A single good night's sleep can
rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Here's how to get one tonight:
A regular exercise routine will
help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed,
but experts don't recommend vigorous exercise fewer than three
hours before bedtime. Instead, schedule your workout five to six
hours before lights out. (Exercise causes your core body
temperature to rise, and natural sleepiness will set in when
your body temperature drops again).
Find another place for stressful
activities. Pay your bills at the kitchen table, not in your
Avoid nicotine and alcohol before
bed. Nicotine is a potent stimulant, and the metabolism of
alcohol has an alerting effect.
Skip the afternoon latte, too. The
stimulating effect of caffeine can remain for as long as 12
hours. Keep in mind that many teas and sodas, such as Mountain
Dew, contain high caffeine levels, as well.
Restrict your water intake just
before bed and during the night. Midnight trips to the bathroom
can cut into your sleep, particularly if you have a hard time
dozing off again. Six hours of continuous sleep often result in
a more rested feeling than eight hours of on-again, off-again
snoozing because non-consecutive sleep interrupts its deep,
Check to see if any of your
prescription or over-the-counter medications may be interfering
with your sleep. Some diet pills, birth control pills,
anti-depressants, and blood pressure medications can have a
rousing effect. Sleeping pills, while tempting, are not the
answer. They quickly lose their effectiveness and can be
Create a nest. Eliminate clutter,
maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature, and keep the room
dark. Nightlights and bright moonlight can interfere with
quality sleep. Install window treatments that block light, such
as wooden Venetian blinds or shades with blackout lining.
Practice aromatherapy. Lavender
oil or a lavender sachet on your bedside table may help you feel
sleepy and more relaxed.
Maintain a consistent bedtime
routine. Try eating a high-carbohydrate snack 30 to 45 minutes
before bed. Then engage only in relaxing activities.
Stock your bedside table with easy
reads that are both empowering and relaxing.
Keep a notebook and a pen near
your bed, as well, to jot down any late night worries. The act
of recording your anxieties will help clear them from your head
so you can relax into slumber.
Make a ritual of giving your
subconscious a problem to solve during the hours you spend
sleeping. You'll be surprised how often you'll wake up with the
solution after a good night's sleep.
STILL CAN'T FALL ASLEEP?
Just do it. Orgasms increase
endorphins, which can help you feel into a deep sleep.
If your mate is causing you to
lose sleep, get help. Consult a doctor about a chronic snoring
problem. Invest in a good mattress so you won't move every time
your spouse does.
If you haven't fallen asleep
within 30 minutes, there's a problem. Staring at the ceiling
will only increase your anxiety. Get out of bed. Do something
relaxing, such as deep breathing or meditative exercises. Then
try again later.
Cortright is the author of More Energy for Moms and Rekindling Your
Romance After Kids, as well as the founder of the award-winning
Momscape.com, a website designed to help busy women find balance.
today and get Susie's *free* course-by-email "6 Days to Less