If you’re one of those people who usually gets a good night’s sleep and wakes up refreshed and ready to tackle the day, congratulations. We hate you and wish a pox upon your house.
But if you’re like AJ and Hillary and about a third of Americans, sleep can be an illusive beast at the best of times and damn near mythical during the worst of times.
So, if sleep issues plague you, you’re in
questionable good company.
But Feed Me Goddesses, you might say, if so many people struggle to get to and stay asleep, maybe it’s just too common a problem to really give much attention to.
Oh, sleepy friend, your exhaustion is clearly clouding your thinking.
Turns out, a lack of good, quality sleep does more than just make you feel like a pile of lukewarm dog turds in the morning. It also has serious health implications, like weight gain, depression, anxiety, memory and cognitive issues, decreased sex drive, suicidal thoughts, high blood pressure, heart disease … yeah, it’s a long and alarming list that’s enough to make you lose sleep over (oh yeah, we went there).
Both AJ and Hillary struggle fairly regularly with sleep issues, often in the form of insomnia. So, they put together a list of 10 tips that help them catch a few more of those sweet, sweet zzzzzzzs.
None of these is a cure all, and they don’t work all the time. But if you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying that way, give ‘em a shot.
- Drop It Like It’s … Cold: Keep your room on the cooler side. A lot of experts say about 65 degrees at night is ideal for getting good sleep. But since everyone’s body chemistry varies, shoot for a range between 60-67 degrees.
- Bullet Points Before Beddybye: Make a list of all the things that are stressing you out or that you have to do the next day or that you don’t want to forget. Get all the shit out on paper so your brain doesn’t get stuck on a loop trying to remind you how stressful your life is.
- Natural Sleep Supplements: Some people swear by sleep supplements, while others don’t have luck with them or don’t appreciate the morning-after side effects. But if you’re thinking of giving a supplement a whirl (after talking to your doctor, of course), OLLY gummies, one of AJ’s current faves, may be worth trying. They contain a nice combo of natural ingredients like passionflower, L-Theanine, and melatonin, and lemon balm. Also, they’re nummy in the tummy. (Shut up! You grow up!)
- CBD? Yes, please: The research about cannabidiol is still lacking right now. But there are some indications that CBD can be helpful in treating different health alignments, including treating insomnia.
- Magnesium for Your Sleepisium: It seems a lot of adults are magnesium deficient, especially women. Increasing your magnesium could keep you healthy in other ways, not just by helping get some more shuteye.
- Weighted Blankets: Yeah, it sounds weird. Sure, just go ahead and throw an extra 15 to 20 pounds of weight on top of yourself at night. But of all the things Hillary’s tried, it’s the one that’s made the biggest difference in her quality of sleep.
- Slow Your Roll: Regular exercise is a great way to improve your sleep. Just make sure not to get that heart rate up too high too close to bed. Hillary usually finds that it’s best to avoid working out at least two hours before it’s night-night time.
- Put Down the Booze: You might think a nightcap will help you have a better night’s sleep. But the opposite is actually true. Though a glass of wine might make you feel sleepy, it’ll likely disrupt your sleep in the later part of the night and seems to have a greater impact on REM sleep. This one makes Hillary sad.
- Tell Yourself a Bedtime Story: “A 2009 study from researchers at University of Sussex showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% …” As if books weren’t magical enough. Just make sure if you’re reading on a tablet that you’ve got something to block the blue light, as that can negatively impact your sleepy-sleep.
- Beware of Nap Time: Sleep deprivation can be a vicious cycle. You don’t get a good night’s sleep, so you take a nap the next day. But while short naps have a lot of health benefits, don’t catnap for too long. Long naps can disrupt your nighttime sleep patterns.
What’s your sleep success story? Have you found anything that works on the regular, or are you still struggling to feel rested in the morning. Tell us about your path to passed-out in the comments!