Shut-eye is your body’s way of recharging its batteries. Power snoozers not only are happier, more productive, and safer on the highway, they also live longer. Dr. Lester Breslow, from the University of California, Los Angeles, has identified seven factors that improve quality of life, one of them being getting a consistent good night’s right.
Surveys show that more than a quarter of all men suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia—and for no good reason! It is important talk to your doctor if you experience consistent problems getting to or staying asleep. However, here are ten tips you can try to help combat occasional sleep disturbances:
1) Schedule your workouts five to six hours before bedtime. Your body hits its most restful stage after this length of time.
2) Eat a light snack of protein and carbohydrate before going to bed, such as nonfat milk and pretzels.
3) Steer clear of nightcaps. Although a drink may help you get to sleep, it is likely to wake you up a few hours later. Alcohol reduces quality of sleep.
4) Stay away from caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Even caffeine consumed 6 hours before bed can affect sleep amounts by over an hour.†
5) Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. When it comes to sleeping, we truly are creatures of habit.
6) Pay attention to your nose. Several smells—including lavender, baking apples and salt air— promote relaxation and can help induce sleep.
7) Take a warm bath approximately one hour before going to bed to further promote relaxation and improve the quality of your sleep.
8) Use a heating blanket with a timer to warm your muscles when you first get in bed to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. However, be sure the blanket does not stay on for more than two hours.
9) Take up a new hobby. Enjoying a recreational activity in the evening can help minimize the effects of everyday stress.
10) Put away the clocks. Concentrating on the time is sure to keep you awake.
Finally, remember that no two people are alike. Some of us need less sleep than others, and it is normal to get by on less sleep as we age. Listen to your body, and you’ll know.
What are your trusty tips to help you fall asleep? Share with us in the comments below!
Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195-200.