Can’t Sleep? Try These 4 Expert-Approved Tips to Slumber Better
Still feeling like daylight savings time robbed you of a much-needed hour of sleep? Us too. While we may not be able to get those 60 precious minutes back, we can make sure we’re making the most of the sleep we do get from here on out. Read on to find out the best tips for a good night’s rest. Happy snoozing!
1. Trade that mid-day latte for a power nap. A designated snooze can help you recharge after a long morning of meetings *without* disrupting your sleep patterns at night — as long as you do it by early afternoon. “A 30-minute power nap will refresh and recharge, improving focus, performance, mood, and productivity,” advises Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist, sleep specialist, and spokeswoman for Nap York wellness center in New York City. “A nap is also healthier than the extra caffeine that many people opt for. A caffeine boost is usually followed by a crash, whereas a power nap’s benefits don’t wear off.”
2. Unplug — seriously. You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Scrolling Insta for the millionth time before bed isn’t doing your sleep cycle any favors. “It’s really important to allow time to unplug and unwind before bed,” Kennedy stresses. “Our brains are in overdrive all day and evening and they can’t just come to a hard stop when we dive into bed. I recommend turning off phones and all forms of communication at least one hour before bed, then taking time to process the day before beginning your bedtime routine.” If you simply can’t resist temptation, try keeping your phone in another room until morning.
3. Create a bedtime ritual. A zen-like bedtime ritual allows you to carry all those relaxing vibes with you as you drift off to dreamland. “Bedtime routines are very helpful because they signal to the body and brain that it’s time to settle down,” Kennedy explains. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, she says. In fact, “Lengthy routines can become a burden and actually increase anxiety if a person doesn’t have time to complete it regularly.” Instead, try reading a book for pleasure (nothing self-help or work-related!), meditating, or do some light stretching.
4. Try sleep-friendly products. Pick a scent that you find calming (lavender is always a good note to start with) and incorporate it into your nightly beauty regimen. Take a hot shower, which can help you fall asleep quicker, and suds up with Bath & Body Works Sleep Body Wash ($13.50). Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon ($80) is a gel-like face cream infused with motion-activated French Lavender essential oil and Persian silk tree extract to reduce the signs of skin fatigue. BROO Moods Sleep Aromatherapy Lotion ($7) has seriously soothing essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, tangerine, and clary sage (fire up the accompanying app on iTunes, which plays calming sounds, for even more relaxation). Then, just before you hit the hay, spritz the lavender and chamomile-infused This Works Pillow Spray ($29) to improve your sleep quality.
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