by CRNPilates on March 8, 2011

Feeling sleepy? It’s unavoidable in this gray-grayness (most days - obviously not talking about this day because it’s just silly how pretty the sun looks!). There already aren’t enough hours in the day and getting to bed an hour early is probably out of the question. Reports say that 1 in 3 Americans are getting less than 7 hours a night - yikes! So, if it’s 5, 6, 7 hours - here are some tips to make the most of the snooze time you DO have:

• Exercise! Not right before bed, of course, but nothing will make you feel better than a little movement. Hit the studio, gym, or take a stroll with a friend. A little fitness in your life will increase energy and decrease stress - making it easier for your body to shut off in time for bedtime.

• Turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before getting in bed. My favorite acupuncturist says: “The brightness of your computer/TV/iPad/etc. makes it difficult to calm your mind and eyes for quality rest.”

• Drink hot tea. Nothing better than hitting the hay with a hot cup of chamomile tea and a good book. Both sipping tea and reading will help you put aside tomorrow’s to-do list and insist that you slow down and focus on the present. Not to mention, if you’re already just a bit sleepy the book/tea combo is sure to make you conk out!

Beyond the aforementioned, a major piece of getting that quality rest is having a peaceful, quiet, happy mind. And sometimes, it’s just the little things that turn your mind to happy thoughts when falling asleep. Little things like:

• Fresh flowers in your home. (Green City Market)
• Yummy smelling candles. (Archipelago)
• A pretty little something. (Gilt Groupe)
• Frozen yogurt topped with sprinkles. (40 Carrots)
• ______________________ (fill in the blank)

With so much going on, it’s difficult to just focus on rest, but the benefits of quality sleep are too important to ignore. So make the time to make the most of your sleeping hours - your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

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