6 Hacks To Better Sleep
Tossing and turning all night can make you feel like a zombie in the morning. Aside from taking sleeping pills, is there a quicker way for you to fall asleep? Here are some tips that’ll be sure to help you sleep faster, and avoid the zombie apocalypse feeling in the morning altogether.
1. Don't Try So Hard. The more you want it, the longer you’ll toss and turn in a restless state of insomnia. Sleep is a bodily function just like hunger or thirst. You can have a regular sleep schedule, get lots of exercise, and avoid distractions that keep you awake. However, if your body is ready for sleep or not, there’s nothing specifically you can do.
2. Turn Off The Lights. W. Chris Winter, M.D., states that our main source of light is the sun and our body’s internal clock syncs up with its natural light-dark cycles. “As the sun goes down very slowly, it’s a natural trigger for melatonin (the hormone that triggers the onset of sleep) secretion, and it’s very powerful.” Melatonin levels should rise a couple hours before it’s time for bed and go back down in the morning. Yet a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado found that in our artificial light/device-filled world, hormone levels tend to fall after we’ve already been awake for a while. Equally important, hormones don’t drop with sun, as they should. However, you can easily reset your internal clock by dimming your lights and avoiding blue-light electronics for at least an hour before bed.
3. Take A Hot Bath. Your body’s stress hormone cortisol and body temperature naturally drops as you fall asleep. Similarly, when you get out of a hot bath or shower, your body starts to cool quickly, which mimics your cortisol drop and induces sleepiness.
4. Slip On Some Fuzzy Socks. Putting on warm, fuzzy socks isn’t only super cozy. Wearing socks to bed warm up your feet, ultimately causing the dilation of blood vessels in the skin of your feet, which helps redistribute heat to the rest of your body. It also sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
5. Let Your Mind Wander. Distracting yourself from thinking about how badly you wish you were sleeping can be a helpful tool for people who struggle with falling asleep. Giving your brain something else to focus on that isn’t stressful often works wonders, so plan that dream vacation!
6. Just Breathe. Mindfulness meditation teaches people to focus on their breathing and the present moment. It can also help fight insomnia by lowering stress levels and keeping you from ruminating on what might happen.
Remember to take care of your body and get some sleep!