5 Rules for Civilized Sleep*
(that everyone can do)
No Caffeine after 2pm
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours. So a coffee at noon is still affecting you at midnight as if you drank a quarter cup before bed! And if you do fall asleep, that caffeine still blocks your ability to get deep sleep. So cut the caffeine as early as possible!
Shower before bed
Or take a bath, either works fine. When you get out of the hot water, dilated blood vessels help radiate out inner heat, and your core body temperature plummets. You can fall asleep faster because your core is cooler, and you’ll enjoy more deep restorative NREM sleep.
Sleep on clean sheets
Fresh, clean sheets are one of life’s best affordable luxuries. In a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, most people said they sleep better on bedding that smells fresh. Clean sheets feel so much more inviting, too. Experts recommend changing your sheets at least once a week.
No sleep drugs
Natural sleep drugs like valerian and prescription sleep drugs like Ambien have more in common than the next-day hangover. All sedatives disrupt your ability to stay asleep, interfere with dreaming and REM sleep, and block the type of sleep that wards off illness. Just say no.
Don't dwell in bed
We’ve all been there—lying in bed stressing instead of sleeping. But if you make a habit of it, your brain will associate the bed with staying awake, instead of sleeping. If you’re still lying awake after 20 minutes, read or relax in a dimly-lit room until you’re sleepy, then return to bed.