17 Ultimate Sleep Hacks
Simple tips to get you through a sleep-deprived day
When it comes to sleep, we’re own worst enemy. There’s always something that ranks higher on the scale than sleep. But the truth is, our choices are killing us. From long term health to daily bodily functions to simple happiness, how much sleep we get (or don’t get) every night affects us innumerable ways. We can’t cut corners on sleep and not have it affect us.
When your mom told you to “sleep on it,” or to “get your beauty sleep,” she wasn’t kidding. A lot of what we know about the basics of sleep is common sense – but is it possible to hack a good night’s sleep? To fool your body into feeling better when the night before was less than stellar?
If you’re struggling through your day, sleep-deprived and grumpy, try these sleep hacks to navigate your way through your day. And then plan to get to bed early tonight!
- Start with a cool shower – Cool water is like booster cables are to your stalled car. Make sure the cool (not cold) water hits you from your head to your toes to really wake you up.
- Add mint to your morning – Mint is a refresher so add it into your body wash, shampoo and toothpaste for a whole body wake-up.
- Add moisturizer liberally – Sleep deprivation dehydrates but moisturizer can fake a little glow in your cheeks. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing.
- Subtract puffiness – Dunk a couple of metal spoons in very cold water (or freeze them) and place under your eyes. Massage gently to reduce puffiness. Cold cucumber, used tea bags or a bag of frozen peas will work too.
- Sip your coffee, don’t chug it – Studies show that just 2 oz. of coffee per hour is enough to keep your system juiced up. Just remember, no coffee after 2 pm or you’ll be in for another sleepless night.
- Nosh on protein – When you’re tired, your body craves sugary, salty snacks but don’t do it. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast. Keep cravings at bay with a healthy balance of carbs, fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
- Dial down the thermostat – Being too warm can make you feel sluggish and tired but cooler air will wake you up.
- Soak up the sun – Sit near a bright window or take a stroll outside at lunch. Even if it’s cloudy outside, natural light wakes up the brain in ways indoor lighting can’t come close to.
- Move your body quickly – Running up a flight of stairs or doing a dozen jumping jacks will jump-start (pardon the pun) your system, reducing bloating and puffiness.
- Drink lots of water – Whether you drank alcohol the night before or not, sleep deprivation causes dehydration. Sip, sip, sip all day long – add ice to your drink to help increase alertness.
- Wash your hands with cool water – Cool water on your wrists cools your pulse points, which will leave you feeling refreshed. While you’re at it, splash cool water on your face and massage your temples.
- Grab a coffee and a quick nap – Drink a cup of coffee, close your eyes and nap for 20 minutes. When you wake up, the coffee will be hitting your bloodstream, giving you a boost that will last for hours.
Evening get-ready-for-sleep tips
- Just say no – Take a pass on coffee, caffeinated tea and chocolate tonight. If you’re going to drink alcohol, do it with a meal at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Prepare your sleep spa – Your bedroom should be an oasis of tranquility and relaxation. Our sleep spa tips can help ready your sleep environment.
- Power down electronics – Start turning off all your screen devices and spend the last hour before bed quietly chatting or reading a good book – a real book with pages. The backlight from electronics and TV wake up rather than relax.
- Set your alarm for sleep – A bedtime alarm will remind you when it’s time to call it a day and catch up on your lost sleep from last night.
- Grab a snack before bedtime – Snacks like peaches and Greek yogurt or parmesan cheese toast have just the right amount of carbohydrates and protein to soothe your senses before bed.
Some nights will be smoother than others and the occasional night of insomnia is normal. Struggling night after night to sleep is not healthy – nor is it normal. If you’re concerned your occasional insomnia is becoming a habit, find a sleep doctor near you – today.