Sleep. It’s nature’s way of restoring the day’s long lost fuels. And even though it’s everyone’s favourite and most rewarding hobby, it seems that we’re not giving it the love it rightfully deserves. Our sleeping patterns nowadays are as inconsistent as our New Year’s resolutions. And while it’s easy to brush off the golden ‘8-hour rule’ and substitute sleep with caffeine, you’re fooling yourself with that false energy rush which won’t last past your lunch break.
On average, we will spend 229.961 hours of our life asleep, and probably half as much complaining about the lack thereof. While sleeping the prescribed eight hours sounds like a brilliant concept on paper, it remains a distant memory to the best of us. Stress, a demanding job, kids and those late-night candy bar sessions are all potential catalysts for the triple-threat bags under your eyes and the lack of productivity that goes with it. Even though reaching for a double espresso upon the first yawn might seem like a good idea, the truth is a tad less pretty. Caffeine is like a rollercoaster, it’s fun while it lasts but you’ll feel start to feel wobbly the moment your feet hit the ground again.
What does work? Well, I’m glad you’ve asked.
After a few sessions of espresso sleep powered research, I’ve found 5 ways to help you grasp that REM faster and hold it for longer. The new you can thank me later.
Stretch your limbs
Stretching is not just destined for the Victoria’s Secret angels amongst us. On the contrary, it’s the kind of ‘work-out’ that doesn’t feel like one and has more benefits than a cold-pressed green juice. It’s a scientifically proven way to relax your muscles and physically meditate yourself towards a good night’s rest. Not sure where to start? Search for ‘bed-time stretching’ on Youtube and start rolling out that yoga mat.
Avoid harsh lighting
While late night bathroom encounters are a necessary evil for some (read: small bladder), please do try to avoid the harsh lighting as it’ll act like kryptonite to your snoozing session. Instead, turn on another lamp nearby and tuck your drowsy self back underneath the duvet as soon as you possibly can.
Pen it down
‘What to buy for her birthday?’ ‘Did I pay that bill?’ ‘Am I ready for that big presentation tomorrow?’ ‘The in-laws are coming, what shall I cook?’ Writing things down is like therapy without the hefty invoice. It’s a fantastic way to clear your mind and boost your midnight’s rest.
Snooze or lose
Give the snooze button a name it can finally live up to and set it one hour before you want to drift off. An hour should give you enough time to get washed, dressed and ready for the occasion. You could also try to establish a bedtime ritual that will help you unwind. Whether that’s drinking a cup of tea, reading a book or following one of the golden rules above.