Compared to people in the 60s, we’re getting on average, 1-1.5 hours less sleep per night. That’s bad for our health. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your weight, concentration, ability to train or recover, and even your mood. There are a number of factors which can affect how well we sleep at night, these include our nutrition, mobile phones and how busy we are at work.
So forget counting sheep, here are five easy ways to snooze happy and get a more restful night’s sleep.
Put the phone away earlier
It’s time for bed, you put your pj’s on, brush your teeth, switch the light off and….scroll through Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram ten times. Bed is a prime spot for checking social media, but, your phone can be damaging to your quality of sleep, it emits a tonne of bright, white light, which tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime — and if it’s still daytime, there’s no need for sleep. It’s a hormonal thing, too, not your imagination, so don’t ignore this one.
If you absolutely must have your phone on in the hour or so before bed, turn the screen’s brightness down.
Avoid sugar, eat more protein
We don’t need to tell you why eating sugar before bed is a bad idea. Eating more protein, though, that’s smart if you want a restful night’s sleep. During the night is when your body does most of its repairing, and protein is one of the most filling types of food you can eat. Eat more protein and you’ll grow lean muscle while you sleep, and prevent midnight snacking.
Keeping your body hydrate is important to prevent you from waking up in the night needing water. You should make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day – but not so close to bedtime so that you need to wake in the night for a trip to the toilet.
Eliminate the light
Just like it’s a good idea to turn the phone down or off before bed, it’s also a good idea to block out any light coming from the windows. Street lights and ambient light from other rooms, all play havoc with your brain’s efforts to get you to sleep (and to helping you stay asleep.)
Try thicker curtains, or if you’re really extreme, go for full blackout curtains and a towel under the door.
No caffeine after 4:00 PM
Strictly no caffeine after 5:00 PM. Caffeine’s half-life of around five hours, means if you have a coffee at 5:00 PM, half of that caffeine is still in your body at 10:00 PM. If you want a more restful night’s sleep, you really need to cut back on the afternoon coffee. Try replacing with herbal tea, or if you’re feeling adventurous, Wunder Workshop’s Instantly Golden Vegan Turmeric Latte.