Nothing says ‘Monday morning’ like a bus packed with tired, grumpy commuters who look like they could use a bit more sleep. They’re yawning, idly scrolling through their phones or just sitting there, staring into nothingness. Monday mornings on public transport can feel kind of like a zombie apocalypse, except everyone’s too lazy to attack one another. Instead, they just sit there, waiting to get that another coffee down so they can stumble through the morning.
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for a happy and productive life. Sleep is the key to retaining information, exercising and it’s even been shown to prevent heart problems later on in life. But heaps of people don’t seem to be getting enough sleep. If this is you, here are some life hacks to getting some much-deserved rest.
1. There’s an app for that
Research has shown that the bright white light that comes off our phone and computer screens causes people to have a measurably worse sleep than when reading a book under lamplight. Of course, there’s probably nothing on earth that could stop us from a cheeky bit of scrolling before bed, but now there’s an app for this. It’s called f.lux and, as the sun sets and the night creeps in, it automatically removes the bright white light from your device and replaces it with a reddish glow. This might help you sleep better.
2. Be wary of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, so they make your brain active and can keep you awake for hours after consumption. So it’s probs not a good idea to be knockin’ back coffees in the evening. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a sedative, so it can make you sleepy. The problem is that when the booze wears off it can really disrupt your sleep. Proceed with caution.
3. Sleep schedule
Creating a sleep routine is the ideal way to get a good night’s sleep. Obviously it’s a bit hard if you want to spend your weekends raging the night away, but if you can try to get to bed around the same time each night you’ll probs enjoy a better sleep. Even if you just regulate it on weeknights and treat yourself on the weekend…
4. Get a bedtime ritual
Creating a pattern helps your brain get in the mood for sleep and, once you’ve done it enough, the routine itself can send you into slumber.
There’s nothing worse than being unable to doze off because you’re stressed out about life. Most of us have been there at some point and it sucks. One technique to de-stress is to simply to regulate your breathing and go through the events of your day. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Some people call this meditation, others just call it deep breathing. Either way, it’s a good way to de-stress and nod off.
6. To nap or not to nap?
Napping can be a good relief when you’re out of sync, jet-lagged or overtired, but it’s not always a good idea. If you can, it’s generally a good idea to push through that tired phase, then get all your sleep in one go. If you really need a nap though, it’s better to take a shorter one than a longer one–try for a 10 or 20-minute powernap to recharge, rather than that 3-hour pass out followed by a groggy period of reawakening your body.
The most simple and effective way to sleep well is to maintain a busy and active lifestyle. Nothing’s going to put you to bed like a good gym sesh, a bike ride or a run.