We’ve heard it all. From counting sheep to a warm glass of milk before bed, everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to the best sleep practices. But which tips actually do the trick? Here’s a list of four sleep hacks that work.
1. Be choosey with your bedtime beverages.
Picking the right bedtime beverage is important - a drink can help or hinder your sleep. That second glass of wine before you hit the hay? It’ll likely wake you up in the middle of the night. Caffeine can also keep you tossing and turning if you drink it too late in the afternoon. And don’t even get us started on the after-dinner cappuccino! Opt for a soothing cup of chamomile tea or a can of Som Sleep to help you unwind before bed. And be sure to limit your caffeine intake after 2pm.
2. Midnight snack smart.
Certain foods can impact the quality of your sleep. The acidic tomato sauce on your pizza… the fat content of your burger… pretty much anything spicy that might irritate your stomach. But have no fear - there are midnight snacks that are a-okay to munch on before bed. Keep your kitchen stocked with nuts like almonds and walnuts, which contain healthy fats and magnesium, and fruits like bananas and kiwis. If you must eat before bed, make the right choices.
3. Squeeze in a workout.
It’s bedtime. You want to lounge in the comfort of your soft sheets and pillows. But what did you do all day? Did you sit at your desk listening to Jerry complain at the water cooler or relax on the couch while binge watching Game of Thrones? Either way, your lack of exercise could be impacting your sleep at night. Your mind may be tired, but your body may be ready to move by the time you reach your bed. Get up and exercise at some point during the day. You’ll sleep better and feel better, too.
4. Don’t watch the clock.
It’s 3:03am. You’ve been up for hours wondering if you’re going to conquer your first day at that new job (or just fall asleep at the Starbucks drive-through in the morning). All of the sudden it’s 3:04am, and in that year-long minute, you’ve only managed to become more frantic about your lack of sleep. Many people will sit in bed attempting to calculate how much time they have left before their alarm goes off in the morning. Instead, turn your clock away and flip your smartphone over so you can’t see the screen. Take deep breaths and try to relax without the stress that comes with watching the clock.
The time has come to stop guessing what will and what won’t work regarding the quality of your sleep. Bust the myths, stick to facts.