by Aubrey Lee
Sleep is essential for our productivity and well-being, it is often neglected and deemed as 'a waste of time' in this hustle culture. Read for tips!
SLEEP is essential for proper cognitive and behavioural functions, it affects our productivity, mood and decision-making process. It is safe to say that sleep quality directly influences our well-being. Plus, sleep is relaxation at its core. We all love a good night's sleep. Unfortunately, many of us are getting less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Sleep depletion can be a result of small habits that we unintentionally develop throughout the day. When it comes to sleep, it isn’t just about the amount of hours but we also need to take sleep quality into consideration too.
#1 Keep a regular sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help set your body’s internal clock. It can be very challenging to stick to a sleep schedule every single day -including weekends, try making small adjustments day by day and slowly allow your body to grow accustomed to rest at a certain time.
#2 Limit or avoid naps during the day
Taking power naps will help you feel refreshed and energised throughout the day. However, if you find it hard to fall asleep at night or constantly having disrupted sleep, it is best to avoid naps as it will decrease your sleep drive at night but if you really must, keep it short (~20 minutes) and nap early.
#3 Wind down before bed
Scrolling through social media before bed is a habit that many of us have cultivated over the years. Keep electronics away an hour before bed time to reduce blue light exposure because blue light disturbs the release of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible to help us relax. Instead, try activities that will help put you at ease. Having an evening skincare routine is a good way to start. Once in a while, you may want to spice things up a little by pampering yourself with a hydrating face mask to nourish your skin while enjoying a cup of chamomile tea. You could also try a deep cleansing session once a week by using a facial clay mask to draw out impurities as well as a body scrub to remove dead skin cells. If you’re up for it, why not give yourself an at-home manicure experience. Aside from that, reading a book, meditating, taking a warm shower, listening to the sounds of nature or diffusing essential oils with calming scents such as lavender in your bedroom could prove to be beneficial. Getting your beauty sleep is more than skin-deep as our skin regenerates and repairs itself while we snooze away. Simply put, the better you prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep, the glowier your skin will be.
#4 Make your bedroom cozy
To create a sleep-inducing environment, choose pillowcases and sheets that feel fresh and comfortable because bedding quality matters! Please tell me I’m not the only one that finds fresh sheets bring so much joy. Other than that, keep the temperature in your room cool, reduce the amount of light by using a sleeping mask or heavy curtains and cultivate a peaceful vibe in your bedroom will take your sleeping experience to the next level.
#5 Exposure to bright light in the morning
Melatonin hormone is controlled by the amount of light we expose, it helps to regulate our circadian rhythm aka sleep-wake cycle. Expose yourself to light during the day by going outdoors or as simple as keeping curtains and blinds open at home or office.
#6 Exercise during the day
It seems like exercise is in the list of all-good-things. Cultivating a regular exercise routine will improve your sleep quality. It has been proven that exercise helps patients with insomnia to sleep better. However, exercise can stimulate alertness, avoid doing it 3 hours before bedtime.
#7 Stay away from stimulants late in the day
Be mindful of what you eat and drink throughout the day. Coffee and tea are popular choices of beverage but due to its caffeine content, avoid having them late in the day. The next time you’re out having an afternoon tea with friends, opt for carrot cheese cake & hot cocoa rather than tiramisu & latte. Smallest decisions make the biggest impact!
#8 Keep your bed strictly for sleeping
This tip is especially important during the pandemic as most of us are working from home now. Suddenly there is no separation between your bed and work desk, you can now write your business proposal, answer emails in bed but try to keep your bed strictly for sleeping (and sex) only. You want to see your bed as a place of rest, so avoid activities that will bring stress and train your brain to have a strong mental association of bed and sleep. Get a good sleep and ride the rainbow to dreamland, dear readers!