Spring Forward With 10 Sleep Tips
8. Relax Before Bed
Stress and overstimulation can make it hard to fall asleep. Try to avoid intense television programs or movies before bed. Relax with a soothing, warm bath and curl up with a book instead.
Worry can increase the production of the hormone cortisol, which increases alertness. If anxiety keeps you awake, write out your schedule for the following day before going to bed, including possible solutions to challenges you may face. If you're worried about hitting a deadline the next day, go to bed early and wake up early to work. Don’t work late into the night. Most minds are fresher in the morning; you may even need less time to finish your work.
9. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
There's a reason why some animals sleep in caves; there's no denying the relaxing mixture of darkness and quiet. Whether you try sleep shades, ear plugs, a white-noise machine, or all three, there are plenty of tools available to help block out stimulation and bring on slumber.
Temperature helps too -- an even 60-75 degrees -- is considered the most comfortable. And don't forget the importance of comfort in the equation. Invest in a good mattress and you'll be repaid in sweet dreams.
If you have restless or snoring pets who wake you up during the night, keep them out of your room, along with all electronics, including your television, computer, DVD player, and stereo. Isolating your activities to sleep and other bed-related activities is a good way to keep the bedroom focused on its restful purpose.
10. Get Up If You Can't Sleep
We've all had those nights when we can't fall asleep or we wake up and can't get our minds to shut to down. Avoid watching the clock, which can create more anxiety. If you've been awake more than 20 minutes, get up, go to another room, and do something relaxing to help you get drowsy. Keep the lights low, have some warm milk, read a book, or write about whatever may be on your mind until your eyelids get heavy.