Sweeter Dreams: 7 Surprising Tips for Better Sleep
We've all heard the same sleep advice over and over again: Set a schedule, don't watch TV around bedtime, avoid caffeine after lunch.
But what if you've tried all the run-of-the-mill stuff and still aren't sleeping as well as you'd like?
We feel your pain, so we've scoured the web to find better advice for chronic insomniacs. Check out these seven tips for making those zzz's get here a little bit sooner.
1. Wear Socks to Bed
"Swiss researchers found that people nod off faster when their hands and feet are warmer than the air temperature in the bedroom. Warming the feet dilates the blood vessels, which is a physiological cue for the onset of sleep."
2. Instead of Counting Sheep, Recount Your Morning
"Try this method if you have trouble sleeping: Close your eyes and get comfortable, then think of the first thing you did that morning—the very first thing, like turning off your alarm. Then think of the next thing, and so on, replaying your morning in as much detail as possible. I never get to mid-morning."
3. Spray a Sleep-Inducing Scent
"Certain smells, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which leads to relaxation and helps you sleep more soundly. Mix a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz."
4. Eat (a Little)
"You often hear not to eat before bed. But, 'hunger can prevent you from sleeping,' says primary care nurse practitioner Torrey Higgins. 'Eat a small snack if you haven’t eaten for more than four hours before bedtime.' Just keep in mind that your snack should be small (a too-full stomach can interfere with sleep), decaffeinated (we’re looking at you, chocolate), and non-alcoholic."
5. Use Sounds to Help You Snooze
"When a head full of worries is keeping us awake, music can help us relax a little. Avoid music with lyrics that may keep the mind active, and instead try classical, folk, or slow-paced contemporary styles."
6. Make Sure the Temperature is Right
"To get proper sleep, the body has an internal temperature level that it needs to reach; and, the ideal room temperature to help the body achieve this is between 65 to 72 degrees F."
7. Don't Lie Awake Trying to Fall Asleep
"If you find that you've been in bed for 15 minutes and you aren't feeling tired at all, get up and do something else. Go back to reading that book or doing something else low-key that won't make your body think it's time to wake up. You want your body to associate your bed with sleep and nothing else."