7 Sleep Hacks I Did Not Invent
Unless you’re a new parent, a touring comic, or my husband, you should be getting a good 7-9 hours of sleep every night to maintain optimal health. Obvi this varies by individual, but moooooost humans I know either don’t get enough sleep or don’t sleep well. And if you take sleeping pills, need coffee to function, rarely dream, and/or habitually wake up feeling like a hot mess, you’re probably doing it wrong. I know because I do it wrong all the time. I didn’t invent these hacks, but I regularly employ them, and they work for me.
7 hacks to help you sleep like a bigass adult baby:
1. Make your room really dark. Like, no light whatsoever. Put electrical tape over digital clocks or flickering routers or any other light sources in your bedroom. Turn your phones over. Don’t leave the TV on. Close your laptop. If you can’t get blackout curtains (because yeah, that shit sounds complicated), pull a Miss Piggy and try a sleep mask.
2. Put your phone on airplane mode. Research shows that wifi fucks with your sleep cycle, so turn that shit off before you go to bed. Don’t worry, the alarm will still work. This tip applies to any other wifi devices in you bedroom: Kindles, computers, TVs, etc. Note: the whole wifi-is-dangerous debate is a hot button topic, so if you want to read more about the issue (do it!) you can start with this, this and this. In the meantime, just try the airplane mode thing.
3. Don’t eat or exercise within 2 hours of bedtime. Your body is winding down, so there’s no need to wind it up.
4. Take a Magnesium supplement before bed. Fun fact: this will also help with pooping! I like this brand.
5. End screen time 2 hours before bed. This is tough if you’re a Netflix binge-watcher, but just give it a try. If you simply cannot live in a world where you don’t obsessively check your blog stats before bed, at least install f.lux to help your eyes prepare to eventually close.
6. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages after 2pm. Yeah, this one’s kind of a no-brainer.
7. Don’t booze. Ugh I fucking hate this one. Even though drinking can make you tired, alcohol consumption lowers sleep quality, which is bad. If you’re a fellow red wine enthusiast, you may already know about W.A.D. (Wine Anxiety Disorder) which is a term coined by a former roommate that describes that thing when you drink a lot of wine and then wake up in the middle of the night with your mind wrapped up in GARLIC KNOTS OF PANIC. Good times.
Bonus morning hack: Help regulate your circadian rhythm by going outside and getting 20 minutes of direct sunlight as soon as you wake up (admittedly this is easier if you live in Santa Monica).
You can read more about sleep hacks here and here and look at a (cool) chart here. And if you’re a super nerd, you can use this app to track your progress. (Full disclosure: I’ve used the app, and it’s a pain in the ass. But some people really dig it.)