Sleep deprivation is detrimental to our physical and mental health. Here’s how to get the most of your time in bed.
Bedtime routine is key. When we’re born we don’t know how to sleep, but we learn. A bath and bottle, for example, might become cues which lead to sleep. As adults, we should continue to use such cues so our body knows what’s coming next. This could be as simple as washing your face and applying moisturiser, but it will help you fall asleep with ease.
2. THE 15-MINUTE RULE
If you wake in the night, try to avoid looking at the clock, but if you’ve been awake longer than about 15 minutes, I advise leaving the bedroom. When we start relating our beds to tossing and turning, we can quickly start to feel stressed. If you can’t sleep, go downstairs and read for five to 10 minutes, then go back to bed when you are sleepy. This stops bed from becoming a battleground.
3. BAN BLUE LIGHT
The blue light from our phones mimics daylight and inhibits the development of sleep hormone melatonin. Don’t confuse your body before bed by being on your phone before switching the lights off. You’ll probably still fall asleep, but it might be disrupted sleep because you probably haven’t produced the optimal amount of melatonin.
4. PUT THE DAY TO REST
As the day closes, try and mentally put it to rest, writing down anything concerning you and allowing yourself to worry about the things you spent you day trying to ignore. This is a therapeutic way of telling your brain that you have acknowledged your worries.