- Check the ingredients of your favorite afternoon drinks — those energy-boosting beverages are likely to keep you from getting deep, restful sleep. Aim to stop drinking them by 2 p.m., so that their effects can wear off before bed time. Obviously, coffee drinks are packed with caffeine, so keep those to early in the day, ending at lunch time.
- Eat foods that make you snoooooozzzzze. After a few nights of restless sleep, you might try a light whole-wheat-pasta dish with fresh vegetables, some chicken breast, tomato sauce, and ground Parmesan for dinner. This combo of protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to sleep-promoting serotonin in the body, may help you sleep. If a late night pasta dish isn’t in line with your meal plan, you can try the Superfoods packed Shakeology Meal Replacement or the Performance Line Recharge Vanilla Shake.
- According to John E. Brown, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, Alcohol decreases deep sleep and increases arousals from sleep. So have your glass of wine with dinner rather than a night cap — and drink in moderation, so it can wear off by the time you hit the hay
- I did NOT expect this one at all! A hot bath might actually make it harder for you to go to sleep: that’s because anything that raises your body temperature too close to bedtime could actually stop you from falling asleep, because your body needs to cool to a certain temperature in order to reach a sound slumber. So those late hot tub soaks my boyfriend suggests to unwind from the day because I spend too much time on Electronics….I guess we need to go a lot earlier!
- Yoga, yoga, yoga! Or stretching. Or deep breathing. It doesn’t have to be complicated! You can practice some basic Yoga poses in bed at night or listen to a meditation podcast. Let me know if you need suggestions or instructions. Even though I’m a lover of Yoga, lately I have been using the “Relaxation” cue for 2 minute breathing on my Fitbit Charge 2.
- Keep the lights low! Seriously, this is my pet peeve, as someone else in the house leaves on all sorts of lights as night lights. Anything that has a light gets covered up with random pieces of laundry and the Kindle Paperwhite has really proven to be the best purchase. It doesn’t stimulate your brain and I can read with the lights off! And if I do have to get up in the middle of the night, I do my very best to keep my eyes closed and shuffle and all scoot my way to the bathroom.
- Leave your cell phone in the other room! The temptation to “check one last time” is just too great, and if you forget to turn it on silent, you can easily be woken up in the middle of the night. Or worse, your partner could be! But seriously, it’s only going to get you wound up. Buy a real alarm clock like this fancy Meditation one we have, although I actually use the vibrating alarm on my Fitbit Charge 2 wristband.
I hope this helps you get the sleep you need. I personally already do all these things, but I think having my super senior Chihuahua, who coughs on and off throughout the night, in bed with us is not helping my sleep
Let me know if you would like me to share some of the routines and rituals I use to fall asleep and go back to sleep if I do wake up throughout the night.