For something we spend half our life doing, a lot of us are pretty awful at sleeping. Here are our top 10 tips for falling asleep faster, getting quality rest, and waking up easier in the morning.
10. Prepare a Worthy BedWhile your bed probably isn't the primary cause of insomnia, snoring, or other sleep problems, it can certainly contribute to your comfort at night. Make sure you're using the right pillow based on your sleep type, and when it comes time to buy a new mattress, make sure you shop smart (and don't get fleeced). Once you know it isn't your bed, you can start getting to the bottom of your sleep issues. Photo by Daehyun Park.
9. Eat BetterWhat you eat can greatly affect how you sleep, even during the early half of the day. Eat breakfast first thing in the morning to sleep better at night, and make sure it's a big one. After eating well throughout the day, avoid eating spicy or junk foods at night, and instead choose something that will help you drift off. And remember: no booze! Not only will it not help you get to sleep, it'll cause you to snore all night, too. Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.
8. Wake Up Pleasantly, Not RoughlyThe days of the ever-annoying *bzzt*-*bzzt*-*bzzt* alarms are over. Instead of being jerked awake by an old clock, consider getting a smart alarm app for your phone, like our favorites for iPhone and Android. Then, try waking yourself up more comfortably. If you need a bit more of a push, of course, we've got more methods for manipulating yourself to wake up. And, whenever possible, do it without stimulants—caffeine can wreak havoc with your brain and body. Photo by Lars Plougmann.
7. Exercise in the MorningExercising in the morning or afternoon—not at night—can help deepen your sleep and make sure you fall asleep quicker, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation. If you aren't much of an exerciser, there's no better time than now to upgrade your health and fitness routine than now. Photo by lu-lu.
6. Fix Your Sleeping PositionYou may not realize it over the course of the night, but your sleeping position could not be great for your body—or the quality of shuteye you get. Find out which sleeping style is best for you, and make a conscious effort to fix it when you go to bed, and you'll wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning.
5. Cool Yourself Off at NightCooling down your body temperature makes a huge difference in how easy it is to fall asleep, but that can be hard to do when it's hot outside (or when your significant other has body temperature nearing the surface of the sun). From DIY air conditioners to cooling pillows to more extreme methods, we've got the lowdown on staying cool while you sleep. Just make sure you don't wake up freezing in the morning—that's never a fun way to start the day. Photo by Rob.
4. Get the Perfect Amount of SleepNot everyone needs the same exact amount of sleep, but with a little trial and error, you should find your sweet spot pretty easily. Count back 7.5 hours from when you need to wake up, and make sure you get to bed at that time—then adjust accordingly. Of course, you could also try a webapp like Sleepyti.me to help you calculate the perfect number of hours, too.
3. Learn to Nap Like a ProIf you feel yourself getting drowsy during the day, you might be tempted to nap—but that can be disastrous for your sleep schedule if done incorrectly.Learn to master the power nap, then calculate the best time to nap and crank one out then (if you have a hammock, all the better). And, if you really want to make the most of your naps, try a caffeine nap to reboot your brain in the middle of the day. Photo by Dion Hinchcliffe.
2. Cultivate the Perfect Evening RoutineAs the end of the day rolls around, you should be winding yourself down for bed to get the best sleep possible. If you really want to fall asleep easily, take some time to cultivate the perfect evening routine—some light reading, a nice bubble bath, andsomething that doesn't involve a backlit screen—to fall asleep quickly and keep your energy up the next day. Photo by Chelsea Oakes.
1. Get Some Help From TechnologyIf your sleep cycle seems beyond repair, you might need to get some outside help...from our favorite therapist, technology. From cheap methods like sleep tracking apps to full-on sleep tracking gadgets like the Wakemate, we've tested a number of technological sleep aids and found them to be rather helpful. If you're really motivated, you can reboot your entire sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve, and your midday self will thank you for it.
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