Tips for a good night’s sleep

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

As my eyes become uncontrollably heavy at my desk, I can’t help but think to myself, “If only I had slept better last night!” Coffee runs and energy drinks may help you fuel up during the day, but to provide a cheaper and healthier solution, consider these tips for a better night’s sleep.  

1. Make your room as dark as possible. Tip: Roll the rollӓden down, if you have this luxury. If not, buy an eye mask.

2. Invest in a sound machine that imitates sounds of the ocean, nature or anything that will put you in a Zen mood.

3. Keep an essential oil kit on your nightstand. Aromatherapy induces calmness produced by biochemical levels.

4. Limit caffeine intake and drink something soothing such as chamomile tea before bed... but not right before bed as that can cause trips to the restroom in the middle of the night.

5. Disconnect and unplug from technology at least two hours before hitting the pillow.

6. Eat a light snack that contains low glycemic index carbohydrates such as bananas, blueberries or sourdough toast.

7. Try a breathing technique known as the “4-7-8 trick.” Inhale through your nose for a count of four and hold this breath for seven counts and exhale slowly for another count of eight.

8. Lower the room temperature. My boyfriend and I always fight about this, but he’s irritatingly right. It’s suggested to keep the room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. (15-19 degrees Celsius)

9. Set a sleep schedule, no matter the hard demands of your life.

10. Avoid naps during the day so you can sleep through the night.

11. Eat tryptophan-rich foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, seeds, oats and eggs for breakfast. This amino acid is transformed into serotonin in the brain and is then converted to melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone.

12. Adjust your sleep position. Tip: Side sleepers are linked to better sleeping.

13. Incorporate practicing acupressure during your bedtime routine. Simply apply pressure for 1 to 5 minutes to each acupoint. Rumor has it this form of Chinese medicine can produce melatonin.

14. Read a book. If you’re not into reading, read a boring manual to help you get tired.

15. Take a warm bath or shower and wash your stressors down the drain.

Practicing these methods will not only get you to sleep longer but also smarter. Ditch the venti coffee with all the syrups and catch some Z’s the right way.

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