Top tips to getting a better night’s sleep
So you don’t sleep, can’t focus during the day and you could be doing yourself some long term damage. Here are some Bro Sheets top tips to help get some decent night long R&R.
Put away the electronics
It’s tempting to check emails, catch up on Facebook, watch videos on YouTube, surf the net or even read a book on your kindle or iPad. At night time, the body is wired naturally to wind down but exposing yourself to the bright light and electrical energy of your various electrical devices will only stimulate the brain into wake mode and reading work emails will keep thoughts ticking round and round in your head.
Bed time Prep
Get your mind and body ready for some decent shut eye. Dimming the lights, lighting candles, having a warm relaxing bath or a warm drink are all part and parcel of getting ready for bed time. These calming habits allow your body and mind time to slow down, close the door on work and shut out the world. If you find it particularly hard to switch off from daily stresses, try the following:
Listen to an audio book – audio can be particularly relaxing but find a voice you enjoy. If the voice of the reader grates you, you’ve lost the point.
Simple stretching – stretching out those muscles will help release pent-up tension and relieve stiffness, soreness or even pain.
Relax to soft music – bedtime is definitely not the time for those old time Rolling Stones classics. Leave them for your commute to work and turn bedtime over to something quieter.
Write your to-do list – Ok, so you are a worrier. Instead of losing sleep over tomorrow’s agenda, write down your to-dos before you go to bed. If you’re also the kind who celebrates a 3 am epiphany – keep a notepad and pen by the bed so if you do wake up – write it down. You can head back to snooze land without worrying you’ll forget your idea by the time morning arrives.
Have your bedroom at a comfortable temperature – being too hot or too cold can easily interrupt that enjoyable bed room prep routine and disturb your sleep during the night. Body temperature naturally dips between 4 and 5 am so ensure it’s not your room that is waking you up. A bath before bed will also help raise body temperature and help you get into sleep mode.
Noise – Try to get your sleep environment as noise free as possible. If you can hear the dishwasher from your room, then don’t put it on at night. Ear plugs or sound machines will help drown out that annoying noise from the road, your next door neighbour or even your house mate. Investing in double glazing and heavier curtains may also keep some outside noise where it belongs – out.
If you have trouble sleeping, why not try exercising in the evening. Not only does this allow you some time in the evening to wind down from work but exercise followed by a hot shower, might make you feel surprisingly tired.
Try to get into a pattern when it comes to getting quality slumber. Chopping and changing the times you head to bed will not help conditioning your brain into not working overtime. Watching TV might be a form of relaxation but instead of jumping straight from the sofa to the bedroom, try to put some distance between you and all those flashing images and try reading a book. Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day will help synch your lifestyle with your natural sleep-wake pattern. Just try to avoid napping or nodding off during the after-dinner lull.
Neon lights, TV screens and other artificial light can actually reduce your production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. We suggest doing some mild outdoor activity once home from work such as a taking a walk or heading to the park with the dog. Try to get out during the day too. Many people go to work in the dark and come home in the dark literally without seeing the light of day. This plays havoc on your body’s production of day time hormones when in natural light and that all important sleep-wake cycle.
When time for bed, turn off all lights, even light coming from an electronic device…trust us, you will sleep much better for it. If you insist on some form of lighting in a hallway or bathroom, go for a very low glow such as warm scent plug–in that glows or some other form of night light rather than a normal wall or mirror light.
We are not necessarily talking memory foam but a comfy mattress, a decent pillow along and some rich cotton sheets will make an astonishing difference. It is surprising the affect your bedroom linen can have on your sleeping patterns.
Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and sugar
It really should go without saying but sugar, nicotine and caffeine are not likely to get you yawning your way up to the bedroom. These are all stimulants. Alcohol is most likely to make you drowsy but can reduce your quality of sleep and interfere with the lighter REM (rapid eye movement) and deeper stages of sleep. Hitting a deep sleep early on the night can cause you to wake up later on. Alcohol can also make you dehydrated.
Eating too close to bed time is also not advisable as your body’s digestive systems will still be in action and will leave you feeling restless. If you do get snackish at night – find out what are the best foods for you to eat at this time.
For even more tips on how to get a great night’s sleep see here https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips