculate precisely what time you will need to fall asleep and set a bedtime alarm for that hour.
- Exercise before 6 p.m. Regular activity is excellent for improving your sleep, so long as it doesn’t occur too close to bedtime. Try and make time for 10 to 30 minutes of exercise in the earlier part of the day—it is a great way to wake up in the morning.
- Eat early. Sleep experts agree that a full belly and an entire night’s sleep don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Try and eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. And, if you do get late night munchies, choose a snack that is light, healthy, and sugar-free.
- Get your sleep pre-game on. At least an hour before bedtime, unplug and start winding down. The heated political debates with friends will have to come to a close, and that next episode of The Walking Dead will just have to wait. Instead, relax in a candlelit bath, read a novel, or meditate.
- Create a sleep sanctuary. Cover your windows with dark curtains, place dark fabric over any digital clocks or lights, fluff your pillow, and smooth out those sheets. A clean, comfortable, and disturbance-free bedroom can make a massive difference in not only falling asleep but also staying asleep.
- Try pink noise. Thought complete silence was the key to great sleep? Think again. Studies show that “pink noise,” an ambient sound in which every octave holds the same power, can “slow and regulate” brain waves, making for incredibly restful and restorative sleep.
- Nix caffeine and booze. It turns out the concept of a “nightcap” is not all it’s cracked up to be. While alcohol may help lull us to sleep initially, it also negatively impacts the quality of that sleep and makes us much more likely to wake up in the night. Additionally, caffeine should be avoided six hours before bed.
- Stay cool. Ever wake up sweating or freezing in the night? That’s because our bodies’ temperatures fluctuate in the night. Experts recommend setting the thermostat to a solid 65-degrees at night for maximum sleep and comfort.
- Consider aromatherapy. For some extra help relaxing before bed, try filling a diffuser with a few drops of calming essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or frankincense. Don’t have a diffuser? Soak a cotton ball instead and place it on your nightstand.
- Boost your melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is known to aid the regulation of our sleep cycles. The problem is we are often surrounded by tons of melatonin disruptors, such as cell phones, bright lights, computers, and televisions. To ensure your melatonin levels are ideal, try to shut off all bright lights and devises at least an hour before bed. For some extra help, spray OneSecond Supplements Daily Sleep Aid into your mouth 20 minutes before bedtime for a quick melatonin boost.