Rest Stop: Our Essential Guide to a Perfect Night's Sleep

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If you snooze, you won’t lose: Ten top tips to sleep like a log

The more sleep you get the healthier you are — fewer colds, more energy, less stress. But give up on the Ambien — sedated sleep is not a cure, say scientists.

1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

2. Set a time for switching off all electronic stimulants — computers, phones, the TV—and try to read or listen to music instead.

3. Keep a sleep diary, noting the time you go to bed and the hour you rise, and how you feel each morning. If you woke up in the night, write that down, too.

4. In the morning, coffee is not enough, you must also eat breakfast. It’s how you sync up with the day.

5. Avoid alarm clocks. The best alarm clock is internal. And whatever you do, kill the snooze button. It’s jarring and downright wrong to be shocked awake every five minutes.

6. A warm shower or hot bath can aid sleep, but give yourself an hour-and-a-half before bed to feel the full benefit—the body needs to be in cool-down mode when you hit the sack.

7. No late-night snacking. Put the cheese away — and avoid milk chocolate, which contains caffeine (though dark chocolate also contains serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you relax).

8. Turn down the heating. The cooler the room the more likely you are to sleep like a baby.

9. A messy bed can be distracting. Remake your bed each morning, and use good quality sheets  and pillows. We’re fans of Brooklinen’s super-soft twill cotton sheets—they breathe well, so you won’t be sleeping hot. Brooklinen.com

10. Cuddle up with someone—just ask their permission first.

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Tags: Lifestyle

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