Sleep, there’s a lot to be said for it when you get enough of it. And it’s in no doubt the secret behind beauty, smartness and success. But getting a full night’s rest isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. Here are 13 dream ways to get more quality zzzzzz’s into your life…
1. Set a go-to-bed alarm
You know the drill – that regular promise to yourself that you’ll get an early night, but before you know it, you’re knee deep in a TV show and the only promise you’re carrying out is ‘just one more episode’. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! That’s why it pays to practice setting an alarm for the evening, say 8.30pm, that reminds you to start the wind-down process. After all, the body loves routine sleep and wake up time — even on weekends.
2. The rules of napping
A nap can be a really good thing to make up for lost night time sleep and can boost memory, alertness and day time performance too. Just make sure you nap for no longer than 30 minutes and before 3pm, in order to save the night time slumber from disaster.
3. Lighten the load
Any chance you get for some day light outdoors time, make sure you take it. Whether it’s in between meetings or up early for a morning run. Fifteen minutes outside early in the day will stimulate your body and mind, encouraging wakefulness, alertness and energy that you can use up before bedtime. Plus, you get your daily dose of vitamin D thrown in too.
4. Sensory-proof your bedroom
Night time stimulation in your boudoir is not great for a solid sleep. And, by that we mean no sights or sounds. If you live on a main road with busy traffic or have particularly noisy neighbours, try using a fan or white noise to drown it out. Investing in a quality sleep mask is also a must - darkness triggers the release of melatonin, that lovely hormone that induces sleep. And don’t forget that blue light from a TV, computer or phone screen can interrupt your slumber too, so power off before the lights go out!
5. Keep your cool
The temperature in the bedroom is always best when it’s just right. Aim for somewhere between 18 and 20 degrees.
6. Eat tea at teatime
Eating two to four hours before bedtime for your digestive juices to work their magic is what you should aim for. Especially if you’re consuming carbs. It’s no surprise that if your stomach is full or you're digesting a big meal, it can be hard to fall asleep. Grab something light instead and try adding potassium and magnesium to your diet.
7. See-ya caffeine
First things first - if you are having any trouble sleeping, we hate to say it, but you know what needs to go. Cut out all caffeine by midday and just stick to water and other caffeine-free drinks.
8. Stay away from evening workouts
Your blood is pumping, your heart rate is up, and your body is generally in "go" mode rather than "slow" mode. This is all great if it’s in the morning or day time, but not so much if your fitness routine is happening at 9pm. Yes, physical activity promotes deeper sleep, but not that close to bedtime! So, make sure any hardcore activity finishes three to four hours before sleep, and you save the evening for more gentle practices like yoga or meditation.
9. Relax and breathe
If you find yourself counting sheep, try the Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique instead. Tense then relax the muscles in your body, directing your attention to each one as you go. Start with your feet, tightening the muscles for a few seconds, then release. Do this all the way up to your head (if you stay awake for that long).
10. Write it down
There’s nothing like a racing mind to keep you from sleeping. If you like a good think, why not put your thoughts down in a journal throughout the day and clear your mental desktop that way? Then when bedtime comes, you’ll be all thought out and ready to succumb to the dreamy land of nod instead.
Like our devices, we all need to power down too. So, dim those lights and turn off all screens at least one hour before bedtime. Bright lights are one of the biggest triggers to our brain that make us want to be awake and alert, so send it the opposite signal and early. Think of it like the golden hour, but inside a cosy darkened room…
12. Operate a bedroom sleep-and-sex-only policy
Here’s the thing. As lovely and relaxing as it is to read a good book in bed, it does still demand your attention and can often become more distracting than relaxing. So, try to keep reading for the living room, and sleep and sex for the bedroom. It’s all about boundaries, people!
13. Cut your water supply
Sounds a bit drastic we admit, but if you limit your liquid intake a couple of hours before you go to bed, you won’t be up and down on the loo as much during the night. Simple.
Swisse Me & sleeping
The delicious and nutritious ingredients we use in our nutritional snacks for adults from the Replenish Me post-workout range, from spirulina to apple and kiwi, all help to reinvigorate the body and mind - so you can be ready for rest at the end of a full-on day.