There’s nothing I love more on a frigid winter night than snuggling up in thick flannel pajamas and diving into bed under a heavy down quilt. But it turns out that I may be treating myself to too much of a good thing.
Sleep experts say that in order to get a good night’s sleep, your body needs to stay relatively cool. Otherwise, even though you may fall asleep, you wind up tossing and turning to get comfortable, and then get up the next day feeling groggy. Try to keep the temperature of your bedroom between 60 and 68 degrees and cover yourself with lighter layers that you can shed before slipping into dreamland.
Research also tells us that people who get less than five hours of zzzs a night are 50 percent more likely to be obese than those who get a solid seven to nine hours. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, and it’s not because you’re too warm, try one of these simple tips:
- Physical activity during the day will help you sleep better at night. Exercise reduces stress and induces sleep by promoting deep relaxation. And you don’t need any fancy equipment — or warm, sunny weather — to do the trick. March or jog in place while you’re watching the evening news. Mix in a few jumping jacks if you’re up to it, and throw in some sit-ups too!
- Chamomile is a fragrant herbal tea with proven sleep-inducing qualities. So brew a cup before bed and slowly sip it. It’ll help your whole body, including your brain, relax and wind down.
- Use guided imagery, a form of self-hypnosis, to help yourself to sleep. Listen to a meditation tape or use a progressive muscle relaxation routine to become deeply relaxed, then picture yourself comfortably asleep. Do this nightly for several weeks, and you’ll soon be able to fall asleep more easily.