If you want your life to run smoothly and efficiently you need to get enough rest. Here are some tips on how you can do that.
- 1. Change your bedroom. A dark, cool room helps you fall asleep faster when you go to bed. Cut down on noise with wall-to-wall carpeting, hanging tapestries, curtains and earplugs, if necessary. Eliminate televisions, phones and computers – all of which are associated with activity, and are sources of obvious distraction that will stop you from nodding off and getting that all-important sleep.
- 2. Establish comforting bedtime habits. If you pay bills just before going to bed, you won’t drop off to sleep easily. Instead, taking a few minutes to stretch, meditate or read will help you wind down faster.
- 3. Keep sleep stress-free. For many people, bedtime is the first quiet time they’ve had all day. Schedule 30 minutes of ‘worry time’ sometime during the day, well before bedtime. Make a list of the things you’re anxious about, and how you’re going to cope with them. Then promise yourself you’ll think about them tomorrow.
- 4. Calm your brain. Protein foods contain tryptophan, which the body converts into sleep-inducing chemicals. The best bedtime snack is a mixture of protein (like milk), complex carbohydrates (to dispel amino acids other than tryptophan) and calcium (to help the brain use the tryptophan). Quickest and easiest of all? A plain biscuit and a glass of milk.
- 5. Try a relaxation trick: get comfortable, then take eight very slow, deep breaths, noticing how your stomach expands and contracts as you breathe. Consciously centre your focus on your breathing.