With National Napping Day on 12th March and World Sleep Day on the 16th March, we’ve being thinking about how to optimise our shut-eye this week. Here are some fantastic tips on how to get yourself a good night’s sleep – even when you’re on your period.
Sleep is vitally important to our physical and mental health. Not getting enough sleep can have serious impacts, not least on productivity – we all know that feeling of nodding off at our desk. It’s also been a great excuse to look at cute Insta snaps of sleepy animals!
The Natracare team have agreed our sleeping patterns definitely could do with some work. We wanted to take this international day of sleep to scour the internet for the best tips to help you get your 8 hours! Here’s what we found…
1 – Dump your phone!
We know this takes super-human levels of self-discipline, but falling asleep looking at your phone is the biggest culprit in bad sleep hygiene. White or blue light from screens messes with the release of melatonin, which is trying to help you sleep. Replace the late-night scrolling through Facebook for reading a good page-turner. Who doesn’t like the idea of having more time to read? Getting an alarm clock so you can leave your phone downstairs at night is a great way to keep temptation far away in another room.
2 – Eat earlier and lighter
That 10 p.m. pizza might have seemed like a great idea but eating boosts your metabolism and can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Try to plan your meals so that you’re not uncomfortably full (or feeling hungry) when you get into bed. The Mediterranean model of a bigger meal at lunchtime and lighter evening meal is a good example of this.
3 – Skip that afternoon coffee
Caffeine only has short term benefits during the day, but it can disturb your sleeping pattern. So, to get a good night’s sleep it’s best to avoid stimulants for up to six hours before you go to bed. Most things have de-caff options, so you should be able to trick yourself into thinking you’re still getting your usual coffee-hit.
4 – Keep it routine
Get up. Go to bed. Repeat. Training your body to get up and go to sleep at the same time each day is great for your body cycle. Pick a wake-up time to suit you and try to avoid that snooze button, and don’t sleep in for too long at the weekends. Also try to avoid napping throughout the day (however tempting it might be).
5 – Create a dreamy sleep sanctuary
Invest in those extra comfy pillows and soft sheets. Create a cool, dark and quiet environment that makes it easy for you to want to go to bed.
6 – Exercise
Being active during the day is great for your health, and that doesn’t exclude sleep. By getting in a bit of exercise in the day, you’re less likely to feel restless when you hit the hay. However, try not to exercise too close to bedtime because the adrenaline buzz you get from a work out will keep you up.
Now to try and put these into practise… which might be easier said than done. Happy international sleep day everyone! Also if you have any wondrous tips to share or have tried one of the above – let us know on Twitter or Facebook.