You don’t have time to sleep, you say? That’s no excuse. Neglecting sleep in favor of fitting in more errands and holiday obligations can affect all areas of your life, from your mood to your waistline, so even if your schedule is packed to the brim, make sure you use these tips for a better night’s sleep this holiday season.
Wake up and work out: Exercise is a tried and true way to help you sleep, but it’s hard to stick to a routine after work during these short Winter months. And even if you can fit in a late-night workout, new research says that might not be the best idea if you want to have a restful sleep. Instead, wake up a little bit earlier to fit in a workout (or go at lunch); expending all that energy earlier in the day will make you that much happier to crawl into your bed at night. If you’re having trouble waking up early enough for exercise, read our tips on how to wake up in the morning to work out.
Sleepy soundtrack: Establishing a wind-down routine is important if you have trouble falling asleep – and is especially so when never-ending to-do lists keep you from quieting your mind. Tune in to our soothing 40-minute playlist to help you relax and drift to sleep so you spend less of your precious bedtime trying to fall asleep and more time getting quality Zs.
Yoga in bed: Feeling restless? These easy yoga poses are another relaxing way to fall (and stay) asleep. And you can do these stretches right in your bed – perfect if holiday stress is making you wake up in the middle of the night and you need help going back to sleep. The next time you’re feeling tense in bed, stretch joints and muscles with our video of three yoga poses you can do in bed.
You worked hard all week long, and all you want to do on Saturday is chill and do nothing. But if you lace up your sneakers and burn some calories, you know you’ll probably feel good. If you have a tough time exercising on the weekend, here are some ways to get psyched about it, and do all the prep work the night before.
- Choose your gear: The night before, choose your outfit and lay it right next to your bed, including any gear you need (charged iPods included). Seeing it first thing in the morning will inspire you to slip it on – getting dressed is half the battle.
- Cue up that DVD: Before you go to bed, leave dumbbells, an unrolled yoga mat, or an exercise ball out. Or, pop in your favorite fitness DVD so it’s all set to go. It’ll be hard to walk out the next day with all those visual reminders.
- Let music inspire you: Hop on iTunes and make a new cardio playlist that you can use during the weekend. When you get out of bed, you’ll be so psyched to listen to it, you’ll rush to get your sports bra on.
- Make a date: Earlier in the week, call up a friend and make plans to hike, meet at the gym, or take a long bike ride together. When you make an agreement to meet at a specific time and place, it’s tough to bail.
- Pick a fun fitness class: Check out the class schedule at your gym or nearby studio and find a class to take. This way you can mark your weekend schedule before errands or social events prevent it from happening.
If improving your sleeping habits made the list of your 2012 resolutions, then let’s get to it! There are simple things you should and shouldn’t be doing to get some quality shut-eye, but what about the person who sleeps to your right (or left)? Do you ever look at your partner as a roadblock to your sleeping success? If your significant other is interfering with your sleepy time, here are some helpful tips to get you back on track . . . no separate rooms required!
- Some like it hot, some like it cold: If your partner likes to keep the heat cranked throughout the night, while you prefer to keep it at a lower temperature, use scientific evidence to win this battle. Like it or not, room temperature has a significant impact on sleep. To get proper, quality sleep, the body needs to reach an internal temperature of 65 to 72 degrees F. If he (or she) is still set on sweating it out, load up the blankets on their side of the bed and have them wear socks and a sweatshirt to bed.