If you’ve laid in your bed at night struggling to fall asleep, you know the frustration it can cause. You probably know all about the nighttime steps for getting sleepy, but did you know that you can take steps throughout the day to ensure good sleep at night. That’s right! You will be surprised to find that easy things you do during the course of your day can have you slumbering peacefully tonight.
1. Set Your Alarm for a Time between 6am and 7am
I’m groaning too, but there’s a good reason for this. Research shows that rising at the same time every day sets your internal clock so that you feel awake when you get up and are sleepy when it’s time to go to sleep. This time frame isn’t a magical one, but is a pretty good target for the average person with a traditional work schedule. Adjust as needed to fit your needs.
2. Wait to Suck down Caffeine for a Couple of Hours
Your strongest urge in the morning is probably the one that drives you to the coffee maker as soon as you get up. That’s a bad idea for building a consistent sleep pattern, say the experts. Why? Because your body is working to produce the hormone cortisol when you get up and mixing higher levels with caffeine can wreak havoc on your sleep/wake cycle. Wait for about 2 hours, then pour yourself a mug of joe.
3. Don’t Skip the Salad Dressing at Lunch
You need some healthy fats during the day because they have been linked to longer sleep patterns. Omega-3 fatty acids are your best choice, so add some canola-oil based dressing to your salad. You can also toss in some avocado or grilled salmon. Walnuts are another great choice. That salad is going to pay off when you hit the sack tonight!
4. Spend Part of the Afternoon Cruising Social Media and E-mail
If your boss catches, you present the evidence that shows that women who keep up with friends and family during the day are less stressed. It also ensures that you sleep well tonight because it cuts daytime stress so you can relax at the end of the day. Return personal emails, tweet a picture of your tasty lunch or text your best friend. Just don’t use office time if it isn’t allowed. Wait for your next break.
5. Don’t Touch the Wine after 6pm
I know, I know. You’ve barely gotten home from work and now it’s time to put the wineglass away! While alcohol can make you fall asleep, it interferes with good sleep patterns, leaving you wide eyed and restless later in the night. Stop drinking around 3 hours before you go to bed and you’ll be doing your circadian rhythm a huge favor.
6. Eat Pasta for Dinner
Here’s an idea I think you can get behind! Don’t be afraid of carbs at dinner. Despite the hype, they aren’t going to cause you to balloon up while you sleep. In fact, those carbs promote sleepiness, helping you reach slumbering nirvana in a few hours. Whole wheat pasta is your best bet.
7. Eat a Kiwi for a Bedtime Snack
Research shows that kiwi contains serotonin, a brain hormone that is said to help you sleep better and maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle. A kiwi is also the right snack because it won’t fill you up so full that you can’t sleep.
Are you going to try any of these steps today? What other tips do you have for good sleep tonight?