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5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Better

5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Better

Tired? Most of us are. With the pressures of everyday life and screens in our faces from the moment we wake up until our heads hit the pillow, there’s always something going on to distract us from one of the essentials of everyday life: sleep. We all know that sleep is necessary for maintaining productivity and health, and the Mayo Clinic suggests that we should be getting between 7-9 hours a night of good sleep. Sound impossible? You’re not alone, Americans get much less sleep than we did 40 years ago. Back then, we averaged 7.1 hours a night. Today, that’s dropped a full hour, to an average of 6.1 hours per night. Some of us get even less—30% of employed adults sleep only 6 hours or less daily. That’s scary—when you consider that fatigue and poor sleep can contribute to health problems, poor productivity, and workplace injuries. Here are just some of the issues insufficient sleep can cause:

  • Moodiness & Depression
  • Poor Memory & Cognitive Ability
  • Weight Gain
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weakened Immune System

As you can see, not getting enough sleep doesn’t just affect your productivity at work—it has a negative impact on nearly every area of your life. So how can you fix your sleep? Here are 5 great bedtime habits that will help you make the most of your shut-eye.

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1. It’s Bedtime

The first sleep habit you’ll want to pick up is actually setting a bedtime—and sticking to it. You have to get up every morning at the same time anyway—why should bedtime be any different? Consider it part of your work routine, and you’re less likely to make excuses. Set your bedtime by counting back at least seven hours from when you get up and get used to the idea that you’ll need to get through an adjustment period. Once you’re used to going to bed at the same time, though, you’ll be glad you did.

2. Banish the Screens and Build a Ritual

It’s recommended that you turn off all screens and electronics a minimum of 60 minutes before you plan to go to sleep (bonus points if you can keep electronics out of your room altogether!). Use this time to create a ritual for yourself: brush and floss, wash your face, read a book to wind down (though not IN bed)—whatever works well to relax you. Light tricks the brain into believing you should be awake and alert, so keep the lighting soft. If you just can’t put your phone away at the end of the day, at least put it to good use and try one of the many sleep apps available. Artificial intelligence will analyze your sleep cycle and it is a great way recognize your habits while helping you decide how to tailor your sleep routines.

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3. Create a Haven

A key to great sleep is a comfortable sleeping space—and you’re in control. Investing in a good mattress is your first step. Think about it—you’re going to be spending a third of each day in bed, so your mattress should be contributing to high-quality sleep. Get yourself some comfy pillows and quality bedding that makes you feel good.

Once you’ve got your bed under control, think about the light and air in your room. Do you need a fan or white noise machine? Is the temperature comfortable? Ideally, you’ll be sleeping in a cool, not cold room with no visible light, even from an alarm clock. An eye mask or ear plugs can help block out any unwanted distractions. If the humidity of the air is an issue, you may want to consider a humidifier or de-humidifier—depending on the condition of the air and the season. It’s all up to you!

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4. Manage Your Meals

You shouldn’t be too hungry—or too full by the time it’s bedtime. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine have negative effects on your sleep quality as well, so be sure you’re limiting these substances before bed. Harvard suggests avoiding caffeine for at least 4-6 hours before you intend to turn in for the night.

5. Tire Yourself Out

If you have trouble sleeping, you’ve got some work to do to establish a healthy routine. The first trick to try is simply tiring yourself out. Skip the naps, even when you feel like you need a quick pick-me-up—naps prevent consistency and can keep you from falling asleep.

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Exercise does double duty: it tires you out and helps regulate your sleep over time. That’s one of the many reasons it is so important to establish a regular exercise program. Your body and mind will thank you—just be sure to get your workout in several hours before bed.

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Last Updated on August 13, 2018

5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

Making love can be simultaneously the most pleasurable and the most stressful experience that we share with another human being. It is a natural conclusion of the ritual of intimacy we engage in with a person we find attractive on both a physical and psychological level. Yet, we are far removed from our animalistic roots, and that which was once a matter of instinct has become somewhat complex. This is a good thing; we have grown as a society, and there are many factors involved when it comes to the relationship between sexual partners. However, we have also lost a great deal of the physical prowess our primitive ancestors had.

They engaged in a huge amount of physical activities daily — activities that ensured their cardiovascular system and muscles were in great shape, which allowed them to have healthy libidos, strong erections, and the muscular strength, limberness and endurance to maintain different positions for a long time without getting exhausted. Luckily, we can regain some of these animalistic traits with the right kind of training. Here are some essential exercises that will help improve your relationship, but making you more confident in intimate settings, which means that you’ll have more satisfying intercourse.

Don Juan

    1. Cardio for Stamina

    If you’re out of shape, the first thing you’ll notice during intercourse is that you start to breathe heavily, sweat profusely and tire easily. This means you’ll have to shift your posture frequently and limit yourself to a few positions you feel comfortable with or significantly slow down the pace. A high BMI has also been linked to potential problems with erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming and cycling will build up your aerobic stamina and enable you to perform longer before becoming fatigued, thus having better intercourse. They’ll also help manage your weight, possibly helping performance.

