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5 Surprising Sleep Tips

Updated on September 30, 2012

We all need sleep

Without sleep, we'd be awake all the time. We all need to close our eyes and drift away into Rapid Eye Movement (REM, but not the seminal rock/pop band that is way better than U2) sleep on a daily basis. Don't try to skip a day. Plan to sack out during every 24 hour period regardless of what's on TV or who is in the chat room. Here are some surprising tips for optimizing your zzzzz time.

1. Don't use your bed for anything else

Many erstwhile sleepers surprise themselves to learn that their bed might be home base for non-sleeping activities, thereby reducing the possibility for optimal sack time. For example, building a bird house in your bed becomes problematic: you don't want to roll over into a pile of sawdust just when you fall into a deep slumber. Power tools and cords take up way too much space on the mattress. Oil-based lacquers may knock you out, but that's considered cheating by leading sleep experts. Homer Formby belongs in the garage, not the bedroom.

2. Use the proper weight bedding

As a general rule, piling quilts upon your prone form will keep you awake when it's 90 degrees and 95% humidity outside. Your air conditioner was not designed to simulate life on an iceberg. Carefully consider thread count, blanket thickness, and layers of flannel when you prepare your sleeping accoutrement. Stellar stores such as JC Penny and Ollie's offer for sale bedding equipment that is season-appropriate. Plan to stock up on at least two complete sets of top sheets, bottom sheets, pillow cases, blankets, duvets, slipcovers, and quilts, thus enabling you to adapt to changing temperatures.

3. Make sure your room is dark enough

Understandable, it is, to enlighten your bedroom sufficiently. No one wants to stumble over a pair of casually discarded shoes or the previous residents. You will need a lamp or a flashlight to maneuver. On the other hand, sleepy time obligates darkness. Total impenetrable darkness makes for better sack time. It should be so dark that the bottom of a coal mine at midnight on a Union holiday would seem like Times Square at high noon on a day with no clouds and all the lights left on by mistake.

4 Avoid caffeine before bed

Wonderful caffeine appears in almost everything worth eating, like coffee, coffee yogurt, and coffee ice cream. Unfortunately, caffeine jangles your nerves like the worst nerve jangler you can imagine. Just a hint of caffeine in your bloodstream will keep you awake no matter how tired you are. You'll lay in bed making up lists of lists. You'll never wake up because you won't have fallen asleep. Even TV infomercials and MSNBC won't put you to sleep. Lay off the caffeine from about 7:05 in the morning until you go to bed at night. Drive past Starbucks. Don't make eye contact with the forlorn baristas: they can't sleep either because caffeine permeates their pores throughout the work day. It's all very sad.

5. Avoid long naps

If you really and truly want to sleep, don't sleep. Should you be sincerely sincere regarding your intention to rack up consecutive hours of nightly unconsciousness, stop sleeping. If you nap excessively, you set yourself up to fail. Sacking out during the day at work or while waiting in line at Starbucks, where you shouldn't be anyway, will keep you awake at night. Your human body only has so many 'Z's left in it: don't use them up while you're awake.


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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Great tips! Bedding weight is something I sometimes tend to forget but I can easily tell if there's too much on my bed.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      nicomp...Yep...I have enjoyed coffee yogurt as is yummy! :)

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Austinstar, My condolences to your neighbors. :)

      breakfastpop : I have found my audience.

      Scribenet : Coffee yogurt is also awesome.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Considering I just spent a sleepless night because I enjoyed a great cup of coffee late last night...oh well...yawn.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      You make a lot of sense but I have to say I love building birdhouses in bed!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Ha! Sleeping during the day is way more restful than laying in bed all night being unable to sleep. Use those night hours to drink coffee and write, paint or annoy your neighbors.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      drbj : I agree. g'night.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      What a cornucopia, nicomp, of night time information,

      I shall follow all your tips to achieve restful relaxation.

      Baristas - begone!