When our normal routines have been thrown out of whack, it’s easy to fall into bad habits when it comes to our sleeping pattern.
But how do we stick to our sleep schedules? How do we avoid falling into the trap of poor, disrupted sleeping, which can leave us feeling groggy and exhausted?
Here’s some tips:
Stick to your sleeping pattern
Try and maintain a consistent routine of when you go to bed and when you get up. This will enable your body to gradually adjust to the changing of the seasons.
Banish technology from the bedroom
If getting to sleep is a struggle, it may be tempting to flick through your phone later into the evening. But try and refrain from using technology for at least an hour before bedtime as the blue light emitted by phones and other devices can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, making it harder to get to sleep.
Invest in the latest sleep tech
We live in an age where we’ve been able to develop fantastic technology to aid our adjustment to seasonal change. Do your research into the best sun lamps and alarm clocks on the market and make the leap. By simulating the sun rising and setting, light simulation lamps and alarm clocks can help keep your circadian rhythm and body clock right on track, whatever the time of year.
Avoid falling into the nap trap
It might be tempting when your body clock is out of sync, but avoid napping for quick energy boosts wherever possible. Napping can be detrimental to the quality of your sleep through the night, with some studies even showing a link between extended naps and type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you can’t avoid it, make sure your nap is short, ideally only 10–20 minutes, to avoid disrupting your sleep.
Make your bedroom a haven
It’s obvious, but making sure you have the right tools for sleeping is absolutely key. To make bedtime more luxurious, invest in new bedding and ensure your duvet is the right tog rating. Having the right bed and mattress is absolutely key. If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new mattress, it’s probably time to add it to your wish-list.
Embrace your mornings
Starting out your day with a positive mind-set and thinking about what you have to look forward to will always help you get up first thing, but doing small additional things such as planning outfits the night before for peace of mind, putting your alarm clock out of reach so that you physically have to get out of bed, and setting your heating to come on are all useful ways to remove barriers to getting out of bed.
Sleep is part of your fitness regime
It’s undeniable that getting plenty of quality sleep is as essential to your health and fitness as eating the right food and getting the right exercise.
If your body doesn’t have an opportunity to recover, repair and build cells, then you won’t see the full benefit of all of your hard work in the gym.
There’s quite a bit of debate about exactly how much sleep you need each day, whether it needs to be solid and undisturbed sleep, or whether as long as you get enough cumulative sleep somehow during a 24 hour period your body will adapt and respond.
Regardless, if you’re looking to enhance your sleep, here’s a couple of easy tips from fitness experts:
- Take your magnesium and zinc supplements before you get into bed each night (on an empty stomach) — encourages deep sleep.
- Try taking 5HTP supplements before getting into bed — relaxes you and helps your body really shut down (in a good way).
- Eating a handful of dark chocolate coated raisins before bed can have surprising good results in encourage deep, quality sleep — and they’re delicious too.
- Sex — whether with someone or by yourself, an excellent natural relaxant.