Tired of being, well, tired? You’re not alone. In fact, according to studies, the average person gets only six hours of sleep despite the fact that we need a full seven to nine hours to feel our best. Sure, sleeping a little more seems easy but as many of us know it’s not always a piece of cake.
Enter Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution (Ebury Publishing; R328). She wrote the title after collapsing from sleep deprivation and breaking her cheekbone. “I’m trying to help people understand the importance of sleep before they hit rock bottom,” she says. “Not sleeping is the new smoking.” Don’t feel like you’d let your shut-eye problem get break-your-cheekbone-bad? Even without a drastic wake-up call, skimping on sleep can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and weight gain in the long term. The point? You should be sleeping more – and here are tips on how.
1 Avoid disruptive foods and drinks
“Don’t eat spicy foods before bed,” says Arianna. “And you shouldn’t eat anything at all within two to three hours of when you go to sleep.” Drinks to avoid include alcohol, sugary drinks and coffee after 2pm. On the other hand, lavender, chamomile or liquorice tea, warm milk or, if you’re dairy-intolerant, almond or coconut milk, can help you sleep.
2 Keep your phone in another room
And don’t look at any screens 30 minutes before bed. “When reading in bed, make it a real book or an e-reader that does not emit blue light,” she says.
3 Keep your bedroom between 15 and 19 degrees
Plain and simple: That’s the best temperature to sleep at.
4 Don’t sleep in anything but pyjamas
If you wear it to lounge around the house on the weekend or workout in, it’s a no. “I don’t sleep in my gym clothes as I used to – think of the mixed message that sends to our brains. But have pyjamas, nightdresses, even T-shirts dedicated to bedtime.
5 Take a shower or bath before bed
“I treat my transition to sleep as a ritual,” says Arianna. “Before bed, I take a hot bath with Epsom salts and a candle flickering nearby – I prolong it if I’m feeling anxious or worried about something.”
“If I wake up with thoughts crowding my mind, instead of stressing out about how I’m staying awake and fearing I’ll be tired the next day, I meditate,” she says.
7 Don’t be afraid to nap
Jet lagged? The best way to get through the day when you haven’t slept or if you’re jet lagged is to have a nap as soon as you can. They should be 40 minutes tops to avoid going too deep into sleep. If you can’t nap, try exercise, sunlight and fresh air. And don’t double down on caffeine, since it lasts seven hours and will disrupt rest later on.
8 Consider tracking your sleep
At this point, we’re used to seeing people wear fitness trackers like the FitBit and the Apple Watch, but did you know there are special devices that track your sleep, too? A tracking alarm clock tracks the sound, light and temperature of your bedroom and your sleep cycle via a chip that attaches to your pillow – and tells you what you need to change.
Taken from GLAMOUR US. Click here to read the original.