If you’ve ever lived with someone who snores, you know firsthand how a lack of sleep can negatively affect your day. You are tired, irritable and not functioning at your best. This goes for anyone missing out on some much needed reprieve – snoring or not. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re getting the perfect amount of sleep for your body, whether it’s creating the most comfortable bedroom or having a melatonin-rich evening snack. Mental Floss and Cheribundi have teamed up to share these six simple tips—all backed by science—to increase and improve your rest.
Imagine walking into a calm, cool room at night, surrounded by soothing colors and floating on a cloud of pillows, blankets and a super comfy bed. It sounds like heaven – and it can be your reality. If you make your bedroom a haven for sleep, your brain will begin to realize that it’s time to sleep as soon as you walk through the door. Set the temperature to about 65°F, the optimal temperature for sleeping. Paint the walls a color that relaxes you. Put electronics away. Keep your room tidy and use the mattress, pillows and blankets that you find most comfortable. Your bedding should be made of breathable natural fibers. Then you’ll be counting down the minutes until bedtime.
We all know we shouldn’t drink a ton of caffeine before bed, but avoiding alcohol is also a good idea. That glass of wine might make you feel relaxed in the short term, but overall, it will put a damper on your REM cycle. When it comes to food, don’t go to bed too full or on a completely empty stomach. If you’re full or hungry, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep because you’re uncomfortable. Eat a small snack before bed if you need it and try not to eat too much for dinner or have it too late.
You don’t need to I am sunbathing sunbathe, but try to get at least some natural sunlight in the morning after you wake up. Natural light suppresses melatonin, so a little exposure to the sun’s rays will help you start your day fresh and banish any lingering drowsiness from sleep. As it falls later in the day, try to avoid being out in the sunlight for long periods of time so you don’t discourage your body from making melatonin in preparation for sleep. Sun in the morning also helps you stay more awake throughout the day, which means you’ll be better prepared for sleep by the time you go to bed.
Throwing in 300 crunches right before bed is definitely not conducive to rest, so work exercise time into your morning or early afternoon routine. Studies show that an exercise routine during the day improves the quality of your sleep that night—but don’t feel like you have to start hitting the gym every day for an hour if you don’t normally exercise. You can do small things to add more physical activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator to work or walking to the grocery store and carrying your bags back instead of driving. Also, make sure to get up for a few minutes at least once an hour. don’t sit at your desk all day without a break. A less sedentary lifestyle is your ticket to a restful night.
Melatonin is a bit of a buzzword with sleep, but that’s for a good reason: It works. The hormone, produced in the pineal gland, has an almost hypnotic effect, lowering your body temperature and calming you down, creating the optimal mental and physiological state for sleep. Even if you work the night shift, melatonin can help you sleep—no matter where the sun is in the sky. Melatonin is sold in supplements and you can add foods that have it to your diet for dinner. Tart cherries have one of the highest concentrations of melatonin of any fruit (and are one of the few fruits where it occurs naturally). Nuts, eggs and fish are other great choices.
If we can learn anything from kids, it’s that a bedtime ritual helps us sleep. Set yourself a regular bedtime, and then about an hour before you want to sleep, start relaxing. You don’t need someone to tuck you in and read you a story (unless you really like it), but try turning off your phone (it emits blue light that disrupts your circadian rhythms), drinking a cup of herbal tea, or reading. Almost any activity that helps your mind wind down from the day would be a good choice.
A good night’s sleep is vital to your physical and mental health—and one way to get the rest your body needs is with the help of melatonin. Cheribundi tart cherry juice it’s packed with this powerful antioxidant, which is scientifically proven to promote deeper, more restful sleep. In addition to melatonin, tart cherries also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that studies have shown reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise. Cheribundi was founded 20 years ago and is used by nearly 400 professional and collegiate sports teams in the US today.