There’s nothing worse than feeling lethargic at school, the office, or even during your downtime. More often than not, your productivity will take a hit as a result of how tired you feel, and it all goes back to having had a poor quality sleep. No matter how much caffeine you load up on, getting a good night’s rest is still the best way to keep you energized throughout the day.
So how exactly do you go about improving your sleep quality? Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1) Stick to a consistent sleep & wake schedule.
Setting a bedtime and sticking to it is the best way to regulate your sleep—making sure you wake up feeling refreshed and energized, rather than groggy and sluggish. Establishing a routine is essential in stabilizing your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, meaning you’ll be able to wake up in the morning, even without an alarm. Being consistent here is the key, so avoid the temptation to disrupt your schedule during the weekends!
2) Turn off your backlit devices 15 minutes before you go to sleep.
This includes your TV, computer, and tablet. Even if you’ve turned off all the other lights in the room, the additional glow will inhibit your melatonin production (the sleep hormone), and keep your brain stimulated, all of which will prevent you from falling asleep.
3) Make sure your room is completely dark.
Going back to the idea of turning off any backlit devices when going to bed, try and make sure your room is completely dark too. Turn off lamps, hallway lights, and draw your window blinds if necessary. The darkness will help boost your melatonin production, enabling you to fall asleep without disruptions.
4) Nap in the afternoon and limit your nap to a maximum of 30 minutes.
If you must nap, do so in the early afternoon, and avoid napping past 4 PM. Limit your naps to 30 minutes apiece, or even adopt the 15 minute powernap habit! If you’re feeling drowsy after dinner, resist the urge to hit the bed or couch, and instead, get up and move around to avoid falling asleep prematurely.
5) Avoid heavy evening meals, and have at least a 2 hour gap in between eating and sleeping.
Try and eat dinner earlier in the evening to give your body ample time to digest everything. This is especially important if you’re planning to indulge in any fatty or rich foods, which will require more energy break down. It’s more difficult to fall asleep when your body is still hard at work!
Written by Anna Zhao