Buy a new mattress, get a handle on your stress, eat better: It’s not always so easy to change your habits so you get a good night’s sleep each and every time your head hits the pillow, but these four tips may help you ease into a better sleep schedule, starting tonight.
Signal Your Body to Slow Down
Something as simple as incorporating bedtime rituals into your routine can help signal your body to slow down for sleep. Not sure where to start? Try listening to soft music or sip a cup of herbal tea to give your body cues to end the day.
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Snack to Relax
Light bedtime snacks can help relax your body and prepare it for sleep. An amino acid called tryptophan—which is found in such foods as milk, turkey and peanuts—helps the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that helps you relax.
Load Up on Lavender
You’ve probably heard this one, but it’s actually backed by science. When choosing skin-care and bath products that promote relaxation, as well as a good night’s sleep, look for those that contain lavender essential oils. “Placebo-controlled studies show lavender has a very good effect on sleep—it not only helps you fall asleep, but it helps you reach a deeper sleep,” explains Michael Breus, author of Beauty Sleep.
Sure, they can make your space smell good, but Rose Heart, certified master aromatherapist and founder of Organic Infusions, suggests spraying a hydrosol, an aromatic water made from distilled plants, right on your pillowcase or sheets so you inhale the calming aromas throughout the night (again, she recommends looking to lavender in particular, because it can relax muscles and release nervous tension and stress from the body). “Unlike essential oils, hydrosols can be used directly on your skin,” she says.
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