Dream on

JOSH DARE’s top 15 secrets to a good night’s sleep.

1. Listen to relaxation CDs
Some people find that relaxation CDs can help them get to sleep at night. The CDs are usually a loop of nature sounds, like the ocean or dolphin calls. Beats listening to your snotty boyfriend, at least.

2. Avoid snacks before bed
Particularly sugars, as they will raise blood sugar levels and inhibit sleep. Or if you do manage to sleep, you might wake up in a couple of hours with low blood sugar levels, craving more. And if you snacked properly, there shouldn’t be any left.

3. Sleep in complete darkness
Just like battery chickens, our sleep cycles are controlled by light – so if there’s any light in the room, it could disrupt them. Even try to avoid turning on the light to go to the toilet. Toilet Duck should totally make a glow in the dark bowl thing to help with aim.

4. No TV in bed
Not only is it over stimulating in an area where you should be concentrating on sleeping, but the light source can also affect your cycles. Plus, Big Brother Up Late isn’t even on anymore.

5. Wear socks to bed
Being the most extreme extremities, feet get cold first; and could cause you to wake up. Studies have shown wearing socks helps reduce waking up. And you know, gay men just can’t get enough sock. It is sock, right?

6. Go to bed as early as possible
Our internal systems do a majority of their nighttime work between 11pm and 1am. Just like any respectable prostitute.

7. Watch the temperature
Keep the temperature in the bedroom no higher than 21 degrees C. Many people keep their homes – and particularly the upstairs bedrooms – too hot. It’s almost as if they were substituting for a lack of heat in other departments.

8. Avoid caffeine
It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but some people cannot metabolise caffeine efficiently and therefore feel the stimulant’s effects long after consumption – even so far as an afternoon cuppa disturbing that night’s sleep.

9. Don’t change your bedtime
You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends, to help your body get into a routine and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning. But it does make it easier for stalkers too, unfortunately.

10. Exercise
Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day – will help you get to sleep. The best time to exercise is in the morning, but any time bar before bed is good (as it could keep you stimulated and awake). Now you have to ask: does sex count as exercise?

11. Keep your bed for sleeping
If you’re used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you’ll find it harder to relax and to think of the bed as a place to sleep. Plus, if you’re watching something as high caliber as The Wedge, you might crap yourself laughing.

12. Take a bath before bed
Baths are great for not only helping you relax; but after you raise your body temperature, it, of course, has to come down again – which helps facilitate sleep. And we’ve been trying to find a polite way to tell you to wash anyway.

13. Avoid alcohol
Even though alcohol can help by making you drowsy, it’s short lived – so you’ll find you may wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep. But then again, you could always keep drinking…

13. Avoid fluids
In addition to alcohol, avoid any great quantity of fluids within two hours of going to bed, which may cause you to wake up busting for the bathroom. Or not even wake up but still badly need the bathroom, which is a bit worse.

14. Minimise electronics
Never let TVs, DVD players, computers, or other electronic devices operate while you sleep – not only may the whirring of the fans bother you, but electro-magnetic fields have been known to disturb sleep. And you’re not exactly using them in the land of nod, hey?

15. Lose weight
Being overweight can increase the risk of sleep apnea (pauses in breath during sleep), which prevents a restful nights sleep. And don’t forget, not being overweight means you can fit more people in the bed, wink wink.