It's proven that women don't sleep as well as men. We are biologically programed that way and (of course) it all has to do with hormones. See, we have this little thing called Progesterone, and when our levels of progesterone and estrogen go all crazy, it can totally affect your sleep.

Progesterone is the pre-curser to the sleep chemical, melatonin, so when levels are low (right before and during your period) you might have a hard time catching some Zs. Of course all women are different and this kind of thing might not even affect you (lucky!!), but if it does, or even if it doesn't, here are some of my secrets for drifting off to dreamland.

1. Create the right environment.
According to sleep experts, we sleep best in a place that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. I am a big supporter of this. My boyfriend like to sleep with the TV on, and after months of convincing him, I finally got him to accept that quiet and dark isn't such a bad thing and we both sleep much better without the light and noise. This also applies to checking your iPhone in bed, let your mind relax. Checking your email in bed can cause you to turn a place that is supposed to be calm and relaxing, into a place that could stress you out about things you are reading. Check your email and junk before you head to the bedroom.

2. Chill out on the Caffeine.
That afternoon coffee can affect you for up to 5 hours after you drink it, so If you want to go to be around ten, you might want to have your last coffee/soda/ whatever before 5. While you might not feel amped up anymore 5 hours later, It can still make your mind race like crazy when you are trying to fall asleep.

3. Use Aromatherapy.
There was a time when I thought this was kind of bogus, but that was when I was at a rebellious age, and I was trying to fight the man... and by 'the man', I mean my mom. She is a big believer in this stuff, and now I am too. I have a really amazing lavender candle that I light every night before bed, but I'm considering buying some lavender oil to put on my pillow. Other scents (besides lavender) that help relaxation are chamomile and ylang-ylang.

4. Chill out.
The ideal temperature for sleep is 67 or 68 degrees — its kind of hard to sleep well when you are sweating, so turn down your thermostat.

5. Have some warm milk and honey or cinnamon.
Warm milk has been used as a sleep aid for centuries, and rightfully so. This is a trick my parents used when I was growing up and it always worked wonders for me. Scientists say that the level of the enzyme tryptophan (that stuff that's in turkey that makes you wicked sleepy) varies in milk, but it certainly has a calming effect. The honey has some healing properties that helps restore your body while you sleep, but I usually try to avoid the sugar before bed, so I opt for cinnamon, because that's how they did it on Little House On The Prairie... and it's just super yummy,

6. Get a bed time.
Okay, this one is hard for me, I try to go to bed every night between 10 and midnight, and I wake up naturally every between 7 and 9. This is harder to achieve you like to go out drinking till the bars close... but bottom line, the body loves consistency and will thank you for giving it some kind of routine. You'll wake up feeling a lot more rested.

7. Skip the night cap.
If you've had a hard night of boozing, odds are you aren't actually falling asleep, but passing out. At that point you'll probably wake up with a hangover, so you can pretty much rule out waking up rested. If you're just having a little drinky-poo before bed, I recommend just skipping it. Alcohol is the most used over-the-counter solution to insomnia; and even thought it makes you feel drowsy at first, after 3 hours your body starts to bounce back from being slowed down, which results in crappy sleep or being wide awake when you are dying for a little shut eye.

Do these tips help? what are some things you do to sleep better?

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