Sleeping well not only makes you happier and more productive the next day, but it can also help you achieve your weight-loss goals and reduce stress. If you toss and turn all night or wake up feeling exhausted every morning, follow these 10 rules for an incredible night of sleep.
1. Thou Shalt Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
It's important to go to bed and wake up at about the same time every single day — even on the weekends. Not doing so will disrupt your body's circadian rhythm. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule will make it easier for you to fall asleep, and you'll feel less groggy in the morning. You might also want to avoid napping during the day as it could make it harder for you to fall asleep.
2. Thou Shalt Stop Eating Two Hours Before Bed
If you go to sleep on a full stomach, indigestion, bloating, and heartburn may keep you up. Aim to finish eating at least two hours before hitting the hay. Try eating a light, easily digestible dinner, and avoid eating tons of sugar, as that can negatively affect your sleep, too.
4. Thou Shalt Not Consume Caffeine or Alcohol Before Bed
That afternoon cup of coffee can make it hard to fall asleep, so try to stop drinking caffeine by noon. And while a glass of wine or a beer may help you fall asleep, alcohol can make for a restless night of sleep, leaving you tossing and turning. Try some soothing herbal tea with dinner instead.
3. Thou Shalt Stop Drinking Liquids Two Hours Before Bed
If you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, do your best to go to sleep with an empty bladder. Aim to cut yourself off from liquids two hours before bed.
5. Thou Shalt Not Look at a Screen Before Bed
Whether its TV, your iPad, or your phone, the light emitting from the screen can trick your brain into thinking that it's daytime, making it more difficult to settle down. Skip the screen time, and opt to read a book, listen to soothing music, or meditate under the covers instead.
6. Thou Shalt Have a Good Mattress
Since you spend a third of your lifetime in bed, it makes sense to splurge on a mattress that's both comfortable and supportive. Many companies allow you to try a mattress for a month so you can find the one that offers the best night of sleep. Supportive, clean pillows and soft bedding are also a must. Make your bed as inviting and luxurious as possible.
7. Thou Shalt Exercise Regularly
A simple way to use up restless energy is by keeping up with a consistent workout schedule. It will make falling asleep happen within a few minutes after your head hits the pillow.
8. Thou Shalt Not Go to Bed Angry, Stressed, or Upset
If you're worried, upset, or anxious about something, you'll have a tough time falling asleep at night. Find a way to stop thinking about what stresses you, and relax. Write about it in a journal, meditate, do some yoga, listen to relaxing music, take a hot shower, or read a book by candlelight. Do everything you can to evoke joy and serenity before drifting off to sleep.
9. Thou Shalt Have the Perfect Sleep Atmosphere
Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary, with its main purpose to instill calmness. Use blackout curtains to make it dark, get a sound machine or a fan for some relaxing white noise, and use a diffuser with lavender oil to help you drift off to sweet slumber. Make sure your bedroom is the perfect temperature too; not too hot, and not too cold.
10. Thou Shalt Have an Orgasm Before Bed
Whether it's with a partner or solo, having an orgasm before bed releases the hormone oxytocin which lowers cortisol, the main stress hormone. It washes a sense of unique calmness over you that has a special way of inducing sleep. If you're not in the mood, some self-massage can have the same effect.
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