Your sleep habits could be the only thing standing between you and eight hours of wonderful sleep tonight.
Sleep expert Anita Mahaffey and founder of Cool-jams Performance Sleep Products gives us her tips on how to make sure to get that precious shut-eye.
1. Write it Down on your To-Do List: “Set a regular sleep schedule for yourself. Make sure to go to bed and get up at the same time every day,” Mahaffey says. Guess what folks...sleeping late even for just a couple days can reset your internal clock to a different sleep schedule.
2. Be environmentally friendly Always Keep your room dark, quiet and at a cool temperature. The best room temperature is around 68 F. Invest in blackout shades, and a fan or air conditioner if possible. You can also consider trying cooling bedding and moisture wicking sleepwear. Use your bed only for sleeping and intimacy. People who watch TV, do work or use laptops, e-readers and tablets in bed often report trouble getting and staying asleep. Unfortunately any electronics can wreak havoc with your sleep schedule. Instead try reading a good ole fashion book until you start feeling sleepy.
3. Avoid Certain Foods and Bevarages: Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and foods high in sugar at least four to six hours prior to bedtime. They can stimulate the brain and interfere with the ability to fall asleep. I know we think alchohol can help us get to sleep, but it is quite the opposite. Try to avoid alcohol at night because it too can disrupt your sleep cycle. Skip strenuous exercise within four hours of bedtime. Instead opt for gentle or restorative yoga.
4. Avoid long naps in the afternoon: Avoid taking naps because sleeping during the day disrupts your nighttime sleep. If you are exhausted and need a power nap...please make it no longer than 20 minutes, otherwise you risk another lousy night's sleep.
5. Don’t force sleep and get anxious If you don't fall asleep in 20 - 30 minutes, don’t just lay there and stress about it, get up and do something boring or quiet, like reading or meditation. Again stay away from any electronics that might stimulate the brain. Absolutely avoid watching the clock when sleep escapes you. This will only add to your sleep stress. For additional sleep tips, visit The National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org