The bedroom is for two (and only two) things: sleep, and “satisfying” sex. That’s according to Dr. Sonia Ancoli-Israel, a sleep research specialist who spoke at LA Times Magazine’s annual conference on health & wellness. (Who wants un-satisfying sex?)
In my eight years as a personal trainer, I’ve listened to many clients talk about their insomnia, struggling with my own at times. I have tried to integrate most of the items on this list and, oh boy—when done in concert, they make a BIG difference.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Yes, even on weekends. This is the single most important thing you can do for insomnia. Try not to wake your mate if your sleep hours differ.
- Remove the clock from the bedroom, or cover it up at night. Cover any other lights (such as LED lights on VCR’s). If you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, do not look at the clock. This is key.
- Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime. You may fall asleep faster, but drinking alcohol will also jolt you awake in the middle of the night.
- Don’t eat before bedtime.
- Do more cardio. Yoko Ono says, “Walk until your body feels like dancing. Then dance. You will find that you no more have difficulty in sleeping at night.”
- Make the room as dark as possible and use thick window coverings; they have the added benefit of keeping noise out.
- Keep the bedroom cool. The optimal temperature for sleep is 65-72 degrees.
- Use a noise machine or soothing CD. We use Simonette Vaja’s guided meditation for sleep all the time. You won’t be able to make it through the CD without falling out.
- Wind down before bedtime. A pre-bedtime ritual like reading or taking a shower or bath will relax you.
- Use essential oil of lavender on pillows.
- Replace old pillows, but don’t change the linens too often. Slightly slept in sheets are more comfortable to the body.
- If you haven’t fallen asleep after 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and go do something that’s relaxing and boring. When you feel sufficiently relaxed to enter the bedroom again, try again. Do not lay in bed tense or upset.
- Avoid napping during the day.
- Do not drink caffeine after lunch. Or better yet, eliminate caffeine altogether.
- Find 10-20 minutes per day to worry. Don’t allow worries to come into your bedroom.