July 28, 2011 10:15 AM   Subscribe

There's nothing like a productive and clear-headed day after a good night's rest. But this happens far less often than I would like. Is there some sort of guide to getting good rest? Not tips for insomniacs, just something for normal healthy people to get better rest. Resthacks?

For instance, I massaged a few knots out of my neck last night, and woke up more refreshed than usual.
posted by parallax7d to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Find a way to block all the lights. Heavy curtains, duct/electrical tape over indicator lights on technology, turn cellphones upside down and away from you, etc.

Run a fan to block out little noises through the light. This might also cool your room down and let you sleep more comfortably

Exercise each day (not right before bed though!)

Read before bed (or do something that doesn't involve a tv or computer screen)

Get a mattress topper (changed my life!)

Answer nature's call before going to bed, even if she's not calling.
posted by royalsong at 10:21 AM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

Exercise makes a huge difference for me. I would try yoga to help you relax if you're particularly tense.

Also, don't drink much water in the evening, so you don't have to pee too much.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:23 AM on July 28, 2011

clean sheets

f.lux if you're going to be on the computer at night
posted by desjardins at 10:34 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

If I eat something w/in 2 hours of going to bed, my sleep is negatively affected (presumably because my stomach is digesting).
posted by czytm at 10:35 AM on July 28, 2011

Having insomnia ( I know, you said normal) has made me seek things for a more full, restful sleep.
Things I've found:
Walk before bed
A hot shower
Fan as others stated, ambient noise
Foam/gel mattress pad

That mattress pad has seriously changed the way I sleep. I use to wake up and recalibrate my positions a few times a night on average prior to the mattress pad. Now the instance of awaking mid night has become a more rare occurrence, perhaps 2 times a week.
posted by handbanana at 11:17 AM on July 28, 2011

Every morning when I eat breakfast, I turn on the light in the kitchen, even if it's already light outside, to try to expose myself to more light early in the day. I've heard that being exposed to more light in the morning and less light in the evening can help regulate your body's sleep cycle.

I also try to get exercise. I frequently bicycle to work, and notice that I sleep better on the days that I ride. If bicycle commuting isn't feasible, try to get some other kind of exercise, even if it's just going for a walk around the neighborhood.

Seconding f.lux.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2011

I find that waking naturally to sunlight streaming in (which is, alas, only possible part of the year where I am) is much more refreshing than waking to an alarm, which may intrude at the wrong moment in my sleep cycle. If it doesn't prevent you from getting to sleep in the first place, I would suggest sleeping with the curtains/blinds open.
posted by Urban Hermit at 11:46 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

So what type of mattress pad is best? Memory foam? Down?
posted by newsomz at 12:05 PM on July 28, 2011

Sleeping regular hours. I can't tell you how much better I feel now that I'm getting up at the same time every morning and going to bed at (rougly) the same time every night. Of course I still feel drowsy and grumpy sometimes but I've noticed it wears off much faster. Also don't skimp - around 8 hours is the best time for most bodies. I've heard that the point in your sleep cycle that you wake up most alert from happens around once every 4 hours, so multiples of 4 should be good.

Past that, what others have said about clean sheets, exercise and shower is good advice.
posted by fearnothing at 12:28 PM on July 28, 2011

I am surprised nobody has mentioned it, but masturbating (or sexing) right before sleep is pretty magic. It makes me feel great in the morning.
posted by teraspawn at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2011

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