Helpful Health Hacks: 10 Tips to Super Sleep
As a pharmacist, I’m often asked, “What’s the best pill for sleep?!” Believe it or not, the “best” solution does not lie in a pill.
As a pharmacist, I’m often asked, “What’s the best pill for sleep?!” Believe it or not, the “best” solution does not lie in a pill, or capsule, or liquid, but in what is known as sleep hygiene. Just as brushing your teeth and washing your hands helps your health, there are also things you can do to allow the sheep to be counted and logs to be sawed (puns for days, guys). I share them with you now!
1. Set the mood
One of the most difficult places to fall asleep is the place where sleep in most difficult. I know that may sound stupidly obvious, but there are some things all too common that prevent slumber from happening: lights, noise, temperature; all sorts of factors can wreak havoc on pillow time. Let’s focus on what to do right!
2. Keep it quiet
Do you or the people you are advising wake up feeling unrested to the sound of your TV or radio that’s been on all night? That may be the problem: keeping a sleeping environment that’s as quiet as possible will allows the mind to settle and sleep!
3. Do Not Disturb Mode
There are so many phone apps sending notifications, not to mention email, text messages, phone calls… the list goes on. Having that bright screen flash throughout the night doesn’t send night-night through wi-fi, so leave it face down. Better yet, use your “airplane mode” feature to silence calls, or you can set up your phone to silence notifications automatically every day without you even thinking about it! For me, all communication is silenced from 11 pm to 8 am it’s an amazing phone feature you should utilize!
4. Cool it On the Coffee
No coffee, no workee, but have it too late in the day, and no sleepy, either. Try to nix the caffeine intake roughly 6 hours prior to bedtime for maximal slumber.
5. Timing is Everything
The easiest way to fall into sleep with ease is to have a set bedtime each and every night. You parents were on to something way back when! Having the same bedtime and rise time will allow your body to sleep with sound ease, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
6. Drop it Like It’s Hot
Have you ever had a nightmare, or felt like you tossed and turned all night? I’m willing to bet the thermostat was set too high, or you forgot to change from sweat pants to jammies! Being too hot is just uncomfortable- and it affects the quality of your sleep, too! The same goes for being too cold, but I have found it’s better to be a little cooler than hotter. Try turning the thermostat down a little just before bedtime- who doesn’t love the cool side of the pillow?!
7. Be A Creature of Habit
The most successful people in the world start their day with morning rituals, or a “power list." The most well-rested people end their day with a night-time ritual. Instead of falling prey to the never-ending newsfeed of social media, scrap the screen for taking a bath or shower, try some aromatherapy using chamomile and/or lavender to help you relax even more. Gentle stretching, foam rolling, herbal tea, or a form of meditation known as recapitulation, where you sit quietly and observe the day you just had, can help.
8. Don’t Be Scared of Heights
“There’s a strong relationship between the depth of our sleep at night and the heights of our passions during the day”, says Rubin Naiman, a clinical psychologist specializing in integrative sleep and dream medicine. “The more fulfilled you feel, the more you feel that you’ve met your goals, the more awake you are, the more energy you burn during the day in a positive sense- the better the slope that will grind us down into sleep at night.” Seize the day, and seize your slumber!
9. Lighten Up
Numerous studies related to sleep reveal that spending too much time in artificial light throws the body’s circadian biological clock off. That is, sleep and wake cycle regulation are all out of whack. Solution? Get some natural sunlight!
10. Kiss the Cook (but not too much)
Going to bed hungry is no fun at all, but going to bed stuffed can be a somewhat painful experience! Roughly 2 hours before bed, consider having a light meal, avoiding fatty and sugary foods. That satiety can help bring the ease to make room for those Z’s!
All this talk about sleep and I think it’s time for MY sleepy time, have a good night!
Dr. Martin is a licensed pharmacist, having earned his PharmD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2012. He is a lifetime-natural competitive bodybuilder, competing only in drug-tested competitions. He began working with Dr. Joe Klemczewski, founder of The Diet Doc, in 2013. The next year, he became a licensed owner and nutrition consultant as The Diet Doc Pittsburgh North, which he now runs with his fiance and fellow pharmacist, Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC. He is currently studying to become a Certified Diabetes Educator. Learn more at www.thefitpharmacist.com