Use this wind-down routine from Dr Peter Cistulli, head of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, to set yourself up for better sleep, you’ll also be able to get to sleep faster once hitting the pillow.
One hour before bedtime
Lose the laptop: Abnormal bright light from computer screens late at night pushes sleep from your brain, says Dr Cistulli. “It causes your mind to start buzzing.”
Dim to doze: Dim the lights in your house before you hit the sack and it will allow you to sleep faster. “Manipulating light exposure can help reset the body clock,” he says.
Lose the anxiety: Instead of lying awake thinking about falling asleep, grab a pad and jot down things that are troubling you.
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Drink warm milk: “The tryptophan promotes sleep,” says Dr Cistulli.
Have a hot bath: It boosts your core temperature, says Dr Cistulli. The drop in temperature after you get out simulates the decrease you experience when you sleep.
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10 minutes to go…
Fine-tune your thermostat: During REM sleep, your ability to regulate temperature drops off. “We become like reptiles,” says Dr Cistulli. With blankets allowing you to regulate heat more precisely than a duvet.
Hit the books – or the headboard: It’s important to establish a ritual for yourself every night. So, readers, read. Shaggers? Shag. “When it becomes a habit, it’s an unconscious cue to go to sleep.”
The last five…
Count it out: Had your worry session but still stressing? According to the doc, you should count backward from 300 by threes. “It activates different parts of your brain and helps distract you from stressful thoughts,” he says.
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This article was originally published on www.mh.co.za
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