Importance of Being Sleepy - pt6: top tips

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Following on from my sleep deprivation experiment (read here), the next few blogs are packed with tips on improving our sleep. I hope some of the following tips and tricks help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Remember, if you’re having on-going problems talk to your GP to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause for your sleep issues.

Today we’re going to look at what you can do throughout the day to hopefully help you get the sleep you need to perform at your best.

1               Make up with your alarm clock

Now I know most of us hate the sound of the alarm clock in the morning, but it’s time to make up. Setting a regular time to get up helps your body get into a great routine for sleep. We’re all going to hit ‘snooze’ on occasion, but if we can train our bodies to get up at a set time, we’ll soon have them trained to sleep at a set time too!

2               Get up earlier

If you find you struggle to get to sleep at night, think about getting up a little earlier. It’s hardly surprising that you can’t sleep at 11pm when you’ve slept in until 3pm. The body and mind need time to get tired, so set the alarm (put it across the room if you have to!) and get yourself out of bed a bit earlier.

3               Embrace the natural light

Natural light keeps our internal clocks on a healthy sleep-wake cycle, so be sure to open the curtains in the morning and try to get out in the sunlight (it’s behind those clouds somewhere!) for a break every day.

4               Exercise regularly and exercise early

We all know we’re supposed to exercise, and it can have a real positive impact on our sleep patterns by helping to tire out the body and stimulating the production of happy hormones which can reduce any stress in the mind. However, exercising too close to bedtime can be too stimulatory so try to finish your exercise activities a couple of hours before you want to sleep.

5               Power nap early or not at all

Now I’m a big fan of the nap, and there’s increasing amounts of research to suggest a short siesta in the afternoon can really boost performance. The trick is to keep your nap short and sweet – the optimal time is about 20 minutes between 2 and 4pm, usually after lunch when the body wants to hit a restive digesting state. This is another time to get the alarm clock out – sleep too long and you’ll get into deep sleep and wake up feeling worse than you did before!  However, if you are struggling with sleep during the night, avoid power naps for now.

So there’s 5 tips and tricks for during the day – let me know how you get on!

Next time we'll look at the pre-bed routine.

Off for a power nap…

SG out

Finding it hard to de-stress, take time-out or switch off?  Check out my free 6-step e-book - 'Emergency Stress CPR'

Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other.  Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.