4 Sleep Hacks to Make Sure You Get Your Vitamin Zzz

What if we told you that one little change could reduce stress, help you lose weight and make you happier? And you don’t need any equipment. We’re not talking about some new miracle drug; we’re talking about sleep. Read on for easy tweaks that’ll help you get your all important vitamin zzz.

1. No caffeine after work.

Say no to that post-dinner cappuccino. Studies have found that caffeine can disrupt your body clock and that people who consume caffeine less than six hours before hitting the hay lose one hour of sleep on average. Avoid caffeine (including coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and pain relievers) for at least six hours before you head to bed. (Related: Find out if coffee or tea is healthier.)

2. Eat nuts in the evening.

Here’s yet another reason to spread almond butter on your toast or sprinkle walnuts on your salad: Both nuts contain melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle and helps you sleep more restfully. (Try our apple and raisin Open-Faced Sandwich with almond butter.)

3. Create a twilight zone.

You’ve already booted your TV from the bedroom – you know it’s for sleep and sex only – but there are a few upgrades you can do to make it even more relaxing. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool. Block out noise with a white noise machine or earplugs. Spring for blackout curtains or invest in an eyeshade. Find a comforter that keeps you at an ideal temperature, between 15 and 19°C. (Also, find out if a weighted blanket with cooling tech can help you sleep better.)

4. Make a daily ritual.

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day (yes, even on weekends) to set your circadian rhythm. Set a timer on your phone to start your daily wind-down and make it a luxe self-care sesh. Take a warm bath to relax your muscles, a soothing cup of herbal tea and a facial massage with a jade roller. (If your racing mind is the culprit, use mindfulness to get to sleep.)

Editor-approved products that’ll take you to dreamland:

sleep essentials

Made from eucalyptus fibre, this sustainably made, hypoallergenic comforter is designed to keep you cool.

Buffy Breeze Comforter, $170 to $250, buffy.co

sleep essentials

This blissful kit includes an eyeshade infused with lavender and camomile, calming oil blends and a lavender bath soak to lull you to sleep.

Saje Sleep Well Kit, $40, saje.com

sleep essentials

Choose from 22 types of soothing sounds – from ocean waves to classic fan noise – to mask noisy neighbours.

LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine, $50, soundofsleep.com

sleep essentials

A mix of passion flower, camomile flower and catnip herb (you read that right) promotes calm, restful sleep.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Tea, $6, well.ca

Next: 10 Natural Sleep Remedies That Actually Work

Originally Published in Best Health Canada