Happy National Sleep Awareness Week! I've been seeing so many sleep articles this week, including this really creative one today by our pals at LearnVest. They mentioned all these sleep aids that I've never thought of trying, such as a free software that monitors exposure to artificial light from your computer. I thought that was such a fantastic frugal sleep aid that I was inspired to come up with a list of my own tips that won't cost a cent:
Watch the Clock. FitSugar recommends getting up and going to bed at a regular time to set your circadian rhythm. This means having a natural alarm clock (no annoying snooze button!) and feeling refreshed when you wake up.
Do-Not-Do List. I've talked about a do-not-do list, in which you write down the tasks that you didn't complete before you head off to snoozeland. This will help you stop thinking about what you have left to tackle on your to-do list and let you blissfully count sheep or have other peaceful presleep thoughts.
For more frugal ways to get some good sleep, read on.
Ditch the Caffeine. Having lowered my caffeine intake recently, I've noticed a marked improvement with my sleep. I fall asleep faster and wake up feeling very well-rested. Some people are giving up their daily coffee for Lent, which will help save them a few dollars and get better sleep. If you're the type who can't let go of your coffee mug, try not to drink it too late in the day, or try to replace it with decaf. As for me, I'm experimenting with mint tea and sparkling water to mimic the caffeine kick.
Get That Blood Pumping. Exercise will promote deeper sleep. According to a study, moderate cardio will improve your overall sleep quality. And exercise doesn't have to mean expensive gym memberships; take a peek at my 12 suggestions on how to work out on the cheap.
Don't Work on Your Bed. There is a place and time for doing work, and you should generally constrain the time to working hours and the space to a desk. If you're doing work on your bed, it will be very hard for you to take your mind off the daily grind when you're dozing off to sleep. Keep your bed sacred, and only use it as a place of rest.
Realize the Importance. Sleep can change the world. Seriously. These words are straight from Arianna Huffington herself. You have to realize the importance of sleep and how much better your life can be with proper shuteye so you can start prioritizing it. Not only will you be more pleasant to be around, but you'll also be quicker and a more efficient worker.