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Tips For Sleeping Through the Night

When I don't get a full night's sleep, I'm definitely suffering the next day. I'll wake up with a dull headache, and I often feel cranky, irritable, and lacking the energy to get in a good workout. I also end up craving sugary foods and caffeine to pep me up. It's an awful cycle because if I don't eat well and exercise during the day, there's a good chance I'll have a hard time sleeping the next night too.

Not only is it frustrating to be awake when all you want to do is sleep, but lack of sleep could also affect your heart, putting you at risk for a heart attack. Not getting your fill of zzzzz's can also compromise your immune system and make it hard for you to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Do you toss and turn, or wake up often in the middle of the night? Here are some tips to help you sleep like a rock till morning.

  • Does the slightest sound wake you up? Try sleeping with ear plugs to drown out any noise. You can also keep a fan going in your room on low. The gentle hum can help to cover up outside noises.
  • If you tend to get hot when you sleep, try wearing less so you won't have to wake up to strip down. If you get cold, wear more or try using an extra blanket. Predicting your body temperature needs ahead of time will reduce your chances of being woken up.
  • If your body is sensitive to caffeine, try to ditch it altogether. I know if I have even one piece of chocolate after dinner, it'll keep me up all night.
  • Drink milk. It contains the same chemical tryptophan, that's found in turkey, so it'll help induce sleepiness.
  • Not into milk? Sip some hot chamomile tea instead.

Want to hear the other tips? Then

  • Get daily exercise during the day to tire out your muscles and use up extra energy.
  • Stop eating and drinking at least two hours before you're planning on going to bed (this includes milk or tea). Then right before you slip under the covers, take a trip to the bathroom. That way you won't be woken up in the middle of the night by your full bladder.
  • Take a hot bath or shower before bed. Not only does it relax your muscles and mind, but the steam can also help clear your nose, which can help you sleep more soundly.
  • Do some gentle stretches before you go to bed. This will help your mind relax and prepare your body for sleep.
  • I know this is a tough habit to break, but don't watch TV or check your email right before bed. These screens give off as much light as sunlight, so it tricks your brain into thinking it's not bedtime yet. Do something quiet instead like meditating, going for a moonlit stroll, reading, or listening to relaxing music.


Join The Conversation
jmast jmast 9 years
Thank you so much for this!! I suffer from chronic insomnia (doesn't help that the hubby is a snorer!) and was on Ambien CR but I don't want to be taking medication and chemicals. Also, I recently started trying to get pregnant so I cut out caffeine and soda (I also suffer from migraines so this helped tremendously with that), alcohol, OTC medicines, etc. so I'm doing all I can to be healthy. I also work out during the day so I'm not all revved up at night. I read sometimes right before going to sleep. I still can't fall asleep!!!! So I will try the warm milk :) That's the only thing I haven't tried. I used to do a yoga DVD called AM/PM Yoga. Maybe I'll try that again. Right about now I'll try anything.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 9 years
I always go to sleep with music. You'll have to come up with a good mix of soothing music, so that you're not jolted awake by a funky salsa number. I find that it helps to combat ambient noise (and helps you get used to it it wont bother you) , relaxes you, and helps to clear your mind so you fall into sleep. Put it on a timer so it turns off after you're asleep. I'm also a fan of tea and stretching :)
workofiction workofiction 9 years
I drink flavored water at night so I don't eat past 9pm. I always have to wake up and pee but it's better than all the extra calories.
sugar_me_sweet sugar_me_sweet 9 years
i sleep well but i do wake up a couple of times to use the bathroom. i can't help and drink water before i sleep either. i get thirsty too.
KrissyThePirate KrissyThePirate 9 years
Another tea that I think works rather well: Celestial Seasonings--Sleepytime Extra tea with Valarian. Valarian is an herb that has similar effects to the perscription drug Valium, but without the addictiveness. I usually make it an hour before I expect to get to bed--no sugar, that would kind of defeat the purpose!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I do lots of this stuff, but my body still won't let me get through a full night without waking up. It's horrible, usually I get to sleep at 11:30 (and wake up at 6:30) but I will wak up usualyl around 5 times during the night, and I have no clue why... :( I hate it!
demonkitty18 demonkitty18 9 years
I always try reading or music because I have trouble shutting my brain off b4 bed- keep going thru the day or smtgthat happened last week
Allytta Allytta 9 years
ear-plugs is great thing, but my ear-canal is so narrow that my ear swallows and hurts from standart size, where one can find small ear-plugs or size for children? after a few days of sleeping in usual ear-plugs i get an awful head-ache.
jendudley jendudley 9 years
i always have to wake up to go to the bathroom. I HATE THAT! I am always SO thirsty. I cannot stop drinking water. UGH!!!
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
ive been having trouble stay asleep for the past few weeks. Ima try all of the above. thanks so much!
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
Cheshire4ever- I am the same way. I have unmedicated ADD and my mind NEVER turns off. I wear ear plugs part of the time but sometimes when I put them in they make me hear a whine in my head...very distracting and not very conducive to sleep. I am lucky that my husband doesn't snore but it only takes a little noise for my brain to reactivate and wake me up. It goes in phases and right now I am knee deep in it. I have a fan running in my room and have tried white noise machines but my brain spends the whole time trying to figure out the loop to the recording....aaarrrggghhh!!!! I am hesitant to take sleep meds as they make me groggy the next day and my mom had adverse reactions to Ambien so I REALLY don't want to go there... My husband & I are trying to get pregnant so ADD meds are off the table, I am going for my first acupuncture session a week from tomorrow... I would love to hear more ideas!!!
Hootie Hootie 9 years
I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and falling back to sleep. I wear ear plugs often. I wish I could just lay down and go to sleep for 8 hours! I'm lucky if I get 6. My mind races at night when I have down time. My husband snores like a chainsaw... It's terrible. Any little noise wakes me up. I sleep on my tummy so many nights I wake up with a stiff neck or a sore ear. Due to the snoring (and I mean loud, scary, violent snoring)I have had move out of the room at night because I just can't take it. Even with ear plugs I can hear and feel him snoring. Thanks for the tips. Every bit of extra sleep helps!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I always get super hot when I sleep for some reason, but I start out being really cold. What works for me is to wear warm pjs to start with and if I get hot, I take stuff off and go back to sleep.
tati33 tati33 9 years
nikkipez nikkipez 9 years
good tips thanks
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