There's a reason they call it an alarm clock. It jolts you into being every weekday morning. Give it (and yourself) a rest on the weekend.
First, hide that clock. Silence the ringer. If it seems symbolic, stash it in a drawer under a stack of sweaters.
Issue a privacy request (ink it on your planner). Nicely, firmly, tell the world that you'll be waking up on body time. Lay out the cereal and bowls the night before. There--you've been the good provider.
Dress for sleeping success. Choose lightweight clothes that don't tangle or overheat you as you snooze.
Pamper the bed. Splurge on good bedding--not too heavy, not too nubby.
Perfect pillows make a difference. Whether you're a side sleeper, back sleeper, or a flat-on-tummy snoozer, there's one for you. The feather vs. acrylic vs. fiberfill choice is totally up to you, but remember that fiberfill is best if you have allergies.
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Gently spray a lavender mist (such as the one available from www.williams-sonoma.com, $12) on sheets and pillows. Guys, the scent works just as well for you--it's herbal, not sissy (for the record, lavender is known for its ability to soothe).
Post a privacy notice on the door. Click here to download ours (pictured), or let the kids create one for you.
A toddy before bed sounds so elegant--but, frankly, alcohol disturbs your sleep cycle. Opt for an herbal tea or even milk (lactose is supposed to bring on sweet dreams).
Blackout shades tell the sun you mean business. We like the choices at Lowe's ( www.lowes.com). Cost runs around $30 per shade (type in "room darkening," then "roll up shades & blinds" to find).
If your thoughts keep you awake, try soft music or white noise. We're intrigued with the soothing sounds at www.purewhitenoise.com. You can drift off to distant thunderstorms, winds, gentle rain, ocean waves, and crickets of a summer night ($15.95 per CD). A fan can do the trick too.
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Pick the Perfect Pillow
Give your neck and back the support they deserve by selecting a pillow that's ideal for how you sleep.
If you ...
Sleep on your stomach Feather or down pillow: This extra-soft pillow will help keep your neck in line with your spine.
Sleep on your back and/or snore Contoured foam pillow: The shape of this type of pillow positions your head to make it easier for you to breathe.
Sleep on your side Body pillow: Use this long pillow to help take the strain off your back by placing it between your knees.
Sleep while you travel Neck roll: The cylinder shape of this pillow cradles your neck and head so that the motion from cars and planes does not bother you.