Amid all of the miracle-promising beauty treatments marketed to us daily, it can be helpful (especially for our wallets) to remember than no potion or lotion is more powerful or effective than the simple act of sleeping. It’s called beauty rest for a reason: The effects of sleep on our skin and overall appearance are innumerable. However, quality zzz’s can be even more elusive than whatever Jennifer Lopez is doing to look the way she does, leaving many of us so desperate for rest that we’ll try absolutely anything to knock ourselves out. Here, 6 surprising things that actually work (Xanax not included).
Sleep In Socks
While cool temps are most conducive to good sleep—between 60 and 67 degrees is optimal—warming your feet dilates the blood vessels, which sends a signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
Drink Tart Cherry Juice (Or Eat Tart Cherries)
Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, and some studies show that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks can increase sleep time for insomniacs by 90 minutes. For optimal results, eat or drink the cherries one hour before bedtime.
Wear Sunglasses After 4PM
As a general rule, the less sun you see, the more melatonin you make. So while we don’t suggest living like a vampire all day every day, we do suggest you slip on shades any time you step outside after 4PM.
Ditch The Mint
Studies show that peppermint actually activates the brain, so nighttime brushing is best done with non mint-flavored toothpastes. Try Marvis’ Licorice Amarelli Toothpaste or a child’s toothpaste like Tom’s of Maine’s Silly Strawberry.
Stand On Your Head
Headstands stimulate the pineal gland, which is responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. This yoga pose is also purported to calm the brain.
See A Shrink
Or, more specifically, a cognitive behavioral therapist. Anxiety and depression are common causes of insomnia, and cognitive behavioral therapy is proven to be as effective as medication in treating them.