Sleep on It

Here are 15 ways to get a better sleep tonight — or any night!

  1. Drink tea: Herbal tea can help you relax before bedtime.
  2. Read a book: Meander your way through a favorite book to help power down from a hectic day.
  3. Put away the tablet: The blue light from tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it’s day, so turn off gadgets 30 minutes before you need to go to sleep.
  4. Have a snack: Honey, nuts and dairy all contain compounds that may induce sleep.
  5. Stretch it out: Stretching relieves aches, but it can also calm you and prep you for sleep.
  6. Meditate: Clearing your mind allows you to drift off to sleep.
  7. Hide the light: Electronics, alarm clocks and street lamps can prevent deep sleep. Cover anything that’s contributing to light pollution.
  8. Take a warm shower: A warm bath or shower can soothe muscles; it’s also great if you’re suffering from a cold or allergies.
  9. Exercise: Expend your energy for the day with exercise, and you’ll be ready to drift off to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
  10. Eat an earlier dinner: Going to sleep with a full stomach can make lying down uncomfortable. Go with an earlier, lighter dinner.
  11. Soothe with smell: Lavender and tea tree oil are soothing scents; add a few drops of these essential oils to your sheets.  
  12. De-stress: Worrying keeps you up; learn to take time out to de-stress, both during the day and before bed to clear your mind.
  13. Try a natural remedy: Many people swear by the supplements melatonin and valerian for helping you get to sleep naturally.  
  14. Stop your afternoon coffee breaks: Caffeine affects people differently, but if tossing and turning correlates to your afternoon coffee run, now’s the time to stop.
  15. Have a routine: Taking time to wind down at night can help you prep your body and mind for a good night’s sleep. Pick a few items from this list to make a pre-bedtime routine.  

Adapted from “These 20 Tips Will Have You Asleep in No Time.” RSS. 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

Optimize Your Nap

  • The power nap: A 10- to 20-minute nap is considered the best type of nap to get straight back to work.
  • The NASA nap: This 26-minute nap has been proven by scientists to improve alertness by 54 percent. Try it during a long day of classes and homework.
  • The bad nap: A 30-minute nap causes “sleep inertia,” also known as a sleep hangover, for up to 30 minutes before the benefits of the nap kick in. It is best to avoid this type of nap if possible.
  • The slow-wave sleep nap: A one-hour nap helps cognitive memory processing and remembering places, faces and facts. This type of nap is best before a big presentation.
  • The full sleep cycle nap: A 90-minute nap helps creativity, emotional memory and procedural memory. This type of nap is best before an impending project deadline or a big exam.   

The ideal time to nap is between 1 and 4 p.m. The best position to nap in is lying down, but slightly upright, as to avoid deep sleep.

Adapted From “Master the Art of Napping.” TotalBeauty. 17 June 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.