Sleep is important obviously, for things like beauty, health, and functioning as a highly effective, compassionate human being. I’ve learned over time that I need a solid 8 hours. Recently however, things like travel, to-do lists, and currently, my boyfriend… have been getting in the way of that number. To make up for it, I’m taking unintentional naps in uncomfortable places like face first on my kitchen table or more recently, sprawled across my living room floor — it took me 40+ minutes to regain feeling in my arms this afternoon — much more often than I’d like to be. So, while I could sit here and rehash the importance of sleep, document the endless benefits of getting enough ZZZ’s, or make a case for shutting down every night by 9 pm, instead, I thought we’d take a different approach, one you haven’t heard before. Here are 7 Slightly Unconventional Ways To Get A Good Night’s Sleep.
7 Ways To Get More Sleep You Haven’t Heard Before
1. Use Your Phone!
Everyone tells you to stay far away from your phone after 7 pm which is good advice if you’re using it for things like answering emails, work-stuff, or scrolling through your Instagram feed. However, your phone can be used for good and can even help you fall asleep. This is going to seem completely counterintuitive but one unconventional way to get your ZZZ’s is to make a phone call before you fall asleep. Granted the right person *must* be on the other end or this could totally backfire — and let it be noted that your phone *should* be on nightshift mode to save your eyes — I’m living proof that the phone a friend method works.
If I’m away from home traveling or elsewhere, I always sleep better after I talk to my boyfriend. In the very likely chance he doesn’t answer (f*ck you, time zones!!), I can always count on my other boyfriend, Jordan Bach to lull me off into sweet slumber. His digital meditation album, Bedtime Mantras is 100 percent bliss.
PRO-TIP: Put your phone in airplane mode before you fall asleep to prevent harmful EMFs from leaching into your brain while you’re snoozing and to avoid any unwelcome iMessage pings from penetrating your pillow.
2. Set A Non-Negotiable Bedtime Alarm (Again, Using Your Phone).
I was recently forced into purchasing a new phone because my poor other one broke into a thousand pieces and completely stopped working. Anyway, the one I got has this new feature called Bedtime. Have you heard of it? I’m obsessed. Basically, Bedtime is designed to help you get enough sleep. You program in how many hours of sleep you need per night and also when you want to wake up. Using basic biofeedback and sleep schedules, Bedtime tells you exactly when you need to be in bed AND sends you a reminder pre-bedtime that it’s time to unwind. I love it.
Of course, you can ignore your alarm — which I do, and have done over almost every night for the past two weeks, I told you my BF is killing me right now! — but Bedtime also tracks your sleep. For any type-A personalities or data-driven biohackers, this is gold. For those of us that *think* we’re getting enough sleep, this could be eye-opening. You might not be. Try it for a week then come back and tell us how we, technically you changed your life. If you don’t have the Bedtime feature on your phone (it comes with Apple’s iOS 10), I’m sure there are a billion apps out there that do the same thing. OR, you could always set a goodnight, gorgeous!, go-to-bed alarm or series of goodnight gorgeous!, for real, go-to-bed alarms throughout the evening to remind you that you do actually need your sleep and that “one more episode” is the new age silent killer.
3. Physically Exhaust Yourself During The Day.
Not to the point of total exhaustion but just to the point of semi-exhaustion from something like a great workout, day outside, or long hike. Your pre-bedtime activities have a huge influence on how well you sleep. When you get up and get moving during the day, you sleep a thousand times better at night. It’s science.
4. Watch What You Eat.
Speaking of pre-sleep influencers, what you eat, drink, and ingest (including the non-tangible things like negative energy, thoughts, and stress) also affects your sleep. It’s generally a good idea to avoid caffeine after 2 pm (possibly earlier if you know it keeps you awake), eat healthfully during the day, and steer clear of liquids 30 minutes before bed so you’re not in the bathroom all night.
5. Also Watch TV.
I know, more screens! This actually isn’t so much about the screen — although currently, The Office is my go-to sleep Rx — as it is about doing “the thing” or creating a relaxing, before bed, nightly routine that helps you fall asleep. Mine happens to be a 30-minute television series depicting a paper company based in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Netflix. Yours could be: taking a hot shower, reading a good book, writing your thoughts in a journal, planning your day, sipping a cup of tea, listening to a meditation, doing yoga nidra, or something else. Whatever works for you to close out your day. Ritual and repeat.
6. Wear Men’s Clothing.
Because men’s clothing is forever more comfortable than anything you’ll find in the women’s department. The right set of threads is like sleeping on a cloud. And not only is it easier to fall asleep when you’re comfy cozy but remember what we said about bedtime rituals? Something actually switches in our brains when we put our pajamas on. (It’s another ritual.) It sends a signal to our bodies that it’s time to shut down.
7. Leave The Party.
I don't mean to brag, but New Year's Eve, I was home by nine.
Is October historically this exhausting? Please confirm in the comments. And of course, tell us all the things you do to fall asleep.
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