Week 10: Get Sounder Sleep
Turn in by 10 p.m.: Although it might be tempting to stay up later, 10 is the time your body is naturally primed for bed. Why? Some experts say
you get the deepest sleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., as your body’s levels of the hormone melatonin peak around midnight.
That window of time is also when your body goes into cleanup mode, removing all the toxins that have accumulated in your system
during the day. By pushing yourself to stay up later, you’ll take longer to drift off and feel more lethargic in the morning.
In fact, if you’re still up past 10 p.m., your body apples the energy it normally uses for detoxifying your system to mental
activity—including thinking about all you have to do the next day—which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Curb the caffeine: Skipping the double espresso after dinner might be a no-brainer. But if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine’s stimulating effects, you ought to make the switch to decaf during the afternoon—by 2 p.m. Remember that you can get a caffeine buzz from soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate—not just coffee. Some medications contain the stimulant too.
Take a tech time-out: Light emanating from your smartphone, television or computer monitor can suppress your body’s secretion of melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, wind down by listening to soothing music or doing gentle yoga for 15 minutes.