8 Simple Tricks to Sleep Better

Sleep plays a vital role in weight loss! Not only does sleep help you to have more energy throughout the day, but it combats the cravings that tempt you to eat more. You see, when you're tired, your body senses the "tiredness" signals as "hunger". You end up snacking when really what you want is a nice, long nap. If you want to improve the quality of your sleep and make weight loss easier, try these simple tricks to sleep better:

Upgrade Your Bed

Change the sheets, upgrade your pillows, and even get a new mattress if you need it! You need to be comfortable as you sleep. The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to sleep the whole night through.

Exercise

Want to fall asleep faster at night? Hit the gym hard, and you'll be exhausted by the time bedtime rolls around. When you exercise, your body expends more energy to make repairs to the muscles damaged during your workout (a good thing, don't worry!). You often end up sleeping more deeply because your body is occupied making repairs. The more often you exercise, the better you sleep!

Minimize Evening Stress

Keep all of your "deep conversations" for first thing in the morning! Stress--emotional, physical, and mental--can keep you up for hours, mulling over all of your problems. Try to avoid deep discussions on your relationship, future, money, kids, etc. until after you've had a few hours to recover from a long day.

Cut Caffeine

Coffee may be the only thing keeping you going, but could the reason for that be the fact that you drink so much coffee? Caffeine stimulates your nervous system for up to 10 hours. If you have a cup of coffee in the afternoon (after 2 PM), you may find it hard to get to sleep that night. For this reason, allow yourself a few cups of Joe in the AM, but once it reaches 2 PM, no more coffee, tea, or anything with caffeine. You'll find yourself falling asleep much more quickly at night.

Turn the Shower on Hot

If you're the kind of person who likes to shower in the evening, make the shower as hot as you can comfortably stand. The hot water will raise your core body temperature, but once you step out of the shower, your temperature will drop. This drop signals to your body that it's time to produce melatonin, the chemical that helps you to sleep. Take a hot shower 90 minutes before it's time to hit the hay, and you'll doze off a lot more quickly!

Limit Alcohol in the Evenings

While drinking a lot may make you feel sleepy, it will actually interfere with a good night's sleep. Your body takes a long time to metabolize alcohol, meaning it can't shut down properly for the night. You end up in the lighter stages of sleep, never truly falling into deep sleep until many hours later. It takes an hour for your body to metabolize every drink, so limit your alcohol intake in the evenings.

Have Sex

Nothing gets you in the mood for sleep like some good old-fashioned sex. The flood of hormones released during orgasm will help you to relax, making it easier for you to fall asleep at night.

Minimize Light and Sound

At night, turn your cell phone off if possible. If not, mute it so that you don't hear the ding of notifications or messages. Turn your cell phone face down so that you can't see the screen, and minimize use of the cell phone before going to bed. The bright light will interrupt your sleep and make it hard to nod off.

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