by Lexi Petronis
photo: Horst P. Horst/Vogue If you're anything like me, you wake up on some mornings ("wake" is kind of a subjective term), thinking, Well. That was the worst night's sleep I've ever gotten.
Obviously, I hope you aren't like me, because sleep is important! Countless studies have shown how it helps regulate your metabolism, keeps your mind sharp, increases energy levels, and benefits you in all kinds of other ways. So, in order to actually get a full night's sleep--other than chugging some sort of mystery sleep aid, which doesn't necessarily give you the same kind of benefits of natural sleep--there are some proven methods that are worth trying.
See more: The 10 Prettiest Hair, Nail and Makeup Looks for Fall 2013
Don't smoke, drink, or have caffeine. I know. But caffeine and nicotine are stimulants, which will make your body think you want to stay up. And alcohol may make you nod off, but researchers found that it affects your quality of deep sleep. That means that you could snooze for a solid four hours, only to find yourself awake and wandering the house at 2 A.M., unable to get back to sleep. Not pretty!
Go to bed an hour later than you would normally. Oof. But insomniacs have to do the opposite of what you might think and resist the urge to nap during the day or head to bed right after work. Why? Bingeing on sleep one night and not getting it the next confuses your body's clock, kind of in the same way your body gets confused with a day of big meals one day and tiny ones the next. It needs to learn how to actually be tired in order to start regulating.
See more: Olivia Wilde's Dos and Don'ts of Getting Older
Up your magnesium and calcium. Check with your doc first, of course, but these two minerals are known sleep boosters. Also, reports Health, magnesium cancels out any potential heart problems that might arise from just taking calcium.
Turn off the computer and start breathing. Tapping away at your laptop and then immediately trying to conk out probably isn't going to work--the light and the words stimulate your brain instead of relaxing it. Instead, try doing some gentle stretching exercises or yoga for five to 10 minutes before you're due to hit the hay. Concentrate on your breathing: lie on your back in bed, taking deep, full breaths and letting them out slowly. Listen for the sound of breath at the back of your throat and pay attention to it--Shape likens it to a "baby snoring," and is part of the reason you start to relax.
Do you ever suffer from insomnia? How do you ease yourself to sleep?
More from Glamour:
25 Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Want Bangs
10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Own
15 Hair-Color Makeover Ideas to Try in 2013
8 Workout Moves for a Toned Body in Two Weeks
by Lexi Petronis