In these stressful days, getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be elusive. Yet poor sleep—or not enough of it—can impede your ability to think and problem solve, and can even age your skin, cause weight gain and lead to health problems.
If you’ve been having trouble falling and/or staying asleep, or simply want to get the best sleep you’ve ever had, try a few of these simple sleep tricks:
- Wind Down From the Day – You shouldn’t expect an easy transition from high activity to sleep. Sip a cup of herbal tea and try listening to calming music or coloring in an adult coloring book for a bit before getting into bed—and stop reading emails or scrolling through social media once you slip between the sheets.
- Watch Your Diet – Lean proteins, like tofu, roasted turkey or salmon, and complex carbohydrates such as lentils, sweet potato and quinoa, have been shown to stimulate calming neurotransmitters that can help you doze off. Avoid anything high in saturated fat as your digestive system works overtime to break them down, keeping you awake longer.
- Consider Allergies – Poor sleep can be explained by allergies you’re not even aware you have to things like dust mites, pet hair and mold. Congestion or postnasal drip can prevent sleep or wake you during the night. Vacuum the floors, change sheets often and keep pets out of the bedroom. An over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal spray may help with congestion.
- Drown Out Noise and Light – If you live in a high traffic area, a sleep mask can keep out bright street lights. A white noise machine is another simple solution for reducing environmental annoyances.
- Try Aromatherapy – It’s easier to feel peaceful when you feel like you’re lying in a bed of flowers. Research shows that lavender essential oils can help reduce anxiety and increase sleep quality.
- Stay Cool – Hot flashes are one of the major reasons menopausal women lose sleep. Buy cooling sheets made of breathable fabric to keep you cool and comfy. Even keep a cool, damp cloth nearby that you can place on your forehead when you need it.