Sleep your way to success!
Let’s face it, we aren’t getting enough rest. We’re all guilty of it with today’s fast-paced lifestyles getting in the way of what really matters – our health. These days, we think we’re invincible and believe that since we’re ‘managing’ without sleep, it’s not really going to catch up with us. WRONG.
Sleep is integral to both our physical and mental health. Whilst some can survive on four hours a night, eventually they’ll find themselves prone to illnesses such as heart disease. The National Sleep Foundation indicates those who rest fewer than six hours are twice as likely to have a stroke than those who get more shut-eye. That’s regardless of their age, weight and recreational habits.
However, Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington says that over the years, attitudes are changing. Whilst lack of sleep was previously seen as a ‘badge of honour’, people are turning to prioritising health and well-being. She’s calling it ‘the sleep revolution’, whereby people are encouraged to get more sleep in order to achieve success. Huffington also predicts that we can expect to see as many nap rooms as conference rooms in the future!
Whether or not this ‘sleep revolution’ will come to fruition is questionable. Especially as we’re always on the look-out for ways to conquer tiredness without turning to the pillow – i.e. coffee! What is clear is that as technology continues to dominate, we cannot get away from our basic human need. We haven’t found a food replacement. In fact, we’ve more than doubled our appetites compared to that of 50 years ago. However our attitude to sleep still has our seven to eight hours sitting on the back-burner as a luxury to enjoy every once in a while.
How Successful People Sleep
Turn off devices at least an hour before bedtime…
Whether it’s browsing Twitter or watching a TV programme, they’re all doing the same thing – sending your brain into a ‘hyperactive’ mode. Staring at a bright screen, which we already do enough of during the day, is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Studies have also found that the quality of sleep gained is far less than if you switched off a lot earlier. So the next time you find yourself yawning before the day has even started, try switching off. Give your brain a break!
Eat at least two hours before bedtime…
When we eat we do automatically become tired, however it’s best to leave it a while before you hit the sack. Mainly for reasons such as weight gain. Give yourself a chance to digest. Take a walk after dinner instead of sitting down straight away. You’ll not only have great sleep but you’ll find yourself feeling less stodgy in the morning!
Exercise for better quality sleep…
Exercise is great not only for physical well-being and fitness, but also for our mood. The endorphins released during exercise help us feel happier and more alert, whilst also helping us get a restful night. Find what suits you, whether it’s exercising in the morning or evening, and you’ll find you will sleep deeper and sounder. Research suggests that it is best to avoid strenuous exercise at least 2-3 hours before bed, and Sleep.org have a brilliant article that explains more about the relationship between sleep and exercise.
Set a routine and stick to it…
If you go to bed at 9pm one night and 12pm the next, but wake at the same time each morning then you’re sure to feel tired. Our bodies are quick to adapt and prefer routine. So if you go to sleep and wake at the same time each day you’ll eventually only need your alarm for formality’s sake.
Be strict with yourself and give your body that time to shut down and regenerate. Don’t be disheartened if at first you just find yourself staring at the ceiling or counting sheep. You are still resting even if you haven’t yet fallen asleep. Be patient and eventually you will nod off and just continue to stick to that routine.
Avoid alcohol and – unfortunate but necessary – caffeine…
Clogging your body with toxins and stimulants is not the way to go for overall health. Some may find having the odd glass of wine actually helps get them settled for bed, but you need to nip that in the bud.
Whilst it can make you drowsy, making this a habit will mean that the quality of your sleep will be next to none. You’ll wake up both dehydrated and feeling as if you’ve barely slept a wink. Try cutting down the alcohol and avoiding caffeine from the mid-afternoon for a better night’s sleep. Cut it down gradually so your body can adjust. Eventually you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever relied on it.
Trust a blackout blind!
Whether your a working parent or a shift-worker, our blackout blinds are a fantastic sleep accessory for both adults and kids. They provide the ultimate sleep solution, one of our customers, can testify for this after they purchased our easyblackout kit with VELCRO® brand hook fastener:
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