Jealous of your spouse or significant other who can down coffee all day long, then fall fast asleep at bedtime - while you struggle to catch a few zzz's even after a couple days of sleep deprivation?
What separates you from these "sleep pros"?
If your sleep problems aren't due to some kind of medical problem, there are 6 things that can help you slumber with the best of them:
1. Get yourself on a sleep schedule.
Like it or not, your body works best when it's on a rhythm. It needs a clear separation between daytime tasks and nighttime rest. So, if you curl up for bed one night at 8:00 and stay out till 3:00 the next night, your poor body won't know what to do - and you won't be able to sleep!
That's why you need to figure out a sleep schedule and stick to it. And, yes, you'll need to stick to your schedule on weekends, too. That way, your body won't have to break its "resting" habit.
2. Cool it with the caffeine.
Love the taste of coffee after dinner? It could be what's keeping you up at night! All of that caffeine works as a stimulant in your brain. As a result, you won't be able to sleep, no matter how hard you try!
And, remember, caffeine isn't just in coffee! It's also in soda and chocolate.
3. Watch out for other hidden stimulants.
Even if you're diligent about not having any caffeine after a certain time of day, there are other things that may be keeping you up at night - like your TV, the internet, and your video games. All of them keep your brain "active", so it won't be ready for sleep when you put down the controller and hop into bed.
Instead, shut all of your gadgets off well before you hit the pillow. That way, your brain will have time to "come down" from them!
4. Exercise earlier.
Research shows that people who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from insomnia. The secret lies in your endorphins - or, your "feel good" hormones. When you exercise, your body produces more endorphins and they eliminate tension. As a result, you have an easier time sleeping.
However, the worst thing you can do is exercise right before bed time!
Think about it - if you get your body all "wound up" with exercise, the last thing you're going to want to do is sleep! Instead, exercise in the morning or afternoon.
5. Stop napping.
If you have a snack before dinner, what happens? You ruin your appetite.
The same thing happens when you take a nap!
It may feel great in the middle of the afternoon when you're dragging, but that nap can actually prevent you from getting a good night's sleep later on. So, no matter how tired you feel during the day, try to hold out until nighttime. You'll thank yourself later!
6. Eat earlier.
Ever eaten so much that you just want to plop down and go to sleep?
Don't! It's one of the worst things you can do!
If you eat too much right before bedtime, it can be murder on that all-important sleep schedule. And, if you suffer from indigestion, lying down and trying to sleep can be downright painful. Instead of sleeping, you'll be lying awake suffering!
The solution? Eat earlier in the evening and give yourself time to digest. Or, eat just enough so that you're not hungry. That way, you won't be too stuffed to sleep.
See? All it takes is a few lifestyle changes to turn sleep from a nemesis into a friend!