As someone who's had trouble sleeping their entire lifetime, I understand what it means to finally get that one night of sweet, sweet rest. We're not catching enough ZZZ's for a number of reasons, all varying on the person; some have an internal clock that wakes them up at the crack of dawn. It might seem like something out of your control, but the fact is, you can control your sleep by being kinder to your body.
Here are five of the best tips that will ensure you get a full night's rest tonight:
1. Charge your phone in your living room.
This is a hard one because many of us depend on our phones as alarm clocks, myself included. However, studies show that leaving your phone in the other room does miles of improvement for your sleep. "You want your brain to know that when you're in bed, that's a place for sleep and sleep only," says Philip Gehrman, professor of psychology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. There is no need to bring your phone to bed - any text you get can wait until morning. Now's the time to invest in an alarm clock, right?
2. Invest in an old-school alarm clock.
So you're coming to terms with having to invest in an alarm clock, right? Well, it's best to stay away from the digital clocks that glow in the dark. Many spend night after night staring at that glowing clock, which, with every passing minute, adds to your stress and therefore lack of sleep. It's better to invest in an old-school clock where you can't tell what time it is.
3. Sleep cool.
I often find myself getting overheated in the middle of the night, as I sleep with way too many pillows and a large comforter. I quickly realized that the only way I'd ever get any sleep is by trading in my comforter for some thinner blankets in the summertime. It sounds simple, but you'll be surprised how much better you'll sleep with this tip.
4. Cut caffeine.
This is probably the hardest tip on this list, but it's true - caffeine puts a number on your body, keeping you awake for way longer than you intended. It can stay in your body longer than you think, even if it's just a cup of coffee. Cutting caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime will help you sleep longer and way, way better.
Sounds simple, right? Easier said than done, I know, but you will never catch any sleep if you're worrying about all the things you have to get done tomorrow. Set aside some time every night to do something that relaxes you - whether that's watching a movie, knitting, or reading a good book, it's important that your body finds some relaxation in order to properly fall into REM-cycle sleep. I've fallen asleep only to realize that I didn't in actuality, I had just spent the past five hours thinking about an essay with my eyes closed. Don't be like me!
Consider these and remember: you're not doomed to toss and turn every night. There is a way to catch a full eight hours of good, restful sleep - if you follow these tips!