6 Tips To Hack Your Sleep

November 15, 2011

Have you said either of these things to yourself in hopes that you would miraculously fall asleep?

“By the time I count to 1,000 I will be asleep. 1, 2, 3, 4…”

“If I read 35 pages, I will fall asleep.”

“If I stop dwelling on the fact that I am not sleeping, I will fall asleep.”

There are a number of sleep related issues that cannot be controlled. However, by following a few simple tips, you can increase your chances of a better night sleep. Below is a quick list of tips that may provide you with a better night sleep.

1. Read 30 Minutes Of Fiction Before Bed:

Reading fiction before bed, will allow your brain time to escape from the nuances of your day. Likewise, the human brain enjoys consistency. By reading each night before bed, your brain will automatically create an association between these two thus creating a better environment for sleep.

2. Exercise:

Exercise provides a number of benefits for your brain and provides a better night sleep. Exercising in the morning or afternoon is optimal as exercising before bed can keep you awake.  Likewise, exercise will naturally make your body tired, thus creating the potential for a better night sleep.

3.  Maintain A Consistent Sleep Schedule:

Your body will thank you for maintaining a consistent sleep-wake schedule. This can be difficult to follow if you enjoy nightlife on the weekend but will pay off in the long run. If you go to bed at 10:30 on weekdays, try to do the same on the weekend.

4. Optimize Food and Beverage Consumption:

Eating the proper amount of food can be difficult. Ideally, you do not want to be too full and likewise you do not want to be hungry when trying to sleep. According to a recent Yahoo article, eating a carbohydrate rich snack when you are unable to sleep may be beneficial.

5. Wake Up At Optimal Time:

Avoid waking up when you are in a deep sleep. Use an alarm like the SleepTracker by Innovative Sleep Solutions LLC. This watch monitors your sleep cycles and wakes you up at an optimal time. You can program the watch to go off within a range of time (i.e. +/- 15 minutes of alarm time), when you are in your least deep sleep.

6. Decrease Usage Of Screens Before Bed (tablets, TV’s, laptops, cell phones):

Charles Czeisler states, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep.” According to a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 61% of respondents admit to using computers within one hour of sleep a few times per week.

Additional resources:

Sleep Tips: Top 10 Sleep Mistakes And Their Solutions - Huffingtonpost.com

Sleep tips: 7 Steps to better sleep - Mayo Clinic 

Top 10 Ways to Sleep Smarter and Better - Lifehacker.com

What additional tips could you suggest? 

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