If you do everything right each night—you know, going to bed early and avoiding drinking—your body’s internal clock should wake you up at the same time every morning. For the rest of us, here are seven simple ways to a better night’s sleep:
1) Charge your BlackBerry in the Living Room
Having too many tech toys in the bedroom makes your mind associate the room with productivity, not relaxation. “You want your brain to know that when you’re in bed, that’s a place for sleep and sleep only,” says Philip Gehrman, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a specialist in sleep medicine. If nothing else, put that bad boy on silent mode. Whatever e-mails you get can wait until dawn.
2) Be Cool
You think it’s too hot, and she’s always too cold. Since she’ll probably sleep with an extra blanket no matter what the room temperature, lower the thermostat to just about our ideal comfort level, and let her layer as necessary. “You can always add more blankets on one side,” says Gehrman. “It’s harder to cool off.” Another option: Invest in a dual-weight comforter, which has heavier down in one side than the other.
3) Go Mattress Shopping
Talk about something being worth your hard-earned cash. Studies show that 47% of people lose at least three hours of sleep per week due to their partner’s snoring, tossing and turning, and insomnia. If her restless sleep keeps you up, buy a new mattress, says Gehrman. Your bed should be big and stable enough so that her movements don’t disrupt your side of the bed.
4) Do it Sideways
You don’t have to sacrifice sleep because your girl needs to cuddle. Lay in the classic spoon position to give her the contact she needs and you the sleep you crave. There might be even more benefits. “If you’re sleeping on a good-quality mattress and pillow, the position has actually been shown to help lower stress levels while boosting intimacy,” says Jodi Fidler, a chiropractor and sleep expert at Davis Chiropractic in Minneapolis.
5) Go Old-School Clock
Staring all night at the glowing digital display while you’re trying to fall asleep can jack up your stress levels and keep you up. So trade your digital clock for an old-fashioned one with hands. That way, when the lights go out, you can’t tell what time it is. Unless of course, you’re crawling into bed at the crack of dawn. In which case, you’re pretty much screwed anyway—at least when it comes to sleep.
6) Never Fall Asleep in Front of the Television
Proper head and neck alignment is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. The only way to get enough support is with a good pillow and the ability to stretch your body out fully. Angling yourself to watch the last moments of your favorite show simply won’t do. Shut the set off and go lie down.
7) Stop Snoozing
Hitting the snooze button might seem like an easy way to get more shut-eye, but those extra minutes are not enough time for you to return to a deep, relaxing sleep. If you find that you can’t get outta bed when the alarm goes off, try setting it for when you really want to get up.
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