How much do we know about sleep?
Did you know that 1.12% of people dream entirely in black and white, that we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping, and that ideally, falling asleep at night should take you just 10-15 minutes.
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, to help you feel refreshes and alert when you wake up. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly.
Today it seems people have fallen into the cycle of over-productivity, both socially and in their working lives. The ‘hustle culture’ has become so normalised that it can be tough to identify when you’re in it, and sometimes even tougher to break away. It can dominate your time in such an unnatural way that things like hobbies, family time and self-care – often take a back seat aka affecting your sleep routine.
While you might not be able to control factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt healthy habits that encourage better sleep.
There are some simple steps to help you relax and unwind in preparation for a good night’s sleep. By implementing these steps into your routine, you should feel the benefits both at night and during the following day.
Create a restful environment
- Keep a tidy room (make your bed each morning).
- Consider using black out blinds, earplugs, pillow spray, lighting a candle.
- Avoid using screens in bed and in the hour before going to bed.
- Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques such as evening yoga and reading.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
- Try not to go to bed hungry or stuffed.
- Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can hugely impact the quality of your sleep. Certain stimulations can take hours to wear off and disrupt the overall cycle.
Include physical activity in your daily life
- Regular physical activity can promote better sleep
- Spending time outside every day will also be helpful (plus any extra Vitamin D is a bonus).
Routine is key
- Try to stick to a similar sleep schedule every night. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours.
- Have a permanent alarm, get up and go to bed at the same time every day and try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour.
- If you are struggling to nod of, hit the reset button and do your night-time routine again.
Manage your worries
- Try to resolve or communicate your worried before bedtime. Whether it’s phoning a friend, jotting them down or breathing them out with meditation.
- Stress management may help, such as prioritising your day, delegating your tasks if it’s work related or reaching out to friends or family.