Cultivate the Perfect Evening Routine to Avoid Insomnia and Fall Asleep Easier
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Stay away from caffeine as much as possible in the hours before sleep—or even in the afternoon if you can help it.
While alcohol may seem like it helps you fall asleep, it won't give you the kind of deep sleep your body needs. If you drink, do it a few hours before you go to bed for a better night's rest.
Napping can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night:
If, after you've thoroughly tested your evening routine and gotten better sleep, you still feel drowsy, you can try adding a power nap to your day, preferably during the early afternoon.
As you wind down the workday, take some time to prepare your first task for the next morning.
It can be hard not to think about work during the night—especially if you have a big meeting or presentation the next day—but the more prepared you are the day before, the more you'll be able to relax and fall asleep that night.
After you eat, get up and do something a bit more active—even if it's just washing dishes or taking out the trash. It'll avoid that post-meal drowsiness, and it's a great time to have a 10-minute cleaning burst to keep your house looking nice.
Don't eat any heavy foods within two hours of bed time.
If you get too hungry as bedtime creeps around, there are a few foods that are okay to eat before bed, and can even help you sleep—like bananas, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread, to name a few.
Choose something low-key to do before bed, like reading a real paper book. Bright screens, like the one on your TV or computer, emit blue light which suppresses melatonin, the hormone that encourages your body to sleep.
You want to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning—even on weekends.
To find the perfect time to go to sleep, count back 7 and a half hours from the time you usually wake up. This ensures you wake up at the optimal moment during your sleep cycle.
Getting in a regular workout can help you sleep better at night, even if your workout takes place in the morning.
Exercise in the afternoon can help deepen shut-eye and cut the time it takes for you to fall into dreamland. But, they caution, vigorous exercise leading up to bedtime can actually have the reverse effects.
So find some time in your day, as long as it isn't in the evening when you can sneak in some activity.
Your body temperature naturally goes down at night when it's time to sleep.
Two hours before bed, soak in the tub for 20 or 30 minutes. A shower is less effective but can work, as well.
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"Happiness is the highest form of health." Dalai Lama
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