“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
How many times do you hear this term being thrown around by people who think calling it a night before 11 pm makes you weak, somehow? Little do they know, they’re speeding up their aging process as well as increasing their likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and even alcoholism.
But we’re not here to lecture you on the damage sleep deprivation can cause to your physical and mental health. This week, we’re covering the different ways you can get more sleep. And yes, these are much better methods than counting sheep—because who does that ever work for, anyway?
Unplug from all Media
This may be truly difficult for you, but shut it down! Yes, that includes your quick run through Instagram before bed. No TV, no computer, and no phone before bed. It sounds harsh, but when you finally put your devices down, you’ll realize that the extra rest you’re getting is much more beneficial than two hours spent scrolling through Kylie Jenner’s Instagram or binge watching Modern Family.
Using devices like tablets and phones just before bed interferes with your natural progression towards sleep, increasing the time it takes you to start getting those ZZZs. Staring at those bright screens tells your brain that it’s time to be alert, rather than wind down for sleep.
Say “No” to Midnight Snacks
Going to sleep hungry or too stuffed will disrupt your sleep. Enjoy your last meal of the day at least two to three hours before you go to bed. It’s also important to get your daily intake of water, but not too close to bedtime. Otherwise, your bladder will wake you up for several trips to the bathroom.
Nap Like a Cat
Keep daytime naps to a minimum, and when you do need that extra jolt of energy, 10 to 30-minute power naps are the most effective. Longer naps cause short-term grogginess when you wake up and can make it more difficult to fall soundly asleep later that night.
Ditch the PJ’s
That’s right, research suggests that your birthday suit are the PJ’s for a restful night’s sleep. Our core body temperature needs to drop about half a degree and remain regulated to fall - and stay - asleep throughout the night. Our body has no problem cooling down and maintaining that temperature while we’re in the buff. Sleeping under piles of quilts and sheets won’t necessarily prevent you from sleeping, but the rise in your body temperature can disrupt your deep sleep.
If you sleep with a partner, don’t hesitate to use them as your heat source. A few minutes of nude snuggle time can manage the chill and help maintain the spice in your relationship!
We all experience the occasional restless night, but if you regularly have insomnia and you’ve exhausted your natural remedies, visit your doctor to identify underlying causes. Whether you choose to unplug or undress, it’s important to make the changes necessary to get a good night’s sleep.