Sleep has become a threatened species. Over the past two decades Americans have added about 158 hours—almost a month—to their yearly work and commuting schedules. When we can’t fit in activities during the day, we steal them from the night. “You snooze, you lose,” has become a saying familiar to many.
Over the last century our average nightly total sleep has shrunk by more than 20 percent. We’re working more and resting less. Sleep specialists say this deprivation has led to a silent epidemic of daytime drowsiness.
Here are a few pointers for a good night’s rest:
Make sure your room is neither too hot nor cold.
Steer clear of caffeine. Say no to a nightcap. Alcohol may help get you to sleep but will interfere with extended sleep.
Avoid heavy meals before bedtime—but a light snack is OK.
Don’t exercise right before bed.
Try natural sleep aids. Chamomile tea is an old favorite. The scent of lavender is relaxing. Smells of spiced apples and salty sea air are said to lower stress.
Invest in linen sheets. Researchers at the University of Milan reported that linen sheets help you fall asleep faster.
Paint your room green or blue—both calming colors.
Use the bedroom for sleeping only. Don’t read or watch TV.
And Lala says:
Buy a hottub (but last night mine was 108 because it was 101 during the day, I put tennis balls under the cover to let out some of the heat)
Have Laney cuddle with you (unless she is teething, which she is)