Do you toss and turn all night? You can be a super sleeper starting tonight – no prescription pills or counting sheep required. Here are a few natural ways to get more sleep:
Sleep secret #1: Hit the treadmill before bed. A study found that volunteers who exercised for half an hour at night fell asleep drastically faster and slept more deeply than those who didn’t exercise. The key is working out 2 hours before bedtime, because exercise in the evening raises your body temperature, then cools you down faster than normal after you finish, which can stimulate your sleep hormones.
Then, let your iPod help lull you to sleep by reading you an audio bedtime story! Dr. Lisa Shives is a medical expert for Sleepbetter.org. She says that a lot of people try to fall asleep by reading a paperback, but they often get engrossed in the story and end up staying up even later! But listening to a relaxing story should make you fall sleep in under 20 minutes. That’s because, listening to a story is more soothing than focusing on reading. It may even kick in your sense-memory from childhood, when your parents read you to sleep. And listening to a story can help shut out anxious thoughts that can keep you awake. Just don’t pick a murder mystery – pick something relaxing like a biography.
And the final snooze secret is for caffeine addicts! Download the free app Caffeine Zone 2 Lite. It was developed by Penn State researchers, and you enter how many coffees or energy drinks you’ve had, and it predicts when you can expect the caffeine to wear off enough to let you fall asleep.