Finding a wind-down routine that works is a great way to help you fall asleep. But if you want to wake up feeling extra fresh (who doesn’t?), it might be worth looking at your daytime routine, too. Check out our top 8 recommendations for daytime tricks that’ll help you clock in those glorious zzz’s.
rethink that afternoon cuppa
An afternoon latte sure does hit the spot, but it could be the difference between sleeping soundly and hardly sleeping. That’s because caffeine stays in your body much longer than you think. “Caffeine can be in your system for more than 6 hours, depending on your sensitivity. So it’s best to resist that coffee urge after 2pm,”says sleep expert Christine Hansen. Like much of the British population, we love a cuppa here at eve. Which is why we’re glad there are still plenty of hot drinks we can enjoy past 2pm. Warm milk and caffeine-free herbal teas can even help you relax and send you off to the land of nod later on in the evening. Win win.
winding down vs wine o’clock
Love a glass of vino in the evenings? We hear you. But if it leaves you feeling a bit sluggish or fuzzy-headed the next day, it might be worth taking your last sip a bit earlier for the sake of your slumber. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can affect the quality of your snoozing as it can reduce the amount of yummy restorative REM sleep you get (aka the important stuff).
According to sleep expert Dave Gibson, leaving a few hours between your last drink and getting into bed could help you catch more zzz's (and dodge those late night trips to the loo).
We don’t mean running a marathon. But spending some of the day on the move can help you to sleep better: “Staying active not only makes you feel good, it has an impressive impact on sleep quality,” says Christine, who recommends gentle exercise like walking or yoga. Even some simple stretches and flexes can help you relax your body like a pro.
To get into the more technical stuff, movement helps to connect the mind and body which can reduce stress as go from ‘thinking mode’ to ‘doing mode’. And that can have all sorts of lovely jubbly benefits for our sleep. Don’t leave it too late to exercise if you can help it, though, adds Christine. Late night movement increases body temperature and releases adrenaline, leading to a less than satisfying snooze.
create a sleep sanctuary
Most sleep boffins agree that your bedroom should be dark, comfy and quiet. Sorting out any clutter can help, too (check out our top storage picks). And we may be biased, but it’s worth investing in an outrageously comfy bed, too. A dreamy mattress, huggable duvet and cloud-like pillow can make all the difference. As can the temperature of your bedroom. Curious to know more? Our tips on how to create a relaxing sleep space can help.
control the scroll
You might not like this one (sorry). But research shows that blue light from phones, tablets and screens can impact your sleep by telling your brain that it’s still daytime. And that can be annoying come bedtime, making it harder to fall asleep. So the next time you find yourself scrolling through the news at 9pm, we challenge you to resist it. Find a more fun way to wind down. And most importantly, get those top quality zzz’s.
stick to a bedtime
Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning can lead to mega quality sleep. The reason for this is because it helps to support your body clock and, over time, should make it easier to fall asleep. Our minds and bodies are creatures of habit and your sleep will thank you for it.
set a pre-sleep routine
Getting some pre-sleep rituals in check can help activate the ‘alpha’ brainwaves (basically, the ones that make you feel all nice and sleepy). Simple things like putting the kettle on (camomile tea, anyone?), lighting a scented candle or snuggling up under a weighted blanket can add a sense of zen to your bedtime.
clear your mind
When your head hits the pillow, do you often get carried away on the worry train? Christine recommends putting pen to paper to beat those nasty niggles. “Whenever a negative thought creeps into your head, write down whatever is bothering you– it helps to diffuse negative thinking,” says Christine. Sounds easy enough to us.