Sleep hacks to guarantee you a good night’s sleep!

gkarti

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#1
Most people struggle to sleep at times, but following one or two of these bedtime tricks should give you a whole lot more shut-eye.




Say hello to cherries.


They’re one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps control your sleeping cycle as well as regulating other hormones in your body, reports Women’s Health. Other food sources include olive oil and tomatoes.




Eat carbs before bed.


A study at Yamaguchi University in Japan found that eating a carbohydrate-rich snack in the evening can help reset your circadian clock (the internal body clock that regulates your sleep cycles). Just remember that it needs to be snack-sized and not a whole meal’s worth.
 

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#2


Have a glass of milk.


Vitamin B6 is one of the most important vitamins in our bodies but a deficiency in it can cause sleep problems and lead to insomnia, according to Whole Health Chicago. Wholegrain foods such as porridge, rice or crackers are some of the best food sources – but milk has calcium in it that helps you get a good night’s sleep, too.





Stock up on almonds.


Along with green leafy veg, it’s one of the best sources of magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in sleep. It’s also a powerful muscle relaxant and has been proven to de-stress.
 

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#3


Turn the lights down.


A study published in the journal Current Biology found that people sleep better when camped outside as our bodies are more in tune with the natural light from the sun. Obviously not the most practical of ideas, so instead open the curtains as soon as you wake up – and turn off the lights when the sun has set (or at least turn them down).




And while you’re there, turn your phone off too.


Artificial light from smartphones and tech devices frequently cause people to not get a proper night’s sleep, according to a study published in the journal Nature. Get your culture fix by reading a novel tucked up in bed instead.
 

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#4


Make a routine.


We’re all guilty of a weekend lie-in to ‘catch-up’ with sleep lost in the week – but setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it (even at weekends!) will help you fall asleep. If worst comes to worst and you really are knackered, try not to deviate by more than an hour later from your regular wake-up call.





Cut out the caffeine.


Drinking it up to six hours before bedtime can disrupt sleep and cut out up to an hour of shut-eye, according to a study at Wayne State University in the US. Sip on a herbal tea or mug of hot chocolate instead.
 

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#5


Chill out.


Your body drops to its lowest temperature about four hours into your sleep, so having a cool room and a lower core body temperature helps mimic this temperature drop before you go to sleep. Open a window, invest in a fan, lay a damp flannel on your pillow – do whatever you need to stay cool.




But cover up your hands and feet.


Ever wondered why you can’t get to sleep when you’re covered in a blanket with your feet hanging off the side? It’s because cold hands and feet could be a result of poor blood flow, resulting in tiredness. Invest in a pair of warm, fluffy socks to combat this.
 

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#6


Love lavender.


It’s not just an urban myth – research has shown that calming lavender oil can help with sleep problems. Take a soothing bath before bed or spray it onto your pillow as you go to sleep.




Give up sleeping – temporarily.


If you can’t fall asleep within half an hour of going to bed, scientists recommend getting up and making yourself tired again before going back to bed. Trying reading a book – but don’t turn the telly on.
 

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#7


Exercise in the morning.


A study in the journal Sleep found that women who exercised for 30 minutes in the morning, seven times a week, slept better than those who didn’t exercise or exercised in the evening. Doing exercise in the evening means it takes six hours for your body temperature to cool back down.




Drown out noise.


To filter out unwanted sounds (and city dwellers will be accustomed to the numerous sirens that go off every night) invest in a sound machine or sleep with a fan on – killing two birds with one stone.
 

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#8


Calm down.


If your room is a mess, you’re worried about money, you’ve just argued with your friend and you really just can’t relax, try writing down your worries to get them off your chest.




Time your sleep.


To get the best night’s sleep, you need to wake up at the end of a cycle – waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle will leave you restless and tired. Cycles typically last 90 minutes, so count back 90 minutes back from when you want to wake up and that’s when you need to fall asleep.
 

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#9


Use your phone (just this once).


If you find you keep waking up in between cycles i.e. you feel like you have literally put your head down on your pillow and woken back up again, you could try the aptly named app ‘Sleep Cycle’ which is supposed to wake you up at the end of a sleep cycle.




Light some candles.


A study at Yale University found that there are certain scents that can help people calm down before bed – namely lavender and sandalwood. Spiced apple was also found to lower blood pressure and make you feel more relaxed. Candles also don’t emit any blue light so they can be used for practical reasons too.
 

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#10


Meditate.


It’s been proven to help beat insomnia - you don’t even need to do it for more than half an hour to see results. If you meditate regularly, it can also help increase the amount of vivid dreams you have. A really simple technique is counting your breaths, so slowly breathe in while thinking ‘one’, then slowly breathe out while thinking ‘two’, and so on, until you reach 50.




Clean your sheets.


A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that nearly three quarters of people sleep better on fresh sheets. Wash them, dry them, change them – but get it done before bedtime and you may notice a difference in your sleep quality.
 

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