From snoring to insomnia to staying awake, these tips will help you set your sleep schedule right.
Drugging yourself to get to sleep? Pumping caffeine to stay awake? No more! These all-natural remedies will have you sleeping through the night and waking up feeling refreshed.
The End the Insomnia
1. Hit the Juice Aisle
Tart cherry juice is packed with melatonin! Try drinking 8 ounces an hour before bed to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.
2. Nod Off with Nuts
If you have a hard time winding down at the end of the day, try eating more nuts! Rich in sleep-promoting nutrients such as magnesium and selenium, nuts are a healthy, drug-free way to help you get that much-needed shut-eye. In research, peanuts and pistachios have been the biggest standouts for bringing on deeper sleep.
3. Snooze with Seafood
Serve up more dinners from the sea! Cod, tuna, snapper, halibut, and shrimp contain levels of sleep-promoting tryptophan comparable to those found in turkey.
4. Blue Lights Out
Melatonin is a hormone the body produces to help you sleep. Research has shown that staring at a screen that gives off blue light (such as a TV, computer, or smartphone) will decrease the amount of melatonin your body is producing. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, be sure to set aside the TV, laptop, and video game after dinnertime. Or spend as little as $8 for a pair of blue light–blocking glasses.
5. Make Pink Your Favorite Color
You’ve probably heard of white noise—like the constant hum of a fan to cover up harsher background sounds that could stir you in your sleep. So what’s pink noise? It has more variation, coming out louder and more powerful at the lower frequencies. Think of rain falling on pavement or waves crashing on the beach. And it’s been shown to lead your brain waves into deep sleep. Try a color test to see whether white or pink works better for you—free apps such as Simply Noise offer both.
6. Skip the Nightcap
Alcohol can make you feel really sleepy . . . at first. But you’ll pay for it at 3 a.m. when the alcohol is metabolized and that effect wears off and wakes you up. It’s smart to limit alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime.
7. The Scents of Sleep
Mix a few drops of lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang essential oils and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz. These scents activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which leads to relaxation. You’ll be ahh-sleep before you know it!
8. Invite Fido In
But not on your bed! Surprisingly, a recent study out of the Mayo Clinic found that people sleep better when their dogs are in the bedroom. So take advantage of the comfort and security but not your dog’s rustling. Help him settle in a sweet spot on the floor or set up a dog bed nearby.
9. Use a Pillow Prop
Back pain keeping you up? Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. Or if you can only sleep on your side, slip a pillow between your knees. It helps support your lower spine and a good’s night slumber.
10. Keep Your Socks On
You may think you want to go sockless to keep cool. But keeping your socks on will actually accomplish that for your whole body! Warming your feet widens the blood vessels there and helps regulate temperature more evenly across your body. The result: overall cooling, which is a ticket to better sleep.
11. Make Your Bed
I now have a science-backed reason to nag the boys to make their beds: It helps you sleep better! The simple way it works, according to the study’s researchers: It creates positive vibes around bedtime.
No More Snoring
12. Give a Snoring Partner the Brick
Hold the throws! Slip a couple of bricks under the legs at the head of your bed. This little adjustment will elevate your snoring culprit’s upper torso to prop open airways and stop the snoring. An extra pillow can give you some elevation as well, although it’s not as effective as the brick trick.