Nothing kills productivity like a bad night’s sleep. According to a study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sleep-related reductions in productivity cost $3,156 per employee with insomnia, and averaged about $2,500 for those with less severe sleep problems.
Here are a few ways to increase the quality of your sleep.
1) Exercise that morning or afternoon.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercising in the morning or afternoon can help you fall asleep faster that evening — and then sleep more deeply once you do fall asleep. Regular aerobic exercise has been proven to improve sleep quality and leads to fewer depressive symptoms, more vitality, and less sleepiness during the daytime.
There’s a reason they don’t include nighttime, though: They warn that vigorous exercise before bedtime can actually reverse those good effects of exercise.
2) Avoid eating heavy meals late in the day.
Some studies have shown that food is processed differently at different times of day. Avoid eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime, otherwise your body will be busy trying to process those calories rather than resting.
A grumbling stomach won’t help you fall asleep either, though — so don’t deprive yourself if you’re hungry. Just keep in mind that some foods are more conducive to a better night’s sleep than others, like chamomile tea, warm milk, and turkey. Other, lesser-known foods that help you fall asleep are broccoli, bananas, kiwi, tart cherries, and halibut, according to Sleep Expert Dr. Michael Breus.
“The data suggests a high-carb, low-protein snack (under 250 calories) is a good choice,” Dr. Breus told Yahoo! Food. “I suggest cheese and crackers, or even a bowl of oatmeal.”