We're all too aware of the importance of sleep. It regulates our circadian rhythms, helps us think more clearly, makes our reflexes faster, and aids in keeping our weight down.
Modern society thrives on being active – and being connected – all the time. Our sleep is suffering from it. Needless to say, it's no small wonder that we feel constantly tired.
Let's change that.
We've put together a list of 10 sleep hacks that will get you on the right path to a more peaceful, healthier sleep. Looking forward to feeling refreshed when you wake up in the morning? Then try some of these out:
Starting a new sleep routine isn't going to do you any good if you're not going to wholly commit to it. Make a firm promise to yourself that you're going to change. It will stop you from slipping back into bad habits later.
Now that you're committed to change, make it easier for yourself to stick to your guns by making your sleep a priority. Think twice before you fill your weekend up with too many late nights out, and pick just one night a week for staying up late.
Don't bet on getting a good night's rest by dozing off on the couch. Make your bedroom your favourite room in your house. Make sure your blinds block out those sometimes-noisy neighbours and street lights, choose a comfy pillow and a nice quilt that will keep you warm – but not too warm, as cooler temperatures generally make for better sleeping.
Your first step to ensuring you get a good night's rest is to avoid dragging out those morning snoozes! Don't lose time by hanging around in bed. If your alarm goes off, make every effort to get up and get moving straight away. By doing this you'll help set your body clock to get up at this time regularly – which will help you feel ready for bed in the evening.
After you've hopped out of bed, make sure you get hopping and do something. Do some light exercise, cook a healthy omelette, or enjoy your first coffee sitting in the bright morning sun as this will help with your melatonin levels to help you get a better night’s sleep. Being active soon after you've gotten out of bed further reinforces the new sleep routine you're setting.
If you strongly feel the urge to nap during the day, a quick powernap won't impact your night-time sleeping. But don't forget that it's just that: a nap. Stick to a short 20 or 30-minute snooze. Napping longer than 30 minutes will hinder your ability to fall asleep later in the evening.
We all know that caffeine is a highly effective stimulant that can keep us awake for hours. So, as part of your new sleep routine, aim to reduce your daily consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages – and especially avoid drinking them after 4 or 5 P.M.
To get ready for the night ahead, make sure you start slowing down the pace of your day in the 2-3 hours before you hit the hay. It's hard to switch off your senses and relax if you're still buzzing with activity.
Our favourite tip is to turn off (or at least, put away) brightly-lit screens and devices in the hour before you go to bed. The lights and activity keep our brains running at high speeds, making falling asleep a very a difficult task.
The last hack we have for you is this piece of advice: be consistent. Be sure to follow as closely to your set bed time and wake up time as much as possible. This will reinforce your new sleep routine a whole lot faster. Before you know it, you'll not only be sleeping better, but waking up more easily every single morning.
We recommend speaking to a doctor for more sleep advice and to answer any health questions you may have. Your general practitioner may recommend a sleep specialist depending on your circumstances.
09 Jan 2017