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Use this wind-down routine from Dr Peter Cistulli, head of sleep medicine at the University of Sydney, to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep, then be out cold within 15 minutes of hitting the pillow.
ONE HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME
Lose the laptop Abnormal bright light from computer screens late at night pushes sleep from your brain, says Cistulli. “It causes your mind to start buzzing.”
Dim to doze Dim the lights in your house before you hit the sack. “Manipulating light exposure can help reset the body clock,” he says.
Have a worry storm Instead of lying awake thinking about it, grab a pad and jot down things that are troubling you.
30 MINUTES TO BEDTIME
Drink warm milk “The tryptophan promotes sleep,” says Cistulli.
20 MINUTES TO BEDTIME
Have a hot bath It boosts your core temperature, says Cistulli. The drop in temperature after you get out simulates the decrease you experience when you sleep.
BEDTIME +10 MINUTES
Fine-tune your thermostat During REM sleep your ability to regulate temperature drops off. “We become like reptiles,” says Cistulli. Blankets let you more precisely regulate heat than duvet, he says.
Hit the books – or the bedhead It’s important to establish a ritual for yourself every night. So, readers, read. Shaggers? Shag. “When it becomes a habit, it’s an unconscious cue to go to sleep.”
FIVE MINUTES TO ZZZZZZZZZ’S
Count it out Had your worry session but still stressing? Count backward from 300 by threes. “It activates different parts of your brain and helps distract you from stressful thoughts,” says Cistulli.