Getting a great night’s sleep is important for your health. It benefits your immune system, emotions and heart. If you wake up every morning feeling exhausted, these 8 tips can help you get the rest your body desperately needs:
1. Save Your Bedroom for Sleep
It’s easier to fall asleep at night when your body’s hormones follow an established sleep/wake cycle. To train your brain for a great night’s sleep, designate your bedroom as a sleep-only area. Don’t use it to watch TV, surf the internet or work.
2. Stay Active During the Day
Getting plenty of exercise during the day can help you sleep like a baby at night. Moderate exercise is best for fighting the effects of insomnia, but even 10 minutes of walking provides benefits for your sleep habits. Staying active makes you spend more time in the rejuvenating stages of deep sleep.
3. Avoid Alcohol at Night
Wait … doesn’t alcohol help you fall asleep? Yes and no. Drinking a glass of wine can make you feel drowsy, but it tends to wake you up in the middle of the night. If you have problems with insomnia, skip the booze and choose some calming chamomile tea with honey instead.
4. Phone a Friend
Sleep issues are often caused by anxiety or nervousness. One of the best remedies for stress is hearing the voice of a loved one. Talking with friends or family for 15-20 minutes in the evening can make you smile and put you in a great mood to rest soundly.
5. Know Your Body
Knowing your body’s unique sleep problems can help you prevent insomnia. If you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, avoid drinking liquids for at least 90 minutes before bed. If joint pain doesn’t let you sleep, try a natural inflammation fighter such as turmeric to find relief.
6. Turn Off the TV Screen Ahead of Time
To get the best night’s sleep, you have to give your body a gentle push in that direction. About an hour before bedtime, start getting in the mood for sleep. Turn off the TV or other electronic devices that stimulate your brain. Take a warm bath, dim the lights a bit, read a book or listen to some soft music until you feel sleepy.
7. Eat Foods That Help You Sleep
One of the most important things you can do to sleep better is to eat the right foods. To wake up feeling refreshed every morning, your body needs plenty of tryptophan, a natural sleep miracle. This essential sleep hormone increases your levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin, helping you relax and making you super sleepy.
How can you treat your brain to these sleep superstars? Here are the best foods for sleeping all night long:
- Complex carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, oatmeal and whole-grain breads contain lots of tryptophan.
- Fresh fruit: Cherries, peaches, nectarines and bananas are high in tryptophan and magnesium (great for calming).
- Healthy proteins: Turkey isn’t the only type of protein that makes you sleepy. Fish, peanut butter and eggs also have this effect.