As a sleep-obsessed founder of a sleep-enhancing product company, friends and even strangers are constantly asking me for advice to get better Zzz’s. I know what they are really looking for: quick fix solutions. Let’s get real- in today’s busy world no one has as much time as they would like to dedicate to the art of deep sleep. So instead of overwhelming them with unrealistic conditions (“just clear your mind”) or unnecessary expensive equipment (“buy a new mattress”), these are my five *easy* ways to up your sleep game. Simple enough to get started as soon as tonight!
1. Sleep with someone – That’s right, sharing your bed could be your latest life hack! Research has shown that sleeping next to someone can lower your cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) and also promote feelings of security. This can allow for a heightened state of relaxation, perfect for ideal sleeping conditions.
2. Take an evening bath – Your body temperature has to drop 2-3 degrees to fall asleep and hit your most restful sleep stages. Hot baths can help facilitate this because your body temperature will drop to counteract the heat. It takes time for the body to regulate back to room temperature, meaning that your body temp will be lower following a hot bath. This is the perfect state to then enter bed. The warm water can also ease tightness and sore muscles allowing you to enter a superior state of physical and emotional relaxation – all critical for quality sleep.
3. Sleep naked…or turn down the air: Another way to drop your body temperature those 2-3 degrees is to…well…remove clothing. If you are traveling, you may not feel comfortable sleeping in the nude or going pant less when you’re outside the comfort of your own bed so try adjusting the air conditioning and setting your controlled temperature somewhere between 65-69 degrees.
4. Have a nightly banana – We usually associate bananas with breakfast, but they’re actually a great natural sleep aid. Bananas contain tryptophan which has sleep inducing properties. Tryptophan works by releasing serotonin, which promotes positive feelings of wellbeing, fighting anxiety and depression that can otherwise keep you awake. Added bonus: since bananas contain natural sugars they are a great way to satiate that sweet tooth instead of desserts that spike your blood sugar, wreaking havoc on your sleep.
5. Ditch the white pillows: White by far is the most popular color choice for bedding. But have you ever asked yourself what this is doing for your sleep quality? White reflects light and light affects your circadian rhythms telling your body you should be awake and not sleeping. Light/white colored pillows are especially troublesome because they’re reflecting light directly to your bodies light portal – your eyes. I’m a huge believer in sleeping on a black pillow, hence the signature midnight black hue on our NIGHT Pillows.