Getting a good night’s sleep is not just a luxury—it’s vital to our health and well-being. While your brain and nervous system may be less receptive to external stimuli as you rest, your body is still performing many critical, regenerating functions.
Enter our list of healthy sleep hacks for your entire day, designed to set you up for the most restorative snooze ever.
THROUGHOUT THE MORNING
Rise with the Sun
Getting up right when you wake up equates to more time to conquer the day. Waking up earlier means being able to take your time before rushing off to work or school drop-off. Having extra time is also a critical part of a self-care ritual that can set the tone for productivity—which will, in turn, ensure you’re absolutely ready to get some shut-eye when it’s time for bed.
Numerous studies suggest that regular moderate exercise (i.e. walking) performed consistently can help those that suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more quickly, sleep longer and enjoy better sleep quality.
Soak Up the Sun
Natural sunlight in the morning helps suppress the production of melatonin, a chemical that helps send you off to sleep. Ample exposure to sunlight during the day will help keep your circadian rhythm regulated and save the “sleepy” chemicals in your brain for the evening.
6 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME
Wrap Up Your Nap
If you’re an avid napper, make sure you get your power nap at least 6 hours before you plan to fall asleep in the evening—and limit your naps to a maximum of 30 minutes. This way, you can enjoy the many health benefits of napping without throwing off your internal clock.
4 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME
Ban the Caffeine
It takes approximately 4 to 6 hours for the effects of caffeine, found in things like coffee or energy drinks, to fully wear off. By switching from caffeinated drinks to water or herbal tea about 6 hours before bedtime, you’ll have given your body plenty of time to shake off the wakeful effects of caffeine.
90 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME
Take a Warm Shower or Bath
Your core body temperature begins to drop during the evening, with lower body temperatures making you feel drowsy when it’s time to sleep. By taking a warm bath or shower about an hour and a half before bed, you can help enhance this natural cool-to-sleep process.
60 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME
Dim the Lights
Light effects your internal clock by suppressing or encouraging the production of sleepy chemicals like melatonin. By dimming your household lights about one hour before bed, you are helping signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
Increase Your Melatonin
Melatonin is a naturally produced chemical that helps your brain and body drift off to sleep. While some opt to take a melatonin supplement at night, there are many foods that contain melatonin and are great for an evening meal or light nighttime snack. They include bananas, porridge oats, sweet corn, rice and tomatoes.
Some studies even suggest that drinking tart cherry juice before bedtime could improve your quality of your sleep by up to 15 percent.
30 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME
Set an “Electronics” Curfew
The specific type of light emitted from devices like tablets or smartphones actually tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. To help trigger your brain to produce chemicals that aid in sleep, swap your device for a book or analog activity about half an hour before bedtime.
Get Into a Rhythm
Music between 50-60 beats per minute closely matches the average resting heart rate of adults, and can help slow your heartbeat and lower your blood pressure. Certain types of music are clinically proven to help you drift off, so try curating a specialized sleep playlist for deeper rest just before you turn in.
Create a Tranquil Bedroom Environment
All of your five sense are still in play when you call it a day. Minimizing exposure to sights and sounds as you drift off to sleep is particularly key to getting adequate rest. Even small amounts of light can keep an insomniac awake. Invest in either blackout curtains or a quality sleep mask, especially if you live in an area where the sun sets much later and rises much earlier in the day.
If you’re sensitive to noise, investing in high quality earplugs or a white noise machine—which emits a predictable calming noise throughout the sleep cycle—can dramatically improve your sleep.
Ensure Optimal Sleep Temperature
The average skin temperature is 91 degrees, but the ideal skin sleep temperature is 88 degrees. Ensuring the ambient temperature of your room is comfortable for both you and your sleep partner can be a never ending battle. To create the right balance, specific to you, look for sleep solutions that moderate temperature: these include open cell foam with cooling gel infusions and even advanced technology, like TitanCool™ by Brooklyn Bedding, that reacts to your body temperature to maintain the ideal skin sleep temperature of 88 degrees.
Accelerate Your Recovery
Your body’s ability to recover fully throughout the night not only impacts your health, it fuels your life. Recent smart fabrics have made it possible to accelerate the recovery process, resulting in a more restorative sleep.
Upcycle™ technology, used in the Propel Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding, is a proprietary surface treatment of encapsulated minerals on the mattress cover that transforms your body heat into Far Infrared Rays—emitted back to the human body as invisible waves of energy. Far Infrared Rays are unique in their ability to penetrate, soothe and stimulate local blood flow, helping you feel more energized, and more well rested when you wake.
Thanks to science, there’s never been a better time to get a better night’s sleep—a vital element of living your best life.