Besides sapping your energy, experts agree that lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Here are 13 tips for getting more shut-eye–and feeling more energized the next day (via The Huffington Post):
1. Set a specific bedtime for yourself. And be realistic. If you have to wake up at 7 a.m., staying awake until 1:30 a.m. each night probably won’t be enough.
2. Get ready for bed well before your bedtime. Sometimes, you can feel too tired to get ready for bed, resulting in an even later bedtime. To avoid this, try getting ready for bed well before you turn off the light.
3. Rest in darkness. Shut the blinds, block out any lights from your computer, clock or phone. Even a digital alarm clock’s tiny light can disrupt a sleep cycle, so it’s important to keep your room as dark as possible.
4. Stretch. Research has shown that people who have trouble sleeping can get more restful sleep if they stretch a few times per week.
5. Lower the thermostat. Studies show that the optimal range for sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Make a list of everything you need to do the next day. This will allow your mind to stop worrying, slow down and relax, helping you to fall asleep more quickly.
7. Keep a clean bedroom. Clutter-free bedrooms promote relaxation and calm.
8. Exercise. People who exercise tend to fall asleep faster and stay sleep longer. Make an effort to get
9. Avoid work that requires alert thinking an hour before bedtime. Use the hour before bedtime to relax. Read a book, take a bath or talk with a loved one.
10. Moisturize. Using body lotion keeps your skin hydrated and helps avoid dry, itchy skin that can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep because you’re too hot, using lotion can also cool you down.
11. Put socks on cold feet. Cold feet can be distracting, making it harder to fall asleep. Wear soft socks to keep them toasty and comfortable.
12. Yawn. It can help you to relax.
13. Tell yourself, “I have to get up now.” Imagine that you just hit the snooze alarm and in a minute, you’re going to be marching through the morning routine. This alone can convince you to hit the sack.