Want to get a good night’s sleep like I do?

First cut out (or just keep out) the caffeine. Caffeine Informer points out that the half-life of caffeine lasts about 5 hours (which is where 5-Hour Energy drinks got their name). But note that half the caffeine 5 hours after you consume it is still a lot of caffeine, especially if you have low body fat. Ten hours after consumption, you still have 25% left in your system. 15 hours later, you only have 12.5% or so left in your system, which synchs pretty nicely with the 16 hours or so you should have between bedtimes, so it’s best to have just a cup of joe first thing in the morning to get your day started and leave it at that.

Another habit that helps sleep is regular exercise. In studies cited by the National Sleep Foundation, after 1 to 6 months of regular exercise, adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer, and had better sleep quality. The same organization notes that intense exercise too close to bedtime can have an adverse effect, however, so make your workout habits an a.m. thing if possible, or at least a few hours before bedtime if not.

Finally, cut down on the sugar, especially late at night. I once drank a lot of Kool-Aid, pouring cupfuls of sugar into the mix, telling myself it wasn’t soda, and had some pretty bad sleep habits. Lots of sugar can not only lead to waking up in the middle of the night, it can cut into your all-important deep sleep. Crystal Light isn’t a bad sub.

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