It's annoying enough to be kept awake by a music-blaring neighbor, but when it's you who is sabotaging your own opportunity for rest, it really makes a girl want to scream...and cry from exhaustion. Don't freak out, find out how to fall asleep even when you can't shut your brain off.
Stress-induced insomnia is rampant these days among 20- and 30-something women. Lack of sleep isn't the only health issue that affects young women. Thanks to job and money craziness, hectic social schedules, and the pressure to be totally together, the typical chick is more tense than ever, and that means she's getting less sleep than her body needs, explains Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and coauthor of A Woman's Guide to Sleep.
Here's how to give quiet your reeling brain and racing heart so you can get the R & R you need.
1) Taking a hot bath before bed.Besides being relaxing in its own right, the steamy water also raises your core body temperature, and the subsequent drop in body temperature after you leave the tub puts you in hibernation mode. Add these tricks to your routine to feel sexier and more relaxed.
2) Sipping a cup of warm milk. The warmth is comforting, but it's really the milk that has a soporific effect. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into serotonin - a body chemical in the brain that makes you drowsy.
3) Playing quiet, soothing music.Folk, classical, and even lite-FM tunes that maintain a steady pitch and rhythm have a lulling effect on your system.
1) Exercising close to bedtime.Working out prompts the release of adrenaline and endorphins, hormones that keep you awake. Better to hit the gym at least three to four hours before you go to sleep so you give your body time to cool down and the hormone rush time to subside.
2) Having a drink. Alcohol can make you sleepy initially, but it will likely wake you up later as your body metabolizes the booze.
3) Snacking late at night. It varies depending on the type of food, but in most cases, eating will just pep you up. When you do reach for a snack, make sure you pick one of these healthy treats. Even a rich, heavy snack that leaves you feeling woozy at first may cause you to wake in the middle of the night as your body digests the fat.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.