5 Tips to Sleep Better at Night

5 Tips to Sleep Better at Night

Use these 5 helpful tips to get more rest and get the school year off to a refreshed start.


By: Christina Montoya Fielder

Slow Down with Light Stretching or Yoga
Stretching after a long day is a great way to ease your body into calmness.

"Moms hold much of their stress in their bodies,” says Paul Hokemeyer, a Manhattan-based marriage and family therapist. “One of the most effective ways to release this stress is by stretching key muscles and breathing deeply. Keep the stretches simple, though. I advise my patients to do five sets of downward and upward dogs, followed by three minutes of sitting quietly and breathing deeply. The point is to slow yourself down, not to amp yourself up."

Power Down
Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime.

"The backlight from our computers tells our brains that it's daytime, and we need to be awake and alert,” Hokemeyer says. “It also tells our brain that it shouldn't be producing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin."

This goes for lighted e-readers and other tablets as well. It's best to pick up an actual book instead.

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Chill Out
Experts say that the best sleep occurs in room temperatures of around 65 F.

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"We also get great sleep when our rooms are well ventilated," Hokemeyer says. "So open a window and purchase an inexpensive fan that you can use to circulate the air."

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Put Down the Caffeine
Watch your late-afternoon liquid and caffeine consumption.

"Typically, moms get a slump in the late afternoon and reach out for caffeine to help them refuel. I advise my patients to avoid any caffeinated beverages after 3 p.m.," says Hokemeyer. "Also, watch your beverage consumption in general after 5 p.m. Frequent trips to the bathroom to relieve yourself throughout the night will leave you exhausted."

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Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule
This might be easier said than done, but give it the old college try.

"Obviously, this is a tough one for new moms, but just as it's important for your toddler to get on a regular sleep schedule, it's equally important for mom to be on one as well," Hokemeyer says.

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