Life can get in the way of us being able to get a good night’s sleep. Whether you’re a shift worker, student, commuter or have a generally busy schedule, there are a few things you can do to ensure you still get the sleep you need to be motivated and happy the following day, as well as being able to give your body the rest it needs. Choosing between sleep and another priority can often be difficult, but you need to remember that sleep is vital to your overall health, so follow these tips to maintain a healthy body and mind whilst still being able to live your life.
Our circadian rhythm loves to have a routine, so, to have a good night’s sleep, you need to tap into your body’s clock and get yourself into a good routine. Obviously things may vary, but try and set yourself 7-8 hours sleep a night. If you finish work late, then still make an effort to go to sleep at the same time, and wake up at the same time the next day. If you’re lucky enough to have a relaxing weekend, try not to sleep too much, as it will mess up your clock which will make it far more difficult to return to your routine in the week. Sleep for an extra hour or so to give you that bit more relaxation without compromising your sleep for the rest of the week. Get yourself a good alarm clock to keep your routine consistent.
Take a Walk
Taking the time for a quick walk will increase your circulation and make you feel more alert. If you can walk to work, always do, or if not try getting off the bus or train a stop before and walk the rest of the way. Fitting in even a 10 minute walk during your lunch break or when your baby is asleep will make such a difference.
Avoid Caffeine and Blue Light
If you are limited on the amount of sleep you can get, for example due to a demanding job or a newborn baby, you need to make sure that the sleep you do get is the best it can be. Avoid caffeine late in the day and turn off any electronic devices an hour before you plan on going to sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that will keep you up for hours, so avoiding this is a must to get a good night’s sleep, although you may need a coffee in the morning! Blue light from devices like your phone or TV can contain a particular blue light that can prevent the brain from making melatonin which is essential for sleep. Try getting into a routine and settle down with a book an hour before bed to give you time to unwind.
If you travel a lot for work, keeping your routine in place is really important. This is a challenge, with unfortunate flight times often getting in the way, so catching up on sleep on your flight is the perfect way to ensure you’re refreshed for your trip. Packing a comfortable travel pillow will help you catch up on some much-needed sleep!