If you found a genie in a lamp, one of your wishes would be for better sleep. How do I know this? Everyone I know is tired. And, more than 90,000 people have liked an article I wrote called, “Tired all the time? Try these natural energy boosters.”
Pretty much everyone wants to sleep better.
The best tip for being more energized is to set a regular, somewhat early bedtime. While the other tips are designed to help you bounce back when you feel depleted, getting better sleep offers a lasting way to feel more energized.
I’ve gotten a good handle on my sleep, thank in large part to an interview I did with Stuart Fun Quan, a doctor of sleep science at Harvard’s Medical School. Here are some of the habits I’ve set for myself which could help you, too, get better sleep.
- Create a bedtime ritual. You know how parents put little kids through the same sequence each night? It helps them mentally and physically prepare for bed. It can also help you sleep better. My calming routine includes comfy pajamas, low light, and quiet time while reading in bed. (Yes, I am turning into my parents. And you should too.)
- Shut down the electronics. Did you notice that my better sleep bedtime routine doesn’t include “check email” or “watch Law and Order”? You have the whole day to get amped up and stimulated. Make that last hour or so of your day have a different tempo than the rest (one that’s free of the light from TVs and phones, which can mess up your natural rhythms).
- Drink mindfully. I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t drink caffeine and alcohol, but do take note of how each affect your sleep and respond accordingly. For better sleep, my current motto is “One glass of wine is fine.”
- Keep it cool and quiet. I’ve interviewed a handful of sleep docs over the years, and they always say a cool and quiet bedroom produces the better sleep. (As in, you really need a sleep cave.) Kids, snoring partners, and heat waves can make this hard to achieve but do give it your best shot!