Aaah the zombie zone, a dreamy, spaced-out land where wallets are left at home, whole conversations are missed and you wait patiently for replies to emails that you never event sent. Yep, we’ve all been there!
These days, it seems like way too many of us are wasting our days away in this half-awake world. Why? The answer seems obvious – we’re not sleeping enough. But the truth is, it’s not just the amount of sleep we’re getting (or lack there of) that’s the issue… it’s the quality.
Yep, it’s true! Even if you got your 8 hours last night, if it wasn’t quality sleep, you might as well have had 4. And by quality sleep, we mean that deep, undisturbed, ‘couldn’t shake you to wake you’ kind of sleep.
The upside? There are several things you can do throughout the day to improve your quality of your sleep. This means you’ll have more energy, more drive and you’ll be in a way better mood. Here are some of our top suggestions…
Studies have shown that exercising in the morning rather at night can help you get a better nights sleep. Researchers suggest this may be due to the effect that exercise has on your hormones and body temperature. Also, exercising early can help you burn more calories throughout the day, which will also help you to fall asleep faster.
Don’t get us wrong, we love our carbs but eating too many at night can have a negative impact on your sleep. This is because high-GI carbs provide a quick release of energy that can cause you to ‘crash’ later on. If this crash occurs in the middle of the night, it can be enough to wake you up! Opt for healthy fats and lean proteins instead.
Most of us have heard by now that using digital devices before bed can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Resist the temptation to scroll by popping your phone in a drawer or leave it in another room altogether. The more you put this pre-bed routine into practise, the easier it will get – trust us on this one!
Believe it or not, your brain is actually very active while you’re asleep. It analyses the days activities and works hard to reduce worries and stress. Since the brain is made up of 85% water, not drinking enough water can seriously disrupt these activities. Staying hydrated throughout the day allows your brain to work best at night, leaving you feeling refreshed when you wake up.
We all know that caffeine is no good for sleep. That doesn’t mean you have to give it up altogether though! Caffeine has a half-life of about 4-6 hours. So if you have a coffee at 8am, only half of the caffeine will be out of your system by lunchtime. For this reason, try to cut the coffee off by 1pm latest. You won’t believe the difference it will make!
The purpose of your pillow is to keep your head and neck aligned while you sleep. If you’ve had your pillow for too long, it can shrink and become hard and lifeless. Not only is this terrible for your neck but it can cause enough discomfort to keep you awake. When shopping for a new pillow, go for a larger, firmer one if you sleep on your side and a flatter, softer one if you sleep on your stomach.
Sticking to a sleep routine is so important if you want to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Try to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time everyday, so your body gets use to a sleeping pattern. Also, try to create a special bedtime routine that you repeat every night. This could include things like stretching, meditating, reading or even doodling. It all depends on your personal preference!