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iVillage.com: 10 Surprising Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Have Your Nightcap Early (and Pair it with Orange Juice)

There’s no question a drink before bed can help you drift off a little faster -- study after study shows that alcohol is a powerful nervous system relaxant. But there’s a catch, and it’s a biggie: The body breaks down alcohol into waste products that are caffeine-like stimulants, which can trigger a surge in your heart rate and brain wave activity. “That means a nightcap may put you to sleep, but two hours later you’ll be jolted awake and you’ll have no idea why,” says Joyce Walsleben, Ph.D., research associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine. Fortunately, you don’t need to give up alcohol entirely, just sip your evening drink several hours before lights-out and pair it with a little orange juice. Tufts researchers say OJ’s fructose will get rid of those caffeine-like stimulants 20 percent faster.

(CREDIT: Datacraft Co LTD/Imagenavi/Getty Images)
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