Allure, Madaline Donnelly
On any given day, when you're a young woman in New York City, a good night's sleep can be a pretty tall order. Between the perpetual FOMO, the need to fit in one more episode of Downton Abbey, and the occasional drunken college acapella group belting Rihanna at 4:30 A.M. outside your window (true story), times are tough-and tired. But the fact is, beauty sleep is a real thing (a lack of it can not only cause dark circles, but some studies also link sleep loss to weight gain and, in the long run, an increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure). Lately, an app called Sleep Cycle has been making the have-you-heard-about-this rounds of my sleep-deprived friends.
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Basically, you open the app, set a 30-minute wake-up window on its alarm clock, and tuck your phone under your bed's fitted sheet when you hit the hay. Throughout the night, the app monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you up when you're sleeping most lightly. It also evaluates sleep quality and helps you determine what's causing any restlessness (too much caffeine, not enough exercise, and so on). I've been using it for a few weeks and so far, I completely buy into the hype! It wakes me up at a different time each morning, and I really do feel less of a jolt when the peaceful alarm goes off.
Here are some other tips experts have given Allure on ways to get the best night's sleep:
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Avoid booze before bed.
A glass of wine may help you fall asleep more easily, but it'll actually increase wakefulness once it leaves your system, leaving you tossing and turning until your alarm goes off.
Turn your thermostat down (68 degrees is ideal), kick your beloved pets out of your room (as mean as it sounds, they disrupt sleep), and try to relax. If you're still wired from the day, drink a cup of decaffeinated chamomile tea.
Try mood lighting.
Avoid bright electronic light for an hour before bed, and keep your bedroom dark so your body knows it's time to release melatonin. Try to expose yourself to natural, bright light as soon as you wake up to reset your internal clock.
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