It’s a known fact that getting a good night’s rest is crucial to a hard day’s work. Not enough sleep can make you irritable, agitated, unable to focus or think clearly, and just all-around unproductive, and can even have long-term effects on your mental and physical health. On the other hand, getting a healthy amount of regular rest can increase your efficiency and make your day much better.
Five proven ways to maximise the quality of your naps are to….
5: Choose your resting place wisely
Not too hot, not too cold. A decent airflow, not too cluttered, no errant ray of light from a badly-placed lamppost. And, of course, the eponymous centrepiece of the bedroom, the bed. Not just any bed will do. Too high or low off the ground, you’ll have trouble sitting or lying comfortably. Too big, it will swallow your entire bedroom. Too small, you’ll fall off. Mattress too hard or thin, you’ll hurt your back, but in the same vein, back problems can also be caused by the mattress being too thick or soft. It’s a narrow path to walk, but walk it you must. The perfect bed is different for everybody, it just takes some experimenting to find what works for you. And don’t forget to indulge in some luxurious bedding from Julian Charles for that extra touch.
4: Keep away from electronics!
Everyone’s experienced that frustrating moment. Just gotten into the newest show on Netflix that everyone’s been talking about, look at the clock, it’s getting dangerously late, and you’ve got lots of work to do tomorrow. Not to worry, just got to shut off the television, lie down in bed, and… stare at the ceiling. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fall asleep.
Studies have shown that the blue light emitted by your computers, your phones, your televisions, your video game consoles, has an effect on your ability to drop into dreamland. It’s considered a good idea to turn off your electronics between thirty minutes and two hours before you’re planning on going to sleep. Many electronics now come with a glaring orange-background setting, ostensibly to combat this issue by removing the pesky blue light, but there are probably better options to simulate restfulness than configuring your computer to look like it’s been possessed by the vengeful spirit of a tangerine. Have you tried reading a good book?
3: Eat smart, sleep smart
The old cliché of “don’t eat cheese bedtime” holds true here, along with sugar, alcohol, salty/spicy foods, or too much water. Similarly, you should abstain from stimulants such as coffee and nicotine. Good foods and drinks to have before bedtime include small sandwiches, some cereal, or the ever-classic milk, although, as always, keep everything in moderation. Eating or drinking to much can cause indigestion and discomfort, the antithesis to a decent sleep.
2: Stay regular
Nobody likes being woken up at three o’clock in the morning by your new neighbours throwing a party, complete with Lynyrd Skynyrd on the radio and a complete lack of any consideration for decent, hard-working folks such as yourself. As it turns out, it may not be just your sleep affected by that. Your body has something called its “circadian rhythm”, known in the layman’s terms as your “body clock”. Waking up in the middle of the night for a little snack, irregular sleeping patterns (for instance, from insomnia or irregular working schedules), or jet lag can reset your body clock, throwing your entire system out of sync. As you can tell, this never ends well, and is considered one of the major reasons people with varying sleep patterns may feel slightly off-kilter throughout their day.
It may seem like a cliché, but it’s true! Learning to relax is one of the top ways to fall asleep quicker. Lay back, close your eyes, get comfortable, and just let your mind rest. Breathe deeply, relax your muscles, destress, and let all of your problems float away.
If you have difficulty relaxing, try searching for some relaxation techniques, play some gentle music for a few minutes before bed, or take up a hobby such as frequent exercising which will help you to use up excess energy and prepare you for a great night’s sleep..