If you're groggy throughout the day, it might be because you're not getting good sleep. Quality snooze time is important because it sets the pace for the rest of the day. To help you get great sleep, we've found some hacks that you might not know about. We found it fitting to illustrate these tips with the masters of snooze, aka cute animals.
1. Your last cup of coffee should be at 2 p.m.
The half-life of caffeine, or the time it takes for the average person to get rid of half the caffeine in their system, is about five to seven hours. To get rid of 75 percent of the caffeine in your body, it will take eight to 10 hours. Drinking later in the day can generally interfere with your sleep.
2. Move your favorite night activities to the morning.
Maybe you stay up late to indulge in activities you enjoy, such as scrolling through Reddit or reading a book. Instead of putting off precious sleep for these time-wasters, do them first thing in the morning instead. That way, you'll look forward to going to bed and waking up. Reading a book while leisurely munching on your breakfast sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
3. Clean your sheets.
You will sleep better when your bed is clean and comfortable.
4. Take a caffeine nap — the ultimate power snooze.
Take a 15-minute nap immediately after downing a cup of coffee. Researchers found that combining the two was more effective than taking a nap or drinking coffee on their own. Caffeine takes about 15 minutes for the effects to kick in, so by the time you wake up, you'll be feeling refreshed.
5. Use F.lux to diminish artificial light from electronics.
Too much blue light before you sleep can affect the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls the sleep cycle. F.lux can help by changing the color of your computer screen to correspond with the time of day. For example, the brightness will automatically be dimmed and the blue light will lessen as the day turns into night.
6. Or get blue-blocking sunglasses.
You can wear blue-blocking sunglasses ($30) to block out the artificial blue light at home. A University of Toledo study found that adults who wore blue-blocking shades three hours before they slept saw a significant improvement in quality of sleep.
Of course, you can skip all these blue-blocking gadgets if you just limit your usage of electronics a few hours before bed.
7. Invest in some breathe-right strips.
If you're not getting quality sleep, then perhaps you're not properly breathing. For a quick fix, get breathe-right strips ($17) to help open nasal passages.
8. Warm your feet.
We all know that you sleep better in a cool room (between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit) because your body temperature needs to lower for you to get to sleep. However, if the temperature is too low, it may cause your feet to get chilly. And when your hands and feet are cold, the blood vessels constrict, retaining heat in your body and making it harder for you to fall asleep. Since cold feet are strongly linked to the sleep cycle, putting on a pair of socks in bed might be a good way to induce sleep more quickly.