Have you ever spent hours on end tossing and turning, checking the time, and getting stressed about facing the day ahead in a zombie-like state? Then this article has been written for you.
A good night's sleep feels great so it's frustrating as hell when we fail to get it. I've suffered from poor sleep since I was a teenager so I know a thing or 2 about it.
I'm not going to promise that after you read this article you'll enjoy great sleep every single night, but I've learnt enough over the years to give you the best chance of that happening.
This article provides 7 tips you can implement right away to help you get some precious shut-eye. Read on if you've had enough of feeling like crap in the morning and want to know how to face the day ahead feeling your very best.
Caffeine consumed even 6 hours before bedtime can result in diminished sleep so avoid tea or coffee after 3pm. If you're particularly sensitive to it you may want to stop even earlier. My cut-off is now midday and it’s made a huge difference. Also be wary of soft drinks as they often contain high amounts of caffeine.
Hitting the sack with a large quantity of food in your stomach can be uncomfortable and may keep you awake. Dinner is usually the biggest meal of the day so give yourself time to digest it. Have your last meal 2-3 hours before bed. You may want to avoid spicy foods or those high in sugar.
Don’t go to bed with a list of things you need to do before you leave for work. Prepare everything you can the night before. Make sure your clothes ironed. Pack your gym bag. Have your lunch ready and in the fridge. The more you can go on autopilot in the morning the more you get to relax in the evening.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool (not cold). A bedroom that’s too hot or cold can interfere with sleep. Use earplugs if you live somewhere noisy and consider blackout curtains or an eye mask if bright light is an issue.
Exposure from electronic devices can hinder a good night’s kip. The blue light increases activity in the part of the brain that controls our sleep patterns and disrupts the production of melatonin. Turn off your TV, laptop, phones and tablets an hour before bed and leave all electronic equipment outside of the bedroom if you can.
Extra Tip: Download f.lux to your computer. This software helps to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your screen.
Spend the last hour of the day winding down. Read. Meditate. Take a warm bath or shower. Clear your mind. If there's anything you're worried about, get it out of your head and down on paper. It then becomes a task for tomorrow.
A short stretching routine before bed will help you stay asleep. If you spend your day at a desk your body will be holding tension. Target the shoulders, neck, back, and legs. This may sound like a chore but you'll feel the benefits in just a few days. Spend 10-15 minutes on this each night, I promise you'll love the feeling it gives you.
We all know and love the feeling of a good night's sleep but too often we neglect just how important it is. It doesn't just affect the day ahead, it can have a huge impact our long-term health and well-being.
Make sleep more of a priority and you'll begin to look better, feel better, and make better decisions with your diet. It's likely you'll see many other aspects of your life improve too.
Adopt as many of the ideas here as possible and you'll soon be getting a great night's kip more often than not. Don't worry about hitting all 7 from the start. Pick 1 or 2 and build from there over time.
Further Reading - If you're interested in how to build good habits you can check out my blog 'How To Identify Habits and Form New Behaviours' here
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