Even with the best intentions to get to bed at a reasonable hour, you might not realize your habits are hindering your sleep schedule. If you're ready to stop tossing and turning into the wee hours of the morning, then these six tips can help you fall asleep faster tonight.
- Reduce caffeine: Even if bedtime is hours away, that second cup of caffeine at 4 p.m. makes it hard to stay or fall asleep once you're ready to lie down. There's no reason to feel pressure to completely give it up; just do your best to drink your last cup by 2 p.m. if you know you're sensitive to caffeine's effects.
- Choose the right snacks: Late-night snacks aren't the enemy, but it is important choose wisely. Avoid fatty foods, since they're harder to digest before bed, and steer clear any spicy foods, citrus fruits, or tomato sauce, since they can result in heartburn and indigestion. Try one of these smart late-night snacks that require minimal prep.
- Rethink that nightcap: Drinking alcohol before bed is not going to promote healthy sleep. In fact, studies have shown that drinking late into the evening and before bedtime does not have the sedative effects you're looking for, but it does have has significant stimulating effects when compared to other times of day. Swap out your glass of wine for a cup of hot tea, water with lemon, or tart cherry juice, since its high levels of melatonin can help naturally lull you to sleep.
- Take out the tech: The blue light from all your tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it's daytime when you're trying to wind down. Make sure you're turning everything off at least 20 to 30 minutes before you'd like to hit the hay. If you're not doing this yet, then try it. Many have found that it completely changes their relationship with bedtime.
- Keep it cold: If your room is too hot when you go to bed, then it might be the culprit keeping you awake. Studies have found that the optimal temperature for sleep is on the colder side, specifically between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Turning down the temperature in your room helps cool down your body temperature, which results in a naturally sleepy feeling.
- Hop in later: Forcing yourself into bed at a set time can cause anxiety around bedtime. If you find yourself tossing and turning once you're under the covers, then create a relaxing and healthy bedtime ritual. Instead of spending more time answering emails, read for pleasure outside your bedroom, drink a hot cup of tea, or move through this before-bed yoga sequence. Even if you end up shutting off the lights later than expected, once you fall asleep, your quality of sleep can drastically improve, since you're eliminating stress from the equation.