10 Hacks to Help You Get Better Sleep
Your complete guide to getting the best sleep ever, so you can wake up feeling energetic and refreshed — every day.
10 Minutes a Day
Watch the sunset and sunrise daily. Even if you are able to only take a 10-minute walk as the sun is setting, this is a very powerful way to enhance melatonin secretion. Once you are waking up earlier, also watch the first 10 minutes of the sunrise. If you do this, your brain will initiate a chain of biochemical reactions to support your natural daily cycles. Not sure of the timing? Just google sunset and sunrise times.
An easy way to prevent jet lag is to watch the sunset and sunrise for the first 24-48 hours in your new destination.
Drink This Not That
Cherry juice increases the level of melatonin secreted at night and promotes sleep cycles. By drinking only a tenth of an ounce of pure cherry juice, volunteers in that study noticed that their time asleep increased by 25 minutes after one week.
For those of you who thought that a glass of alcohol would help you sleep, think again. Studies show that alcohol messed with the chemicals in your brain and lightens your sleep, reducing both REM and deep sleep. On other words, the quality of your sleep will be poor, and you’re likely to wake up a lot. If you drink a lot, it can trigger sleep apnea, where your brain fails to tell your lungs to breathe! I know this one’s tough, but try not to drink too much before bed.
I assume it goes without saying that caffeine is not your friend. Even drinking coffee in the morning eventually changes your brain chemistry (hence, withdrawal symptoms) and messes with your body’s rhythms. Drink relaxing organic caffeine-free herbal teas instead, like chamomile. Definitely don’t have any caffeine after 4pm, as its effects last up to 6 hours and can make it hard to get restful sleep.
And speaking of food and its effects on sleep, it’s very important to avoid heavy meals before bedtime, since they can lead to indigestion and acid reflux, and they keep your body busy while it’s supposed to be busy regenerating overnight. Instead, make lunch your big meal, and have something light and plant-based for dinner.