Carbs before bed
Though this may seem like a diet fanatics nightmare, when your hungry your body releases stimulants which tell us that its time to eat. Going to bed on an empty stomach means these hormones can keep you awake, so around an hour before tucking yourself in, tuck in to a carb snack such as a banana or a cracker. Carbs will speed up the body’s release of tryptophan which is what up’s your brains production of the sleep inducing serotonin.
As far as species go were pretty intelligent, but unfortunately we haven’t yet learned to distinguish man-made from natural light meaning any form of brightness will get our wake cycle going. Herbert Yew, a physician at Stanford University’s Sleep Disorders Clinic has said an hours illumination can disrupt the brains nocturnal production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Though a minute red light from a remote or DVD player won’t keep you from falling asleep, a glow from your laptop or a crack under the door letting the landing light through might. Switch off electrical equipment including T.V’s around half an hour before bedtime and if you need to pop to the loo in the night try not to switch the light on!
Cool room, warm toes
According to research, when we’re getting ourselves ready for bed, our thermoregulation system diverts blood from our core to our extremities, a process which lowers the body’s temperature. Though it is not known exactly why this happens, its thought to have something to do with preserving our energy for when we wake. Therefor sleeping in a cool room will hurry along the process so we can fall asleep faster. Its also advisable to pop on a pair of socks, helping the blood vessels to expand and encourage blood flow which aids body cooling.
Though alcohol may make you feel a little tired and drowsy initially, when it begins to metabolize the brain works hard at cancelling out the sedative effects. This means that once your liver has got around to processing the liquor, your head has overcompensated leaving you wide awake and irritable.