If your nighttime routine consists of nothing more than changing from your work clothes into your pajamas and crawling into bed, it’s time to rethink it. Try adopting some new bedtime habits for better sleep, better sex, and a better morning.
1. Have foods rich in magnesium.
Craving a bedtime snack? Make it an avocado, nuts, a banana, or other foods rich in magnesium. Studies have found that the mineral helps adults with insomnia sleep longer and wake up easier. You could also get your magnesium dose through a relaxing epsom salt bath.
2. Put on night cream.
Bedtime is the best time to fight wrinkles with face creams that contain retinol, an anti-aging ingredient that’s inactivated in the sun.
3. Get naked.
Only 18 percent of women go commando while they sleep, but it could be good for your health…down there. Gynecologists recommend it, citing a lower risk of infection when you air things out. Skin-to-skin contact with your partner can also boost feel-good chemicals like oxytocin.
4. Take aspirin.
Many already take a daily aspirin to lower their risk of heart disease. But some research points to aspirin being most effective when taken at night, possibly because it counteracts cholesterol production that happens as we sleep.
5. Have a protein-rich snack.
If you work out (no matter what time of day), some greek yogurt before bed will help get your body to work repairing your muscles while you sleep.
6. Work out, maybe.
Boost your performance by working out in the early evening—studies show that core body temperature peaks at night, loosening up muscles. Research also shows that flexibility, alertness, and lung function all peak in the evening, too, making it the perfect time to go for a run and set a PR. However, if you’re looking to burn calories, the best time of day to work out may be in the early morning before breakfast, according to another study. (In truth, the best time to work out is when you have the time to do it.)
Trying to memorize a presentation? Go over it before bed—that’s the best time for your brain to cement new knowledge and help you retain information.
8. Listen to music.
Research has found that listening to soft, slow music before bed can help you sleep better and longer at night and make you feel more alert the next day.
9. Switch to paperback.
If you read before bed, switch from your e-reader to a paperback and you’ll thank yourself in the morning. Thanks to the light emitted from e-readers, when you use one right before bed you’re more prone to taking longer to fall asleep and taking hours longer to feel fully awake and alert in the morning compared to print book readers.