Photo by Bruce Weber, Styled by Alex White, W Magazine, July 2008
I think we’ve all read articles about how important sleep is for us as humans to function properly (see links below), and that it’s best to get somewhere between 7 to 9 hours each night (but every person is different). Personally, I think I have a minor form of insomnia that comes and goes, and have throughout my life. I remember being a little kid and laying in bed for what seemed like forever trying to fall asleep. I also remember college being my good sleep years. I think that was due to my extremely busy schedule in college — lots of places to be, things to do, and tests to study for. My brain was constantly on, so falling asleep quickly and sleeping hard was no problem in college. I would even wake up five minutes before my alarm would go off, ready to pop out of bed and take on the day. Those were the years.
Other periods of my life where I’ve consistently been able to fall asleep easily typically have to do with exercise. When I am exercising hard 4+ times per week I sleep like a baby every night. Since I don’t exercise that hard as often as I should, I try to do some of my own sleep rituals to help me fall asleep. I’ve got a lot going on in my brain and sometimes I just can’t turn it off and I have a hard time falling asleep.
I also have the typical can’t-fall-asleep nights, like if you have an early flight the next morning, or you are about to go on vacation. I can never sleep those nights. All of these can’t-fall-asleep nights over the years has resulted in some rituals I have and tips for falling asleep and sleeping better. Many of these have been proven and recommended by professionals as well.
1. Invest in a good mattress.
Always wake up with back pain? Ya, probably time for a new mattress. We are in the market for a new one as well. Anyone have any suggestions?
2. Don’t drink caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
Obviously, drinking coffee at 4pm isn’t going to help you sleep. If you need an upper in the afternoon, go for something with less caffeine than a regular coffee, like green tea. Or drink decaf, or grab a green juice or something. I typically only have coffee in the morning and then tea and water throughout the day. Coffee makes me wired in the evening and I know it will be a late night if I drink it in the evening. Continue reading…