One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make sure you get plenty of sleep each night. A minimum of 7 hours of shuteye makes a big difference to your brain and your heart. A lack of sleep makes you more fatigued and less mentally acute, which puts you at a greater risk for poor decision making and accidents.
A few things that can help you get those zzzzz's:
- Get on a schedule. Try to go to bed and rise about the same time each day. Your body functions best when it’s on a regular sleeping routine, just like a baby. On the weekends, try to get up within an hour of your regular “school day” schedule to keep you on track.
- Eat foods that contain melatonin. Foods like sweet corn, rice, and oats or complex carbohydrates with serotonin (like veggies, whole-grain bread, or pasta) in the evenings. Avoid anything with caffeine after dinner and save your workouts for earlier in the day. High activity and/or eating within 3 hours of your bedtime can keep you from falling asleep.
- Keep it cool. The ideal environment for sleep is a cool, dark room. If you’re tossing and turning, try removing a layer of clothing or turn down the thermostat.
- Keep your bedroom a sanctuary. Limit your bedroom activities to sleep and intimacy. If you don’t associate your bedroom with other stimuli like work, TV, or the computer, it’ll be easier to crash out once you snuggle in.
Featured weekly on Pink Lemonade Online Magazine