Our daily routine affects our quality
and patterns of sleep, so get a good night’s sleep by paying attention to your
daytime activities. The following tips will help you enhance your downtime and
increase your daily productivity to achieve emotional and physical wellbeing.
1- The first step is to decide on the
number of hours you need. This varies from person to person, but averages 8
hours for optimum productivity.
2- Although the number of hours may be
split up over the day and night, it has been proven that a consistent amount at
a regular time enhances our energy levels significantly.
3- Choose a suitable bedtime, not too
early and not too late. Sink into your routine, slowly but surely. You will notice
how your body adjusts to this routine even at weekends. You may find that you
no longer need an alarm clock!
4- If one night you get less sleep than
normal, don’t break your routine by waking up late – perhaps you can make them up
with a short afternoon nap.
5- Avoid “food comas” by maintaining a
healthy diet. Overeating and oversleeping is a prime cause of obesity, as well
as leading to insomnia at night.
6- While you actively try to set a
sleep pattern, your body plays a role in this too. Our bodies release the
melatonin hormone at night so that we can rest. This stops in the morning so that
we can be active and productive. You may notice that working in offices with no
natural light is associated with tiredness, as our melatonin levels increase in
this environment. Similarly, exposing the body to a lot of light at night, from
the TV for instance, decreases our melatonin secretion and we are left with
insomnia. You can help your natural pattern by exposing yourself to as much sunlight
as possible during the day, by limiting your use of sunglasses and working in a
place where natural light reaches you.
7- The mind has a way of linking places
and actions, so avoid using your laptop or iPad on your bed. Dim your lights at
bedtime while you get ready for bed, and perhaps use a night light in case you
need the toilet or a glass of water at night.
8- Exercising regularly helps immensely
in regulating your sleep pattern. All you need is 20 or 30 minutes of exercise
and your body will adjust.
9- Improve your eating habits and
intake of healthy food.
10- Write a to-do list before going to
bed, acknowledging that you can’t do them now and there is no point busying
your mind with them until tomorrow.
11- Release stress by taking slow, deep
breaths before you go to sleep. Imagine a serene landscape and help yourself
relax with calming thoughts.
12- Make sure the temperature is relatively
cool, as hot or stuffy rooms might cause you to have a broken sleep pattern as
you shift regularly.
13- If you get back or neck pain you should
change your mattress and pillows, to protect your spine and get better sleep.
14- Avoid heavy meals after 4 pm and
stop taking caffeinated drinks at least 10-12 hours before bedtime.