A good night of sleep can make a big difference in our well-being and productivity. Unfortunately, in today’s hectic world, sleep time is often the first thing that we neglect, but this habit is counter productive. Here are a few tips to get on the right track:
1. Postpone worrying and brainstorming
- When it’s time to sleep, shut your brain off and relax. It’s not the time to think about your worries, think about your day or make plans.
- If you’re worried about something, write it down and come back to it in the morning.
- Trying to solve a problem when you’re tired is always a bad idea. You’ll be much better in the morning, with a fresh mind.
2. Avoid stressful or stimulating activities 1 hour before going to sleep
- Try to avoid intellectually demanding activities such as doing work or thinking about/discussing emotional issues. Also, avoid any kind of electronic devices (TV, phone, video game, computer, etc) since they cognitively stimulate us.
- Try to avoid physically demanding activities. Exercising before going to bed to get exhausted won’t help you sleep! Your body might get tired, but not your mind!
3. Exercise regularly
4. Lighten up on evening meals
- If you’re hungry before going to bed, have a light snack, such as a fruit.
5. Avoid alcohol before going to bed
- It might help you relax and fall asleep faster, but it reduces the quality of your sleep.
6. Avoid stimulating drinks before going to bed
- Of course, coffee will keep you awake. Be careful with tea – many types of tea contain caffeine. Tisanes (herbal teas) are good choices to help you relax, since they are usually caffeine-free.
7. Reserve your bed for sleep
- Don’t exercise, talk to the telephone, watch the TV or eat in bed.
8. Try to go to bed at the same time every day
9. Wake up at the same time every day
- Don’t attempt to make up for lost sleep. You’ll end up in a vicious circle of insomnia.
10. If you wake up during the night and can’t fall asleep in 15-20 minutes, get out of bed, do something relaxing and get back to bed when you feel sleepy
- For example, you could listen to some calming music or read.
11. No siesta late in the day
- If you’re feeling tired, it’s preferable to nap early in the day.
12. Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment
- Minimize the noise and light.
- Keep the temperature comfortably cool.
Sleep peacefully and have good dreams! And remember, sleep better = work better!