Dara Torres knows her sleep. As a twelve-time Olympic medalist, mother, best-selling author, role model and motivational speaker, Dara knows the importance of sleep and how it contributes to a person's overall health. Along with diet and exercise, sleep provides the restoration, rejuvenation, and energy necessary for improved performance and everyday wellness.

In partnership with Sleep Innovations, Dara provided these 5 tips for better sleep that make sense. Here's to a good night's sleep.

1. Watch Where You Sleep

Dara Torres knows too well the detriments of a poor night's sleep. When she travels she often sleeps in a bed that is too small or on a mattress that doesn't feel right. She suggests the key to a good night sleep is where you sleep and recommends a bed that is spacious and comfortable. Torres recently added a memory foam mattress topper to her bed and sleeps with her Sleep Innovations REJUVENATIONTM Pillow — even when she travels — which improves air flow for a deeper sleep so she wakes feeling refreshed.

Editor's Note: I recently switched to this molded foam pillow, which is fantastic. I've had a trick neck my whole life, and I've tried every kind of pillow. So far, this one is the best. Chalk one up for space-age technology!

2. Be Active During the Day

As an athlete, Torres' job keeps her more active than most, but even on her recovery days she takes a long walk or goes with her daughter to the park to get outside and moving.

3. Go to Bed Healthy, Not Hungry

Torres tries not to eat large meals late at night, but she never goes to bed hungry. A healthy snack before bedtime helps cure the hunger. And a little dessert never hurt anyone either!

4. Stick to a Sleep Schedule

With Torres' training and a young daughter in school, her family has a set schedule for most days of the week. Even on their days off, Torres ensures they wake up around the same time to enjoy the day and keep to a consistent bedtime to make it easier to fall asleep at night.

5. Find Time to Relax

As an athlete and busy mom, Torres' days are full from start to finish. Taking time to relax and unwind is important to her. Whether it is reading a book or catching up on a favorite TV show, she recommends finding some down time to let the body recover before getting ready for bed.


It's one thing to get yourself to sleep. Getting the rest of your family to rest might be another story. Sleep journalist Malia Jacobson answers reader questions in our ProSquad feature. Her new book, Ready, Set, Sleep: 50 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep, So You Can Sleep Too, is available for immediate download so you can get those kids to sleep tonight!



Disclosure: Sleep Innovations gave the editor a complimentary REJUVENATION pillow. No other compensation was provided. Malia Jacobson is not affiliated with Sleep Innovations

This post was included in the latest edition of the Fit's It 360 Blog Carnival.