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    Triathlon symbol
      • Running – 10-20 minutes a day (1-3 miles a day is more than enough)
      • Jumping rope – 5-20 minutes a day
      • Swimming – 30 minutes a day
      • Cycling – 30 minutes a day

      The time in minutes denotes time spent actively performing the exercise, and you need to factor in a bit more time for warming up before and cooling down after the exercises.

      These exercises can be performed every day or every other day, and the goal is to work on both endurance and speed. Don’t just go at a snail’s pace; constantly try to improve your time or add some mileage.

      2. Strength-Training for Your Lower Body and Core

      The next thing you’ll need to focus on is improving both the strength and muscular endurance of the hip flexors, abdominals and spinal erectors. These are the muscles engaged in thrusting and circular motions, and they also stabilize your body in a number of different positions. The legs also play an important role, particularly in standing and kneeling positions. Here are a few exercises that will help you strengthen up this area:

      Barbell squats
        • Heavy barbell squats – set up at a power rack at the gym and make sure you use proper form and weights that you can lift 3-8 times. Do this exercise before anything else in the gym for 4-5 sets to get big and powerful legs, as well as tighten up the muscles of the core. This is useful for both men and women, particularly if you enjoy the woman-on-top positions and standing positions. You can do hack squats on the machine if your gym lacks a power rack, but you won’t get the core-strengthening benefits

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        Zercher squat
          • Zercher squatsthis type of squat is a perfect way for guys to strengthen their body for standing positions where the woman is lifted off the ground. Build up a foundation of strength first, and then use lighter weights and go for 10-12 repetitions to focus on muscle endurance.

          Glute bridge
            • Glute bridgethis exercise is great for working the glutes and hip thrusters, and should be done for ultra-high reps —up to 100 — to increase muscle endurance. Once you become stronger in this movement, you can upgrade to the barbell glute bridge and keep the reps high — around 10 to 15.

            Hyperextensions
              • Hyperextensions – excellent for strengthening the spinal erectors, this exercise (or a variation of it) may be done in most gyms and even at home. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions at the end of your workout.

              Ab wheel rollout
                • Ab wheel rollout – this is a great exercise for strengthening the abs, and requires only a piece of inexpensive equipment. It will help you stay stable and hold positions longer without getting tired during intercourse. Do three sets of this workout for as many repetitions as you can.

                Cross body crunch
                  • Cross body crunchthis exercise improves your ability to perform explosive twisting motions, particularly good for improving your stamina in the spoon position where you’e lying on your side. Do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise at the end of your workout.

                  Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times a week.

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                  3. Upper-Body Strength Training

                  Upper-body strength plays an important role in many popular sex positions where the arms are used to provide a stable base or hold onto the partner. These including missionary, doggy style, the stand and carry (with the woman holding onto the man’s neck) and others. Use these simple exercises to improve upper body strength and endurance:

                  Plank exercise
                    • Plank – while bench pressing is great for building a big chest, you will find yourself in need of static strength, muscle endurance and a strong core. This exercise is a great way to increase the amount of time you are able to hold positions that require you to support yourself with your arms. For added difficulty, straighten out your arms like at the top of a pushup and hold as long as you can.

                    Close grip pushups
                      • Close pushups – a pushup variation that focuses on triceps, which are the first to give out during a prolonged missionary or similar position. Go for very high reps, 20 t0 50, to work on muscle endurance.

                      Chin ups
                        • Chin-ups – A great upper back and biceps builder, this exercise will also target the core if you try to be as straight as possible when lifting yourself up. You can jump to help make things easier, or just hold as long as you can if you aren’t strong enough to perform a single chin up. Do 3 to 4 sets for as many reps as you can.

                        These exercises, done about three times a week, will help you develop a strong upper body that can keep going and hold you up for extended periods of time.

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                        4. Pelvic-Floor Exercises

                        You don’t have to perform these at the gym, although you could do them after your workout without anyone even noticing. The idea behind Kegel exercises is to improve blood flow to the sex organs and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor in both men and women. By locating these muscles and tightening and relaxing them for intervals of 5 seconds for 10 to 15 repetitions at a time, several times a day, you can improve pleasure and performance during sex. Women can tighten their vaginal walls for increased pleasure to both them and their partner, while men can delay ejaculation by tightening these muscles.

                        5. Flexibility Moves for Legs and Hips

                        Lion stretching

                          If you want to avoid getting cramps — or even worse, pulling a muscle during intercourse — you should do a few simple stretches every day. The more limber you are, the more comfortable you’ll be with more exotic poses. Here are a few simple stretches to improve hip and leg flexibility:

                          Take a few minutes to warm up with some light running or jumping jacks before stretching, and spend some 10 minutes on these stretches. You can do them in the morning and at night, or shortly before intercourse.

                          With just a few hours a week devoted to exercise, you can improve your relationship significantly. If you focus on these exercises, over time, you just might become dynamite in bed.

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