10 Easy Steps to Better Sleep

Tired of waking up feeling like you haven’t even been to sleep? Groggy, headachy, and like your get-up-and-go got-up-and-went? Here are ten easy steps to follow, ten no-nonsense steps to better sleep.
  1. Shake your booty - During the day, make sure you get at least a mild amount of exercise. The optimum amount is 30 minutes a day, and can include walking, jogging, dancing with your two-year old, or raking leaves. The more you move during the day, the more your body is ready to settle in to rest at night.
  2. Stay on top of that food pyramid - Good nutrition, including lots of fruits and vegetables, and little fat and sugar, keeps your body healthy. Eating a huge fat-laden dinner is a recipe for disaster come bedtime.
  3. Have a night snack - A light snack at least an hour before bedtime with a little protein and a little bit of carbohydrate, such as a slice of turkey on one piece of whole wheat bread, is a good choice. A whole bag of tortilla chips with salsa is not a good thing to have in your belly when you try to sleep.
  4. Ditch the caffeine - If you like coffee, tea, or cola with your TV at night, make sure it’s the decaf version. It’s easy today to find your favorite tea and soda in a decaf variety, so make the switch. If you’re really susceptible to caffeine, don’t drink it after lunch time.
  5. Turn off the idiot box - Speaking of the TV, turn it off at least half an hour before you try to sleep. Many people think they need the television to get to sleep, but the physical attributes of TV—sound, color and movement—are stimulating, and don’t allow your body to calm itself.
  6. Quiet time - A bedtime routine such as your snack, a warm drink, and some quiet time for prayer or meditation helps your body prepare for sleep.
  7. Bedtime routine - Remember when you, or your kids, were little, how a warm bath, and a bedtime story was a familiar routine that helped you sleep? The same is true for grown-ups. If you’re one of those people who get rejuvenated by a shower though, relegate it to the morning.
  8. Get comfy – Your room should be a retreat. Indulge yourself in soft comfortable sheets, and if possible, purchase a good quality mattress. If you can’t afford that, try a topper of memory foam.
  9. Cool it - Turn your thermostat down about an hour before you go to bed. Humans sleep better in a cool environment. Use a down quilt or electric blanket if you get cold easily, but keep the room air cool.
  10. No-play zone - Reserve your bed for sleep only. Don’t read, don’t watch TV, and don’t flop on the bed and talk to your BFF. Train your body that bed is for sleeping only. (Well, a little marital recreation is allowed.)