Who doesn’t love climbing out of bed fresh and energized? But for the 67 percent of us who start days more ugh than upbeat, help is here! IDing your snooze sapper will help you sleep better and greet every day with a smile.
Wake up tired? Slip on compression socks.
Bone-weary mornings may signal apnea, or nightly breathing pauses that disrupt deep sleep. But French researchers say donning compression socks during the day cuts apnea episodes by 36 percent in one week! Fluid that pools in your legs in the day flows into your chest when you lie down, increasing pressure on airways by 60 percent. Explains study co-author Isabelle Koskas, MD, “Compression socks help reduce that nighttime fluid shift, so airways stay open.”
Wake up worried? Try passionflower.
If your heart is pounding as soon as you wake up, your brain’s production of calming theta waves may be dipping too low at night. Luckily, the herb passionflower can encourage theta wave release and help you sleep 72 percent more soundly if you take 700 mg. at bedtime, suggests a study in Phytotherapy Research. Plus, theta waves can cut the risk of morning anxiety in half!
Wake up headachy? Warm your neck.
Nighttime teeth clenching can double the risk of restless sleep, sore jaw and headache. The soothing Rx: Cuddle in bed with a heating pad on the back of your neck. Italian researchers say relaxing neck muscles cuts the risk of jaw tension and morning pain by up to 55 percent and you’ll drift off 20 minutes faster too!
Wake up stiff? Time your strolls.
Your brain produces a hormone (GABA) that prevents nighttime awakenings, plus reduces morning pain, so low levels mean waking up weary, stiff and sore. Fortunately, your 15-minute lunchtime walk helps. Georgetown researchers say midday sun plus motion increases GABA production in 48 hours to help deepen sleep and halving aches for 82 percent of women studied.
Noshing on avocado daily (mmm… guacamole!) cuts the risk of restless sleep by 54 percent in two months, say University of Bridgeport scientists. The fruit’s healthy fats help reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
The easiest way to quiet nights:
If your own snoring often startles you awake, try using a 1/2″ piece of medical grade tape (available at pharmacies) to gently lift the tip of your nose while you sleep. Canadian researchers say this trick opens the tiny nasal valve, making breathing easier— and quieter!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.