Wellbeing & Fitness
5 Tips to Help You Sleep Smarter
Written by Catherine Meyers for Doctify
How much sleep did you get last night? 10 hours? 8 hours? 4 hours? Since we were kids, we’ve been told over and over again that getting a good night’s sleep is important for our daily routine, productivity and function. Even a 2016 study done by economists Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader found that one extra hour of sleep a week may result in us earning 5% higher wages. Now if that isn’t an incentive then we don’t know what is. But what if your problem isn’t the amount of time you sleep; but how you sleep? You may not realize it but there are many bad habits that can stop you from sleeping well and even impair your overall sleep. Here are some top tips to help you sleep better and smarter.
1. Ban all electronics from bed
This may be a no brainer, but pulling the plug way before your head hits the pillow is one of the best things you can do for your sleep. Lit screens, both small and big, have been proven to be stimulating and can increase your brain function beyond that needed for sleep. So put down the phone and limit your Netflix time before bed.
2. Turn off the heat and use a hot water bottle
Sounds weird, we know but how many times have you woken up feeling cold? Most of the time you think it’s due to the outside temperature, well it really has to do with your body’s inside temperature. Every time your body falls into sleep mode your core temperature drops very quickly. To avoid this, let your room temperature stay cold and sleep with a warm water bottle near your feet. This can help your body’s temperature decrease naturally in your lower limbs and help your body redistribute heat to your major extremities.
3. No more afternoon stimulants
As most coffee lovers know, caffeine is the stimulant to beat all other daily stimulants. That’s why we rush for our nearest Costa or Starbucks before our commute to work. Unfortunately the bad habit of drinking coffee later in the day has caught on and can severely impair your body’s ability to sleep. Avoid that cup of coffee in the afternoon and instead fuel your body with high-energy snacks to stay productive until the end of the day.
4. Wear socks to bed
Autumn is here and that means you are more likely to getting cold feet during the night. Wearing an extra layer under the covers can help improve circulation which will help you fall asleep faster. Plus, who can resist some of those autumn- or winter-themed socks?
5. Eat less for dinner
Although ordering that late night meat lover’s pizza from Deliveroo sounds like a good idea, it’s really just going to negatively impact your sleep. Try to eat your meals several hours before bedtime and avoid any foods that can cause indigestion. If you are starving before bed, snack on foods like carbohydrates and dairy products that are less likely to disturb your sleep.
With these 5 tips, you should be sleeping better and more importantly smarter. That way you can tackle the day with new found energy and get more out of the day than you planned!