Big Pharma R&D teams know what virtually everyone knows instinctively: good sleep is hard to come by, and insomnia can be a maddening affliction. For those who don’t want to ingest drugs (or pay for them), some simple, time-tested tips can boost the odds for sound sleep.
Numerous studies confirm that consistent strenuous aerobic activity tires you out in a way that establishes restful sleep patterns that your body will replicate night after night.
Do not do the exercise—whether it be walking, jogging, or elliptical—shortly before going to bed. That will raise the heart rate and boost the stress hormones. Mid-day or morning is best. Your body will remember, and your biological clock will fall into sync.
2. Design your bedroom for success.
Keep it slightly cooler than you think, turn off the TV (or take it out of the room), and find a way to keep things quiet—unless you’re having sex.
If a dog up the street is driving you insane with intermittent barking, spend the money on a sound machine to generate white noise. Airline pilots and truckers who keep odd hours have used these devices for years, and the general public can benefit from their experience.
3. Avoid taking naps during the day.
Advice on the value of so-called “power naps” has varied wildly over the past decade, but the latest thinking on the topic dictates that naps can disrupt sound night-time sleeping.
Ultimately, if you conquer insomnia and get a good night’s rest, you won’t need a nap during the day, and your productivity will increase.