Did you know that good sleep starts when you wake up? The quality of your night often reflects the quality of your day. Sleep expert Dr. Rebecca Robbins shares her top tips for building the perfect sleep routine, round-the-clock – with a special bonus.
During the day…
1: Get plenty of Daylight
Sunlight exposure elicits a strong physiological response, triggering the brain to be alert, while the absence of light triggers us to be tired. It is optimal to get as much exposure to fresh air and natural light as possible throughout the day, particularly in the morning.
2: Get some exercise
Yoga or low-impact exercise is preferred in the evening, but the most important thing is that you exercise at some point in your day. Increasing your heart rate a bit generates endorphins, and that’s what helps sleep, because it helps to manage stress.
3: Don’t overdo dinner
Make sure you have a bigger breakfast and lunch, and that dinner is on the lighter side, because you’re about to go hibernate! If you eat a big dinner before bed, you’re going to have difficulty as your body is still busy digesting. Also, remember that coffee and alcohol are two big sleep stealers!
And at night…
4: Make sleep a priority
Make sure you set aside at least seven hours. Everyone is different, so find your optimal sleep duration and do your very best to meet that night in, night out.
5: Create a bedtime routine
It can really be just 10 or 15 minutes when you commit to doing whatever is the most relaxing for you. A little self-massage, some aromatherapy, putting on some cream with a yummy sleep scent: all of those things go really far in improving our ability to rest and disconnect from our day.
And a bonus tip: Awake at night? Don’t stay in bed!
If you’re tossing and turning, get out of bed. You want to change the environment, keeping bed as a cosy place reserved for sleep. Do some mindless activities such as folding socks or read a book – a boring one! Go back to bed only when drowsy. A good image I recommend is thinking about a wave washing in and then washing back out.