Sleep deprivation is more common than ever. We’re living in an overworked, FOMO-fuelled society where the more active we are, the more positively we are perceived.
We won’t tell you to tone down your busy life, but we will teach you a few ways to optimise it so that you can rest better and have the energy needed to maintain your schedule. While we always stand by a good mattress as the first step towards optimal rest, we also recognise that other factors can play a part in your ability to sleep through the night.
After you’ve made sure that you have a decent mattress support your sleep, try following this routine to otherwise enhance your slumber.
- Wake at 7am. Experts say that sleeping from 11pm until 7 in the morning is the perfect timeline for a good night’s rest. These are the times that align best with your body’s circadian rhythm.
- Don’t look at your phone! Not just yet anyway. Turning to your phone first thing in the morning can be a source of stress, whether you’ve got work emails coming in or social notifications to attend to or alarms and reminders thrusting you into reality. Instead, try to ease yourself into the day before connecting.
- Stretch a bit. Maybe do some light cardio as well. You can even do it in bed! (Bicycles are a great in-bed exercise.) This not only helps wake your muscles and your mind up, but will also help you be more relaxed when you’re ready to sleep.
- Eat a balanced breakfast, consisting of protein, carbs and a bit of fat in appropriate quantities. (For example, oats with sliced banana and a scoop of natural peanut butter, or toast with sliced avo and an egg.) This combination is optimal for maintaining a steady metabolism and blood sugar throughout the day, and then triggering melatonin when it’s time to sleep.
- Take breaks throughout the day. If you sit a lot, stand up and move a bit. If you work indoors, make sure you get outside for some fresh air and sunlight every now and again. Natural light, in particular, is a helpful remedy for sleepless nights, as it re-regulates our bodies’ internal clocks.
- Keep lunch moderate, and dinner light. As our body winds down to prepare for bed, it doesn’t have as much digesting power as it does earlier in the day. Therefore, lessen the burden you place on it by opting for fresh produce and clean proteins at your later meals, and reducing carbs. That being said, eating light doesn’t have to mean you have to go hungry. In fact, night-time hunger can inhibit sleep. Ensure you are satiated by choosing foods with fibre and water to keep you full.
- Put the phone (and laptop) away. Screens aren’t great first thing in the morning, but they’re even worse at night. They can halt melatonin production, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. Try to avoid using them within a few hours before bed.
- Practice pre-bed relaxation. Perhaps a bit of drawing, a walk around the block, a mug of chamomile or valerian root tea as you stare at the fireplace. Whatever you pick, make sure it’s something that can help get you into a relaxed and sleepy mindset.
- Sleep by 11. We know, we know, it’s early (for some!). If you’re in bed later on the weekends, we won’t judge, but at least try to follow the 11 to 7 schedule on weekdays. If you typically have trouble dozing off, aim to get into bed 30 minutes early, close your eyes, take a few deep breathes, and try to initiate a restful state.
For more tips and tricks for better rest, be sure to stay tuned here on The Hugo Blog!