6 Surprising Sleep Enhancers
Warm milk. Soothing music. Blackout curtains. Sure, they work to help you rest easy. But you can also add a basket and a tennis ball to the list; here's why
Counting sheep doesn't work. And late-night TV makes you feel more like a permanently awake zombie. If you're having trouble getting shut-eye or staying asleep, here are six bedtime tools to reach for.
When your significant other snores, your sleep suffers. The solution may be a little tennis—ball, that is. Most folks snore while on their backs. Sew a tennis ball into the back of an old T-shirt about midway up the back and make that your spouse's new pajama top. The ball will keep your spouse on his or her side and help keep you asleep in newfound silence.
Strategically placed, rolled-up towels can take the pressure off your spine and help properly align your legs, hips, back, and neck. Towel placement depends on how you sleep. If you sleep on your side, slip the rolled-up towel under your waist to relieve pressure on lumbar joints. Back-sleepers benefit from a rolled-up towel under the lower back. Anyone who sleeps facedown should position the towel under the shins or ankles.
Here's a nasty little surprise: You may be sharing your bed with up to 10 million dust mites. Ewwwww. Their microscopic droppings can aggravate allergies, keeping you awake. Regularly vacuuming the sheets helps, as does replacing mattresses that are more than 10 years old and opening windows to allow the air to flow through.
Of course you love your feline friend, but when she gets the midnight crazies and jumps on your chest, you'll end up bleary-eyed in the morning. To keep your cat occupied, set out some quiet (no bells or crunching sound) toys that you only allow her to have at night. And keep Fido out of the bed, too. Set a pad next to your bed for your pooch instead of letting him sleep with you.
Sleeping on an empty stomach may result in hunger pangs and dreams of turkey dinners. Before bed, eat a small, high-protein snack. A hard-boiled egg is perfect; a small serving of cheese works as well.
If your room is a mess, your sleep can be a mess, too. Such a cluttered environment will keep your mind either consciously or subconsciously rolling around thinking about the disorder. But you don't need to turn into a neat freak to get a good night's sleep. Simply grab a basket and put the mess in it so you can clean it up later. Compartmentalizing the disorder helps your brain reach a calm, restful place. Now enjoy about eight hours at your destination!
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