If you have ever found yourself hitting the snooze button several times in a row only to finally pull yourself out of bed and attempt to gather up enough motivation to get your booty into your barre class, you know the importance of getting a solid night’s sleep. While there are some who can place their heads to their pillows and drift away without much effort, many others struggle with sleep issues. Bottom line: on a scale from 1-insomnia, most of us are tossing and turning in the middle. If you’re a part of our sometimes sleep-deprived pack, here are five ways to sleep better (and have a better morning workout, hint hint).
Put Your Electronics To Bed. Late night Instagramming (is that a word?) and texting might be loads of fun, but they can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns. Numerous studies have shown the blue light emitted by electronics inhibits the production of melatonin which is needed to become sleepy.
Try This: Say goodnight to your iPhone, TV and computer an hour before bed. Take a hot bath or shower and crawl into bed and write in a diary or read a good book (as in a real book, or a magazine if you rely on an e-reader) before bed.
Monitor Your Caffeine Intake (and Not Just Coffee). Most of us know not to down a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee before bed, but how many times have you had a bit of chocolate or enjoyed a sip of soda only to lay wide awake in bed? Caffeine, even in small doses, is a stimulant, so it’s best to enjoy it no less than four hours before bedtime.
Try This: Enjoy your mid-afternoon coffee, but try not to enjoy it past 1:00PM. Caffeine has a half-life of 3-5 hours (the time it takes for ½ of the drug to be out of your system) and can stay in the body up to 18 hours. See why that 3:00PM cup may not be such a great idea?
Watch Your Wine-Down’s. Titles aside, all alcohol impairs your sleep by reducing your REM which is why those who drink often wake up seriously groggy, even without being hungover.
Try This: Cut yourself off by 7:00PM, if possible. Enjoy a glass of red or white with your dinner and then move onto seltzer.
Be Grateful For Winter: Well, cooler temps aren’t all bad. As it turns out, people tend to sleep better in cooler weather.
Try this: If possible keep your home in the 16-22 Celsius range as it is noted as the most beneficial for a good night’s sleep.
Schedule a Morning Workout: Ah, and we come full circle. Studies have shown that physical activity too late in the evening can stimulate the body, making it harder to sleep.
Try This: Well, this seems obvious, but how about we do everything in the post, and if we notice a difference, we make a morning class a priority?
What is your best “sleep better” tip?