1. Reserve your bedroom for sleep
As the name suggests, our bedrooms are intended to be places of rest and relaxation. But in recent times they have been invaded by a variety of disruptive influences – mobile phones, tablets and laptops. These devices upset our sleep in two main ways:
1. Screens produce a lot of “blue light” which is known to suppress our natural sleep hormones.
2. The activities we tend to undertake using these devices – checking email and social media, playing games, watching exciting movies – keep us alert and engaged, preventing sleep
2. Energize yourself at the right times
What we eat, drink and do can have a huge impact on the quality and pattern of our sleep – and not just in the time before bed. The principle is simple: undertake energizing activities earlier in the day, and avoid them as you approach the evening. That means:
1. Eat & Drink Smart
As you would expect this includes consumption of caffeine (avoid any tea, coffee or energy drinks after lunchtime). But also when we eat our evening meal. We should ideally leave a few hours after eating before heading to bed, to allow our metabolism to return to baseline.
2. Get Active Early
Exercise can elevate our alertness for several hours, so we should ideally exercise no later than late afternoon.
3. Avoid Alcohol
Many people use alcohol as a tool to relax and unwind at the end of the working day. However alcohol tends to create a more broken up and unsatisfying sleep.