In many ways, sleep is a lot like your morning commute. Even when armed with a full tank of gas, ample time and the right gear, you’re still at the mercy of traffic congestion and accidents. It’s the same way with sleep – some nights will be smoother than others.
Considering that more than a third of us struggle to find a good night’s sleep, it’s clear we’re not exactly achieving success in the sleep department. In fact, some of us have become pros at not sleeping. Think I’m joking? Log onto Facebook or Twitter and count how many of your friends brag about how little they slept the night before. Since when did sleep deprivation evolve from torture to a badge of honor?
If you’re tired of missing out on the non-sleeping competition (pardon the pun) that’s taking place online and in offices everywhere, listen up. We’ve gathered 7 cheats to get you to the top of the worst night’s sleep competition. Using just one of these will set you up for success. Use all of them and you may even achieve super-elite non-sleeper status.
For those about to not-sleep, we salute you…
Go to bed at a different time every night. Store your phone face-up beside your bed, leaving the ringer on high, text and social media notifications turned on as well. While you’re at it, install a TV in the bedroom and fall asleep with it on each night. Not only will you wake up tired, your interupted sleep means you won’t be getting any REM sleep, which is what helps heal your body and mind while you sleep. But you can sleep when you’re dead, right?
No need to read quietly or soak in the tub before bed. Pick a fight with your spouse or kids later in the evening to drive your blood pressure up to ensure relaxation is far from reach. If you’re lucky, you might enjoy some fantastic nightmares to share at the office tomorrow.
Make some popcorn and watch back to back Homeland and Mentalist episodes before bed. You’ll be sleeping sitting on the edge of your bed all night – literally.
A drink with dinner may help you uncoil from the day’s stress but maybe you’d like another. Go ahead, indulge. Drinking before bed will help you fall asleep and it’s a sure-fire way to guarantee a midnight wake-up call too. You won’t need to ask, “why can’t I sleep,” anymore because now you know.
Sure there’s been lots written lately about the dangerous morning-after effects of sleep aides but pay no heed. On second thought, as a pro non-sleeper, this one goes against your goal so think twice before indulging. Do you need a sleep doctor? Not if enjoying sleep deprivation is your goal.
Sleep experts say strenuous exercise 3 hours before bed can make it hard for your body to relax into sleep. Sign up for a boxing class or plan your marathon training later in the evening. Skip the shower before bed for bonus points. With this tip, you might want to consider auditioning for the next zombie movie…
If you want to be a pro non-sleeper, ignore your lumpy, sagging mattress (and the back pain it causes). Just like your favorite old chair or worn pair of shoes, your mattress can still feel somewhat comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper support and comfort it needs.
Follow these 7 strategies and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a restless night spent staring at the clock. And when you log onto Facebook next, you’ll have your own bragging rights to share with your friends. Sweet, right?
If, on the other hand, you’re actively seeking a good night’s sleep, read our “7 Strategies for a GREAT Night’s Sleep.”
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