12. Sleep alone. Sure you love your spouse or partner, but studies find one of the greatest disruptors of sleep is that loved one dreaming away next to you. He might snore, she might kick or cry out, whatever. In fact, one study found that 86 percent of women surveyed said their husbands snored, and half had their sleep interrupted by it. Men have it a bit easier; just 57 percent said their wives snored, while just 15 percent found their sleep bothered by it. If you absolutely will not kick your partner out (or head to the guest room yourself), then consider these anti-snoring tips:
- Get him (or her) to stop smoking. Cigarette smoking contributes to snoring.
- Feed him (or her) a light meal for dinner and nix any alcohol, which can add to the snoring.
- Buy some earplugs and use them!
- Play soft music to drown out the snoring.
- Present your lover with a gift-wrapped box of Breathe Right strips, which work by pulling the nostrils open wider. A Swedish study found they significantly reduced snoring.
- Make an appointment for your sleeping partner at a sleep center. If nothing you do improves his or her snoring, your bedmate might be a candidate for a sleep test called polysomnography to see if sleep apnea is the cause. Better to help your partner — and yourself — than to exile the poor sonorous soul!
13. Take a combination supplement with 600 mg calcium and 300 mg magnesium before bed. Not only will you be providing your bones with a healthy dose of minerals, but magnesium is a natural sedative. Additionally, calcium helps regulate muscle movements. Too little of either can lead to leg cramps, and even a slight deficiency of magnesium can leave you lying there with a racing mind.
14. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed. Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
15. Munch a banana before bed. It’s a great natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone, as well as tryptophan. The time-honored tradition, of course, is warm milk, also a good source of tryptophan.
16. Drink water before bed, not fruit juice. One study found it took participants an extra 20 to 30 minutes to fall asleep after drinking a cup of fruit juice, most likely because of the high sugar content in juice.