When it comes to sleep, you know that getting enough each night is an important part of a healthy lifestyle (not to mention, it feels damn good). But what you might not know is all the ways that your sleep is being sabotaged. Whether it's your period, what you're eating for dinner, or stress, many factors can affect how much shut eye you get on a regular basis. But there is a light at the end of your insomnia tunnel, and it starts with implementing some sleep hacks for women.
If you spend your nights tossing and turning, you're not alone. In a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, the website found that two-thirds of women experience a sleep problem at least a few nights each week and as many as half report waking up feeling un-refreshed. The reasons for sleep disturbances can be as unique to each person as the freckles on their face, so trying out more than one strategy for better sleep may be necessary before you find the winning combination.
Sleep is one area of your life that is worth investing some time and energy into getting on point. Trade counting sheep for sawing logs with these simple hacks to help women get more sleep.
1. Be Prepared For Menstrual Insomnia
Waking up more during PMS and your period? That's because menstrual insomnia is a thing. As Kathryn Lee, a sleep researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, told Reader's Digest, sleep patterns are affected by hormones which change frequently during the menstrual cycle. Take extra care during this time of the month to avoid additional things that inhibit sleep, such as too much caffeine and inconsistent bedtimes.
2. Stick To A Bedtime
It sounds old fashion, but having a set bedtime every night programs your body for sleep. According to the National Institute of General Medical Science, everyone has a circadian rhythm, and it helps your body know when it's time to sleep and when it's time to be awake. Set your rhythm by closing those eyes at the same time each night, so your brain knows it's time to snooze.
3. Drop The Temperature
As the National Sleep Foundation pointed out, a woman's core body temperature can increase during her period, so it helps to keep the bedroom cool during that time of the month. It suggests setting the thermostat for somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees for maximum sleep potential.
4. Have A Routine
Help give your brain clues that it's time for rest by doing the same things before bed each night. Whether it's stretching, reading, or listening to relaxing music, Get Sleep, a Division Of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School points out, creating a calming sleep routine sets you up for sleeping like a baby.
5. Take A Warm Soak
Ever wonder why a bath is so relaxing? According to Health, it's due to the rapid cool-down that happens post-soak. This means that taking a 20 to 30 minute bath, two hours before bed can help you to forget the stress of the day and prep you for a night of sweet dreams.
6. Power Down
Having all those devices are handy, but if you're seeking better sleep, keep electronics out of the bedroom. The blue light emitted by electronic devices can cause sleep disturbance, according to Psychology Today. These lights send the same wave lengths as the morning sun, triggering wake-up mode in the brain.
7. Check Your Medication
A rough night of sleep may be a side effect of your medication. If you think something you're taking may be a culprit, Mayo Clinic suggests checking both prescription and OTC medication for stimulants that disrupt sleep, such as caffeine.
8. Make Your Room Dark
Turning off the TV, installing black out curtains, or keeping low wattage bulbs in bedroom lamps may be the missing piece to your sleep puzzle. Health magazine notes that darkness is a signal to the brain that it's time to sleep, so keeping your room as dark as possible will encourage your body to rest peacefully each night.
9. Try Taking Melatonin
Your body wants you to sleep, and the proof is in the melatonin. This hormone, which is naturally produced by the body for sleeping, can be purchased in supplement form and taken each night to amp-up your chances for blissful snoozing, according to Mayo Clinic.
10. Avoid Heavy Dinners
Although that second helping of pasta may make you feel sleepy, the restful effect of a big meal won't sustain you through the night. To avoid changes in your digestion that may keep you awake, Today's nutrition expert, Joy Bauer recommends eating a dinner that has around 600 calories and keeping post-dinner snacks light.
11. Practice Night Time Yoga
Close your eyes and say oooommmm, because a little yoga can go a long way for your sleepless nights. Try out some relaxing yoga poses for better sleep from Fitness magazine, and you'll be getting more Zzz's before you can say namaste.
12. Say No To Nightcaps
One more glass of wine before bed will make you sleepy at first, but as the night goes one, that vino can cause you to wake up more times that you'd like. As Real Simple reported, too much alcohol before bed interrupts sleep because it cuts into REM sleep, causes heartburn, and causes you have to pee more often.
13. Skip Afternoon Coffee
You love that warm afternoon pick-me-up, but Psychology Today found that consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime can damage sleep. To make sure you're getting enough shut eye, try keeping those energy-inducing java treats to the morning time.