Most people tend to associate having a lack of sleep with being a hard worker. While many hard workers do indeed sacrifice some shut-eye to work late nights, this is should not be considered ideal. Sleep is extremely important for the well-being of both your physical and mental health. Those who suffer from a lack of sleep are more likely to have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Here are 5 ways to get some quality shut-eye after a long day of work:
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
Without an alarm, this can seem impossible. But it should be easily accomplished with a little bit of discipline. If you’re used to having nights that end whenever you feel like ending them, put a stop to that immediately. Let your biological clock do its magic. From now on, set a time you want to wake up each morning and go to sleep about 8-9 hours before that. It’s going to be tough getting used to in the beginning, but after about a week, your innate alarm clock will be right back to doing its job.
Stay away from caffeine past noon
Ah, a good old cup of joe. Both our fuel and our poison. Coffee consumption brings with it lots of health benefits but presents a problem when overused. The issue is with the caffeine. When you go to bed with caffeine still in your system, your body won’t be able to reach the deeper stages of sleep. Therefore, even if you do sleep that night, it’s likely not going to be very good quality sleep and you won’t wake up feeling refreshed. However, you don’t have to give up coffee for good. Instead, just avoid it past noon. Stick with your morning cuppa and nothing more. This will give your body enough time to remove the caffeine from your system.
Stay away from alcohol before bed
Much like coffee, alcohol is also a much-loved drink with severe effects on sleep quality. While consuming alcoholic beverages does make most people start to feel drowsy, it does not allow your body to go into the most important deep stages of sleep. Like caffeine, having alcohol in your system while you’re asleep will not do any good. Make an effort to stay away from alcohol right before bed. The general rule of thumb is that our bodies need one hour to metabolize one standard alcoholic drink. So if you have two drinks, don’t go to bed for two hours. And if you have three drinks, don’t go to bed for three hours.
It’s a no-brainer that physical activity will leave you exhausted. The human body was made to be active. And if you don’t comply, it struggles to reach the deep stages of sleep each night. If you’re not used to getting active, start small. Take a 20 minute brisk walk after dinner or climb up a few flights of stairs. Maybe even follow a workout video online. There are plenty of options to get some exercise in this day any and age so take advantage of them.
Keep your bedroom sleep-friendly
This point may seem a little silly. What even is a sleep-friendly bedroom? Well, the human body functions most optimally at specific conditions and environments. When you go to sleep, keep you bedroom at about 18-24°C. Your body naturally cools down as it prepares to rest and this will allow you to fall asleep faster and prevent you from waking up at night. Also make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable to sleep on. Lastly, make sure your room is completely dark when you go to bed. It will ensure your sleep is of quality and leave you feeling energised in the morning.
An adventurous digital nomad. When I’m not writing, I spend my free time watching documentaries, drinking coffee and planning my next travel.