Most Restful Night Ever – Sleep Hacks
“Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?” A cliched comment that usually irritates the bejesus out of you when it’s asked, not only because it’s a dumb old cliche, but also because it strikes a nerve with its accuracy!
How many of us often wake up in the morning and still feel crappy and exhausted after a night’s sleep? Or morning rolls around and we crawl out of bed without having been able to get to sleep much at all? These scenarios are super common, there are plenty of us not getting adequate, good quality, sleep. To borrow another catchphrase – it’s common but not normal.
Sufficient, quality sleep can be life changing – when we are well rested we are able to perform at our very best. This means, more productive work, increased energy for activity, healthy brain functionality, and a better mood! Hooray!
The way you feel while you’re awake depends on what happens before you fall asleep as well as while you’re asleep. You could be doing a couple of things that might seem innocent but are really affecting the quality of your sleep.
Avoid these unhelpful actions before bedtime:
- Technology before bed e.g. Netflix, Social Media on phone
- Drinking caffeine in the afternoon/evening
- Going to bed at inconsistent times
- Eating right before bed
- Drinking alcohol before bed
Instead, implement the following changes and you’ll be on your way to superior sleep:
Read a book rather than stare at a screen. You can watch Netflix, but not right before sleep. Same goes for playing on your phone. Instead, grab an old-fashioned book and read. Avoiding the blue light that screens emit avoids over-stimulating your brain and body, so you will fall asleep quicker and have a better night’s sleep!
Avoid caffeine after lunch. Caffeine is a stimulant and stays in your system for aaaaages, so should be avoided from afternoon onwards. Switch to teas like chamomile, or specific sleep inducing blends to have as your nightcap, and you’ll settle your system and set up a good night sleep scenario.
Set a bedtime. Not just for kiddies, adults should get into this routine too! Set a consistent bedtime so your body clock settles into a sleep routine, and you’ll find that you can nod off noticeably quicker over time.
Impose a kitchen curfew. Eating right before bed means your body’s digestion is working while you’re asleep, which will involve a blood sugar spike, then drop. The drop stimulates stress hormone production and stops melatonin production (the sleep hormone) and this results in poor quality sleep. Skip the snacks and sleep sound!
Skip the nightcap. While alcohol can make you sleepy, and you might think you’re helping yourself sleep more swiftly, the type of sleep you fall into is not good quality and you’ll wake feeling groggy and gross. So avoid alcohol – it’s not a sleeping aid.