Why can’t we just fall asleep (and stay asleep) on weeknights and arise feeling great when the alarm goes off? And an even better question: Why must our bodies insist on waking up early on weekends when we actually have the time to stay in bed? It’s all very confusing. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up the best ways to get your internal clock on the right track for good. Here, your ultimate guide to sleeping and waking up when you’re supposed to.
Get Techy With It
While technology right before bed is a bad idea, there is an exclusion to the rule (no, its sadly not Netflix). This genius lightbulb has twenty light settings to help your body fall asleep and wake on its own. Consider it the perfect upgrade to your nightstand lamp, not to mention a high-tech replacement for your trusty alarm clock. The best part is it's compatible with your smartphone, Fitbit, Google Fit account and other activity trackers.
Read this for more sleep-improving gadgets.
Try Breathing Techniques
Don't knock it till you try it. While it may take some practice, this three-step breathing technique has been shown to be effective. If nothing else, use it to calm yourself in times of stress—there's nothing more sleep-inducing than a good relaxation session.
1. Breathe in for four seconds. 2. Hold breath for seven seconds. 3. Slowly breathe out for eight seconds.
Read this for more natural ways to get a better sleep.
Give Your Bedroom A Refresh
A bedroom makeover may be just what you need to sleep more soundly. You're supposed to replace your mattress approximately every eight years—chances are you're due for a new one. Double curtains (sheer panels for days you need the sun to wake you up early and energy-saving panels for the days you want to shut out light and sleep in longer) are the best investment to help train your sleep patterns. A cozy duvet doesn't hurt either.
Read this to create the perfect sleep haven.
Eat Foods That Make You Sleepy
This may surprise you, but tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks can increase sleep time by 90 minutes. For optimal results, eat or drink the cherries one hour before bedtime.
Read this for other surprising ways to fall asleep faster.
Commit To A Healthier Lifestyle
An hour of exercise in the evening will lower your cortisol (a stress hormone). Remember: Less stress, less insomnia. Also, working out late in the day helps you fall asleep faster and slumber longer. If all else fails, give this fad a try.
Read this for more ways sleep can help you look and feel better.