It comes as no shock to anyone that a good night’s sleep is imperative when it comes to a healthy functioning body. The fact that most people are unable to get this much-needed sleep is also a well-known fact.
Blame it on gadgets or a hyperactive lifestyle, the gist of the argument is that there really is no replacement for sleep. If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, here are the seven rules of restorative sleep to help you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world every morning, as compiled with the help of Vogue.
Early to bed
We usually force ourselves to stay awake until late into the night because we feel that if we push bedtime, we can be a little more productive. Don’t let capitalism and the burden of constant productivity ruin your health. Go to bed early so that you can wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. In fact, Dr Michael Grandner, director of sleep and health at the University of Arizona, explains that staying up late actually reduces efficiency, “We feel like we don’t have enough time in our day and staying up later makes us feel like we’ll be able to get more done and accomplish things. But the data shows the opposite.”
Don’t forget to chill out
No, “chilling out” does not mean scrolling through your social media until the early hours of the morning. Put the screens away and take some time for yourself. Engage with something other than a cell phone or laptop. To relax before bed, dim down the lights and read a book, solve a crossword puzzle, or cuddle with your pet.
Say no to lying awake
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, there’s no reason you should force yourself to stay in bed for hours on end. “By lying awake in bed, you turn the bed into an uncomfortable place; somewhere that you associate with worrying/thinking and tossing and turning,” shares Dr Grandner, adding, “Over time, the bed becomes a negative place rather than a relaxing one.”
So get out of bed and take a little walk around your home. Come back to the comfort of your bed once you feel like you’re ready to sleep.
Environment is everything!
A cool and darkroom is the perfect place to get some relaxing sleep. Prop open a window or switch on the air conditioner (making sure the room doesn’t get too cold) and turn the lights off. If you’re not a fan of the dark, make use of night lamps to get yourself in the mood for sleep.
Your body likes to keep cool at night, so make sure the pair of pajamas you have picked out isn’t keeping you too warm. While it’s an option to go to bed nude, if that is something you are not entirely comfortable with, opt for soft and breathable pyjamas.
Don’t fret over numbers
“There’s no difference between seven and eight hours, and sleep doesn’t need to be perfect for it to be deemed good,” shares Dr Grandner. Shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep in the total 24, but it's all right if you can’t hit the mark each time.
It may seem like common sense to reach for the melatonin every time you have trouble falling asleep, but this really isn’t the best idea. Sedatives will probably leave you with a ‘hangover’ the next day. “You’re more fatigued and tired during the day because you took a sedative – most people want to be better functioning and more alert in the day but this route backfires and makes the problem that they were trying to solve, which is their daytime performance, worse,” explains Dr Grandner.
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