Sleepless nights suck. Most specifically, the moment you realize it’s 3:30 a.m. and you’ve been lying awake just staring at the ceiling for the past five hours.
Luckily, I’ve got 11 techniques to help you quit worrying and get snoozing faster.
DIM THE LIGHTS
As bedtime nears, your body starts producing melatonin, a hormone that tells your body, Hey you, it’s time to sleep. But bright lights can interfere and trick your brain into thinking, Oops, it's not quite bedtime yet. So hit the dimmer switch (or better yet, turn off the lights you’re not using). It’s the fastest way to trigger hormone production and set the sleepy mood.
SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE
Same rules apply: Save the Instagram scrolling for the morning and inflict a self-imposed technology ban for at least 60 minutes before bed. All electronic devices (yes, e-readers count) emit blue light--aka the anti-melatonin. Instead, pick up a paper copy of that book you’ve been dying to read or switch on the good old-fashioned TV (assuming you’re not sitting 25 centimeters from the screen, of course).
CHECK THE ROOM TEMPERATURE
The sweet spot for blissful slumber is a cool 18°C. Adjust your air conditioner accordingly.
COVER UP YOUR CLOCK
Come on, is there anything more taunting and stressful than constantly glancing over and seeing the sleepless minutes ticking by? Shield your eyes from the glow--and the pressure--by covering the clockface before you climb into bed.
IN FACT, COVER UP ALL AMBIENT LIGHT
It’s more than just your clock that’s keeping you up: It’s the glow of the cable box, your laptop charging or your phone constantly blinking on and off with alerts. These teeny-tiny interruptions impact your circadian rhythms and, in turn, the quality of your sleep.
TRY A BEDTIME ROUTINE
After a long and busy day, a calming routine helps your brain stop buzzing. Wash your face, put on a beauty mask or take a shower (studies show the steam causes your body temp to rise, then drop, triggering a sleepy feeling).
WEAR COMFY CLOTHES AND SOCKS
From the fabric to the fit, what you wear to bed matters. Opt for breathable fabrics (cotton in the summer; flannel in the winter) and a looser fit so you don’t overheat while you sleep. And if your feet feel cold, throw on a pair of socks--the extra layer helps improve circulation to your extremities, a common sleep complaint.
PICK A COLOR SCHEME THAT SOOTHES
Research shows that calming hues help trigger sleep by helping you relax. This means you should decorate your bedroom in neutral and muted tones versus loud and vibrant shades. Think periwinkle blue or lavender as opposed to sunshine yellow or bright pink.
ASSIGN HOMEWORK TO YOUR BRAIN
No, this doesn’t mean review your to-do list. Come up with creative--and fun--distractions to get your mind off present-day tasks. For example, plotting a new story line for your favorite TV show. Or better yet, plotting your dream vacation.
CALMLY MEDITATE WITH CALM
For the moments we can’t sleep, we’re obsessed with Calm, an app that supplies relaxing sounds like rainfall and crashing waves to drown out common household noises like creaking floorboards…and snoring husbands.
TRY THE 4-7-8 EXERCISE
If all else fails, wellness expert Dr. Andrew Weil swears by this breathing technique to help your mind and body relax. How it works: While you’re lying in bed, exhale completely through your mouth; then, close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for seven counts and exhale again for eight counts. Repeat three more times -- assuming you’re awake that long.
„There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.“
There are two types of people in this world: those who like brownies and those who don't. Actually, scratch that, who doesn't like brownies? To fulfill all of your chocolate dreams, check out these four decadent takes on the classic dessert that go beyond the basic bar.
Love dessert but hate making decisions? Me, too. Which is why I came up with this recipe for brownie pie. Top it with whipped cream or ice cream and you've got yourself a serious treat.
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes
What makes a humble brownie better? Putting it on a stick and dipping it into chocolate, for starters. Just set out a platter of these sweet bites at your next gathering and await all the compliments. Because serving food on stick so that guests can nosh with one hand and hold a drink in the other means you're a host who cares.
Makes 15 Brownie Pops
Start to finish: 50 minutes
BROWNIE LAYER CAKE
So here’s the thing: Brownies are awesome. So awesome that I've decided they needed to be the star in a spectacular dessert. And the brownie layer cake was born. In this recipe, I bake two pans of fudgy, decadent brownies (topped with chocolate chips and chopped nuts) and sandwich them together with whipped cream. The finished cake looks impressive--and tastes even better.
Makes 4 servings
Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
BROWNIE CUPCAKES WITH MARSHMALLOW FROSTING
Cupcakes that frost themselves. Here’s how it works: We start by making brownie batter, which is fast and doesn’t require a mixer. Then, when the cupcakes are almost fully baked, we top each one with a marshmallow, return the pan to the oven and watch those white clouds of sweetness melt over the surface.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Start to finish: 40 minutes
Smells that are tied to a memory or a person can get a guy hot and bothered. If it is a scent he finds sexy or is worn by his lover or former lover, he may get turned on. Perfume is supposed to be attractive, so here’s the proof it gets the job done.
The color red has been shown to be the color most associated with arousal. So, when a woman is wearing red or shows up in a red dress, guys get turned on and are even possibly more drawn to a woman wearing the color.
New, clean sheets are a huge turn on for men. In fact, sliding in between clean and new sheets is a turn on for both sexes. This is quite possibly the reason behind “hotel sex” and the desire to “get busy” in a hotel with clean sheets.
Wearing His Shirt
Throwing on his dress shirt in the morning is extremely hot to men. Guys find something hot about a girl wearing one of their shirts. It is almost a confirmation that the girl likes them in a way, and they love it.
Guys like nerds. They don’t necessarily like people who are way too intelligent for them, but guys do like girls that are super passionate about what they like to do. Being passionate about something you love is a huge turn on for guys.
Making Him Laugh
Men like a sense of humor. If a woman is able to make a man laugh, they find it extremely arousing. Sometimes making a man laugh can lead right to the bedroom (or at least into a fantastic conversation).
Fear, or being scared, can cause arousal, but not necessarily because the man likes being scared. Fear and arousal share things like shortness of breath and a rise in blood pressure, so even if they are scared, their brain may tell them they are aroused instead.
That tickle fight you and your partner have on Sunday mornings sometimes? He’s getting turned on by it, even if he doesn’t tell you. This can also be a fetish, but it is an extremely common thing among men.
Yes, guys can get turned on by simply seeing themselves naked. Most people love being naked, and everyone has had days where they catch a glimpse of themselves and are pretty impressed. Guys get excited by this!