5 Easy Tricks to Help You Get a Better Night's Sleep

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired March 27, 2015

by Lisa Lozano

Board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus is revealing the secrets of good sleep to Rachael, and you might be surprised by what he has to say. Read on for his five amazing tips to help you rest easy.

1.) Beverages Can Help or Hurt You

Dr. Breus reveals that banana peels are packed with magnesium, but who wants to chew on a banana peel? He shares that you can boil a banana with the peel for 8 minutes, to make a delicious banana bedtime tea. Meanwhile, caffeine can stay in your system for 8-10 hours, so Dr. Breus recommends abstaining from caffeine after 2 p.m. Likewise, more than two alcoholic beverages can affect your sleep. Alcohol keeps you out of the deep stages of sleep, and because it's a diuretic, you end up waking up in the night to use the bathroom.

Bonus Tip: Dr. Breus shares that exercise can help you sleep better, but you want to make sure you don't do it too close to bedtime, since you'll be revved up and will have a harder time calming down for sleep.

2.) Good Night Smoothie

Dr. Breus recommends a special bedtime smoothie that contains: tart cherry juice (tart cherries have the highest melatonin levels of any fruit), bananas (loads of magnesium), Kiwis (which can raise seratonin levels), soy milk (which can regulate temperature), and vanilla for flavor. This concoction will have you drowsy and mellow faster than you can button up your PJs.

3.) Special Lightbulbs and Apps to Help You Sleep

Dr. Breus shares that melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep, is brought on by darkness. So if you have lights on before bed, it can trick your brain into thinking it's daytime. But Dr. Breus reveals special lightbulbs that will either help you go to sleep, or help you wake up! He also shares an app that plays "Pink Noise" which sounds somewhat like an ocean or rushing water and can help you to relax.

4.) Sleep Better By Scheduling Bedtime

Dr. Breus shares a technique that might seem counterintuitive – sleep LESS to help you sleep MORE. Basically he advises to deprive yourself of sleep for a period of time, then to gradually add sleeping time back in until you figure out how much sleep you really need.

Bonus Tip: Dr. Breus says that not every person needs eight hours of sleep.

5.) Supplements to Help You Sleep

Dr. Breus reveals that magnolia bark can help reduce anxiety before bedtime, while magnesium and calcium calm the nerves.

What do you do when you can't sleep? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.

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