Advertisement

Do this now, have a better sleep tonight!

Do this now, have a better sleep tonight!
Getty Images

There are many things you can do every morning, afternoon and evening to greatly increase the chances that you’ll sleep deeper and longer at night. After talking to sleep experts about the best “sleep hygiene” practices, we put together the following easy daylong timeline. The more you can follow it, the better you’ll sleep tonight.

Read on find out what your sleep problems reveal.

7am wake up and open the shades

7am wake up and open the shades
Getty Images

Expose yourself to bright light within 15 minutes of waking up. This stops the production of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone), and gets your body and brain going. Outdoor sunshine is best, but if that’s not possible, switch on a full-spectrum bulb.

7.05am make your bed

7.05am make your bed
Getty Images

Then clean up any of yesterday’s clothes that might have hit the bedroom floor. And while you’re at it, sweep all that junk off the nightstand and into drawers – books, mail, watches, loose change – because clutter makes it harder to relax. “You want as little in the bedroom as possible,” says Dr Joyce Walsleben.

Check out these things CEOs always do before bed.

7.10am do some exercise

7.10am do some exercise
Getty Images

Time-pressed? A five-minute stretch sequence may be all you need. For those in less of a rush, pencil in 30 minutes for a full stretching and strengthening routine or a walk around the neighbourhood. This offers multiple benefits: it gets your formal exercise out of the way, it boosts mood and productivity, and it’ll help contribute to a feeling of tiredness this evening.

7.45am eat a healthy breakfast

7.45am eat a healthy breakfast
Getty Images

Focus on slow-burning energy foods high in complex carbohydrates and protein: eggs, oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, even peanut butter on wheat bread or a banana. Studies show that by starting the day with a healthy breakfast, you increase the chances of eating well and maintaining energy levels all day long. You’ll also reduce reliance on coffee. Though sensitivity to caffeine varies, three or more caffeinated beverages for most people seems to be a tipping point for many, making sleep trouble more likely.

Don’t miss these healthy breakfast ideas to start each day right.

12.30pm take a walk after lunch

12.30pm take a walk after lunch
Getty Images

Getting exercise in the sun can help keep your body’s circadian rhythms calibrated. You need about two hours of daily exposure to bright sunlight to keep your body in sync with nature. Your body needs sleep – but too much of a good thing could also be bad.

Advertisement

1pm pour your last cup of coffee

1pm pour your last cup of coffee
Getty Images

And no more caffeinated soft drinks either. For many people, caffeine lingers in the system for longer than they realise. Even small amounts may keep you up late because it blocks a chemical in the brain called adenosine that helps us feel drowsy and fall asleep. The older you are, the more sensitive you become to caffeine because your liver becomes less effective at filtering it out of your system.

Which is better: coffee or a nap? Read on to find out.

2pm consider a nap

2pm consider a nap
Shutterstock

This is the ideal time for a few reasons. Our bodies are programmed with a “biphasic sleep pattern,” which means they cycle through two periods of drowsiness per day, says sleep researcher, Dr James Maas. That biorhythm – not a big lunch – is the reason you get so tired in the early afternoon. If your life gives you enough flexibility to nap, just make sure you limit it to 20 minutes. This ensures you dip into only the two lightest sleep stages – enough to refresh you for the rest of the day but not enough to disrupt night-time slumber.

5pm last call for exercise

5pm last call for exercise
Shutterstock

If you haven’t exercised today, take a post- or pre-dinner walk or do a light workout. But wrap it up no later than 7pm. Exercising within three hours of bedtime can interfere with your sleep cycle for some people.

5.30pm take 15 to relax

5.30pm take 15 to relax
Getty Images

Stress is awful for your sleep. We all need time to decompress after the efforts of the workday. So, take 15 minutes and put on some quiet, joyous music, breathe deeply, try progressive muscle relaxation, or positive visualisation, or whatever it takes to put the stress and frustrations of the day behind you.

Here are some of the best foods to help reduce stress.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: