7 Ways To Get The Best Night’s Sleep Of Your Life

You’ll never need to count sheep again.

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1. Unwind Early To Fall Asleep Faster

If you know you need to get to bed by 10 p.m. you won’t be able to fall asleep by moving at high speed until 9:55. Shut down the television, and put away your phone and tablet or any other high-stimulus activities at least 30, and ideally 60, minutes before sleep. Allow your mind to shift gears from work mode to sleep mode.

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2. Say No To Coffee

Your body is a great big machine that stays revved up as long as you give it food and drink to metabolize. For this reason, avoid big meals at night. Eat dinner earlier and avoid heavy, fatty foods or any food you know could bother you later.

To get a good night’s sleep, it’s also important to limit your alcohol intake. It may help you fall asleep faster but it reduces the quality of your sleep and you’ll likely wake up at 2:30 a.m. with a dry mouth and headache.

Cut down on caffeine. Some people can have sleep problems from caffeine they drank ten hours ago! Why not switch to water or herbal tea after lunch?

Be sure to hydrate, but not too late. If you drink lots of tea, juice or water into the evening there’s a good chance you’ll be up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break.

There are hundreds of reasons to quit smoking, and sleep trouble is one of them. That nasty nicotine is a stimulant that will keep you awake longer and since you may experience nicotine withdrawal through the night it will affect your sleep. Besides, smoking is no way to start your day.

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3. Relax With A Bedtime Ritual

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If you find it difficult to shut off the stress of the day, try slowing down with a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation. Take a hot bath or sip on a warm cup of chamomile tea. Do a five minute meditation routine, listen to some calming music or meditate. Make simple plans for the next day. Read or do a favorite hobby. Lower the lights to induce production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall, and stay, asleep. Every small effort you make in the direction of calm will add quality to your sleepy time.

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4. Set A Sleep Schedule

Yes, you’re an adult and should be allowed to stay up as long as you like, but unless you are free to sleep in endlessly that behavior will catch up with your energy levels if it hasn’t already.

You’ve got a good idea how many hours of sleep your body really needs to work at its best. Why not see how it actually makes you feel?

Ideally you’ll choose the same bedtime every night so your body gets into a routine. Get to bed early enough that you consistently get enough rest and before long you’ll be waking up refreshed and energized before your alarm clock.

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5. Avoid Napping In The Late Afternoon

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Be cautious about napping during the day. It can be a great way to recharge or catch up on sleep but if you nap too late in the day you may have trouble sleeping at night. If a nap is necessary, keep it to less than 30 minutes in the early afternoon.

If your evening television vigil often ends with you snoring on the sofa, beware! Fight the urge to nod off. If it’s near bedtime go to bed. If it’s still early get up and do something mildly reviving. Pack your workout gear and make your healthy lunch for tomorrow, call your mom, put away the dishes. That late night nap will cut the edge off your fatigue just enough to leave you staring at the ceiling at bedtime.

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6. Clear Your Head

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A quick journaling session at the end of the day is a great way to clear your head of worrying thoughts or lingering to-do’s. Before lights out, allow yourself a few minutes to write down all your stressors: a work problem, a conflict with someone, a financial worry-and maybe even one or two steps you can take toward resolving the stress. Before you put the journal away write down at least three things you are grateful for. Put your stress to rest so you can have rest success.

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7. Use Calming Scents

Aromatherapy oils like chamomile, juniper, lavender, marjoram, rose and sandalwood all have a sedative effect when inhaled. Rub a wee bit on the insides of your wrists or on your temples and breathe in the relaxing fragrance as you drift into dreamland.

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