If you’re perusing the internet at 2:00 a.m. again and can’t seem to settle down, your life probably sucks right about now. It doesn’t have to, and there are ways to get to sleep without popping a handful of pills and living with brain fog the next day. Here are four badass (and effective) ways to get the sleep your body craves.
1. Get Off the Couch
Obviously, physical activity is important for your overall health. But more than ripped abs and a perky backside, exercise does things to your body that improve the quality of your sleep. Don’t try to squeeze in a hard workout session just before hitting the hay, though. Give yourself a few hours for your body to realize it’s exhausted. Shoot for at least 120 minutes away from Netflix every week. You’ll know exercise is working because you go to sleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed.
2. Block Out the World
There’s never a better time to tell the world go to hell than when it’s time for you to go to bed. Noisy neighbors, barking dogs, and even your snoring spouse or partner can keep your ears perked up until dawn. If you’re not one of the lucky few who can sleep through anything, you’ll have to come up with ways to make sure you don’t get distracted from the business at hand. Your first option is to pop in a set of earplugs to reduce the audible decibels swirling through your head. But if you have tinnitus, the silent nights you hope for won’t come no matter how much effort you put into blocking out the world. And just for the record, it’s not normal to hear buzzing, popping, screaming, and whirling sounds that nobody else hears. If you need to reduce internal and external noise, earbuds are your best friend. Tuck recently rated the best headphones for sleeping, and you can grab a pair for $30 if you’re lucky.
Food is something we can definitely get behind, especially if it means it knocks out hunger and insomnia. But cool your jets, carnivore, because you have to be careful what you put into your body before you lay that body down to sleep. Bananas, kale, yogurt, and kiwi are about the best things to eat before going to bed. Unfortunately, the fun foods – cheeseburgers and cake, mostly – are off the table and should be kept as far away from the nightstand as possible. Not only do these culinary delights contain high levels of less-than-digestible ingredients, they are also full of sugar and carbs, which can kick your heart into high gear and give you an unwarranted burst of energy
4. Get Comfy (…also sex!)
There are lots of things you shouldn’t do in the bedroom, such as eating (crumbs, gross) and watching TV. But, and keep reading because this is good, there is one thing you can do in the bed other than sleep. We’re talking about sex. Your bedroom should only be used for these two things, and your bed should be comfortable enough for both. If you have a noisy, old, saggy mattress, toss it and get something that doesn’t throw up a cloud of dust mites when you get up close and personal under the sheets. More importantly, a supportive mattress can keep you from tossing and turning at night by relieving pressure points on the body. Sleepopolis goes into greater detail on the different types of mattresses and what they’re best for (sex, always sex) in this post. Oh, and the only reason we mentioned sex is because science says it’s a natural sleep aid that works to reduce stress. We’ll go with that.
There you go. Four ways to get your body ready for long night of slumber. Remember, sleep is really a result of lifestyle changes that promote healthy rest so eat right, exercise, and have sex to your heart’s content.