- Exercise each day. At least 20 minutes is preferable, and try to finish up at least 4 hours before you plan to go to bed if it’s a tough workout. It’s pretty easy to wind down from a relaxing 20 minute set of supine yoga flow, but it feels almost impossible to relax after 30 minutes of intense interval training!
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and nicotine, especially in the evening. These substances adversely affect the chemicals and organs of the body that help you sleep well.
- I love an iced toddy on a hot summer day just as much as you do, but if you’re having trouble sleeping, try to avoid caffeine after lunch (even chocolate and green tea if you’re very sensitive).
- Disconnect at the end of the day. Your sleep cycle is regulated partially by light stimuli, and the light coming from your phone, computer, or television can really confuse your body. The electromagnetic waves from these devices may also interfere with your sleep, so even if you don’t have trouble falling asleep with them on, your quality of sleep is probably being impacted. Try to shut everything down at least 30 minutes before bed.
- “But what will I do for those 30 minutes without my phone or tv or computer?!” you might ask. I recommend doing the 10-10-10: 10 minutes of reading (a book, a magazine, an old love letter…just make sure it’s not on your Kindle or iPad), 10 minutes of writing in your journal (this is your chance to get rid of all your worries from the day and celebrate the things that went well), and then 10 minutes of meditating with the lights off.
If you’re still having trouble after trying these ideas, check in with your doctor or a sleep clinic. And feel free to contact me for more tips!