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Sleeping Tips for A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep Tips from the Mattress Experts:

1. The grapefruit may have a lot of health benefits but it is not at all good for your sleep. Citrus fruits like these are also known to increase acidity in the stomach, which can, again, keep you up at night. So, it is not only spicy, fatty or heavy meals that are the only culprits.

2. Just like greasy foods, spicy food like chili can trigger heartburn if you sleep shortly after eating it. The change in body temperature induced by a spicy meal was also considered a culprit in sleep deprivation from spicy foods.

3. Alcohol is known to disrupt your sleep, in later stages. So, even if you think you can doze off after that glass of wine, you will be waking up later that night. Recent research suggests that it is the sleep in the later part of the night that is important to maintain your memory and motor skills. So, do yourself a favor and skip alcohol

4. A 20- to 40-minute nap during the day will actually help you sleep better at night. It prevents you from ingesting caffeine, helps you relax, makes you feel more alert during the day, and, hence, less anxious at night before you go to bed. But don’t doze off for too long. You have to keep the nap less than 40 minutes so that you don’t fall into slow-wave sleep, If you do, you will experience sleep inertia and this will impact your nightly sleep.

5. Sip a Cup of Tea. Humans have been using tea to overcome insomnia for over two thousand years. Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free and help you relax through a combination of aromatherapy and natural sleep-inducing chemicals. Try teas infused with valerian root, which has mild sedative properties. Also try drinking chamomile, lavender, or lemon balm teas before bed.

6. Watch your chocolate intake before bed! Dark chocolate can also sabotage your sleep, although different chocolates have an effect on your sleeping pattern, in varying degrees. A chocolate bar could contain an equal amount of caffeine as a soda, so, if you feel like having a bite, keep it just that – a bite otherwise the sleep will elude you.

7. Coffee stays in your system long after you have had it. So, even if you are not drinking coffee right before bedtime, it can still cause trouble. Experts say that drinking a coffee in evening as well can keep you awake at night. So, stick to coffee only in the mornings.

8. Take a Bedtime Bath. You can soak away the stress of the day and prepare yourself for a restful sleep with a nice, calm, relaxing bath. Add lavender essential oils, which can enhance the already calming properties of a bath. Herbal bath blends, like Lush Dreamtime, help you sleep and moisturize your skin.

9. When you sit down to a family meal this weekend remember that what you eat effects how you sleep. Your body is unable to digest food in sleep and since protein takes a long time to break down, it is advisable to avoid that steak late at night. In fact, eating a meat-heavy meal at night spells trouble. You can go for lighter options like fish and chicken but skip the steak if you want a sound sleep.

10. Try Acupuncture. Acupuncture pinpoints the root of your sleeping woes, literally. High stress, high anxiety, and digestive disorders are all culprits of insomnia, and are luckily all curable via this practice. In Chinese medicine, there are many patterns or reasons that can lead to insomnia. These patterns are based on an individual’s unique pulse and tongue diagnosis. Acupuncture combined with Chinese herb remedies can address the root of stress and anxiety, as well as aid in digestion.

11. Watch Your Diet . What you eat and how you digest it can affect how you sleep. Ruelle suggested eating an ounce of almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter about two hours before bed. “The protein in almonds will help keep blood sugar levels steady while you sleep,” she said. “And it’s believed that the magnesium in almonds may help you sleep soundly.” Weak digestion can make falling asleep difficult so Lee said to avoid eating large, heavy meals late in the evening. You should also stay away from foods that are difficult to digest, such as spicy chili, hot peppers, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. You can prevent indigestion, however, by snacking on a rice cake or yogurt.

12. Declutter Your Space. A clean space creates a clear mind. Don’t wait until the Spring to organize and declutter. Decrease stress by making sure everything has a space. Not only will this make it easier to unwind at night, it will also make getting ready in the morning easier, too!

13. Invest in a New Mattress. If you’ve been seeking a better night’s sleep, it may be time to invest in a new mattress. In general, guidelines recommend replacing mattresses every five to 10 years, depending on your age. If you are noticing troubling signs, like waking up with aches, a new mattress is likely a healthy solution.

14. Make Your Room Tech-Free. Although it can be tough to unplug, it’s important to allow yourself time to unwind from your tech. Separating work from relaxation will help you sleep better and decrease anxiety. Also, the artificial light emitted from tech devices suppresses the release of the sleep-producing hormone melatonin, preventing quality Zs.

15. Rearrange your bedroom. According to the principles of Feng Shui, even the way your furniture is arranged in your bedroom can affect the quality of your sleep. For example, seeing the door from your bed can help you relax, says Nicolette Vajtay, a certified Black-Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui practitioner and owner of Inspired Living Feng Shui.

16. Do you have a desk in your bedroom? You may want to relocate it. “A desk in the bedroom can make you feel like you are working all the time.” And while they may be sexy, mirrors in the bedroom can bounce too much energy, making it hard to unwind and rest at night, Vajtay says.

17. Check your color scheme. Even the color of your walls or bedding can influence the quality of your sleep. Calm, relaxing shades may help you calm your nervous system and nod off easier. “Choose a cool color scheme: blue, purple, gray, silver, green, neutrals—cool colors lower blood pressure and heart rate to help ensure a proper night’s sleep,” Radaj says. And even if you just love bright reds or orange hues, leave them out of the bedroom. “Too much fire color in a bedroom can create anxiety and restless sleep,” Vajtay says.

18. Pay attention to your other senses. While we typically focus on what we see in the bedroom, its also important to focus on what your other senses experience there as well, says Christine Lakas, an interior designer, producer, and set stylist for HGTV, DIY, and Fine Living Network, and owner of Premier Design. For instance, what do you hear in your bedroom? Ideally, the room should be quiet, but sound machines or relaxing music may help you nod off.

19. What about the smell of your bedroom? “Use diffusers, candles, or incense,” Lakas says. Lavender is known as a soothing scent. Lakas recommends adding a drop of a lavender essential oil to the light bulb of your reading lamp to help you relax before bed. (Avoid lemon and peppermint scents—or use them only in the morning—as they waken the senses, Lakas says). And pay attention to what sensations you feel: “Deep relaxation is successful when your skin is in contact with softness, so choose fabrics that are cozy (silks and soft cottons in a high-thread count) and use an area rug if you have hardwood floors—it’s warmer on your feet and reduces noise.”

20. Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool. “Make your bedroom as dark as possible—think cave-like,” says Dr. Catherine Darley, a naturopathic sleep specialist at The Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine in Seattle, Washington. “This includes light blocking shades, no LEDs on electronics, and no lit clock.” You want to avoid looking at the clock at night anyway, Darley says. “When people look at the time, they tend to do the math of how much sleep they can get and get upset if it won’t be enough sleep.”

21. Be sure to keep your room cool—but not cold—studies show that the optimal temperature for quality sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

22. Don’t wait until you feel sleepy to think “Hey, maybe it’s about time for bed.” It’s all too easy to keep yourself alert and busy way past the time that you should be asleep. Beware the dreaded second wind! If you insist that you’re quite wide awake at 1:00 a.m., test yourself: sit in a dim room with your head back for five minutes. How does it feel? Are you still wide awake? Along those lines…

23. Get ready before bed well ahead of time. I realized that, perversely, I often put off going to bed because I was too tired to take out my contacts, brush my teeth, and get changed. Now I get ready earlier in the evening. Side benefit: once I do these things, I’m less likely to head to snack. On a related note…

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