Break your holiday sleeping pattern
For many of us, the summer holidays are all about turning off the alarm clock and enjoying a much needed sleep in. Staying up late watching a movie or catching up with friends past your ‘bedtime’ and then enjoying yet another sleep in. And another. And another.
It’s a vicious cycle and usually ends up in waking up for brunch rather than breakfast. And there’s nothing wrong with that… apart from when the time comes when you have to face reality and get back into routine.
Here are a few tips to help you get back into the swing of things and avoid those weary mornings.
Break the cycle now!
If you’ve still got a few more days up your sleeve before going back to work, break the cycle now! Get to bed earlier and set your alarm a little earlier each day. It may be hard to do but you’ll be thankful once you’re up and enjoying the morning.
Create the right atmosphere
Put down your phone, turn off the lights and opt for a calming bedtime activity, such as reading a book or listening to soothing music. The same goes for waking up. Draw back the curtains and let the sun wake you up.
Don’t eat dinner too late
Although it’s tempting to prolong your afternoon activities and delay your dinner time, this can disturb the internal clock that helps to regulate your sleep. Sticking to your usual dinner time will help keep your body in routine.
Pick the right bedtime snack
Try not to overindulge with too much snacking before bedtime. Choose snacks low in sugar, such as brazil nuts, and steer clear of caffeine. Try a caffeine-free herbal tea, but just be mindful of liquid intake as you want to avoid disrupting your sleep with a bathroom break.
Just can’t sleep? Get up
If you’re lying in bed, wide awake, getting more and more frustrated with yourself that you can’t sleep, get up! But don’t turn on all the lights and grab your phone or laptop, instead do something that will relax your mind. Like flicking through a magazine, meditating or writing down anything that may be stopping you from sleeping.
Easier said than done, but hitting the snooze button will do you more harm than good. Even though we convince ourselves that ‘a few more minutes’ will help us feel more refreshed, it’s actually proven to do the opposite. Your body is programmed to naturally prepare itself to wake up at the usual time each morning and by snoozing you’re at risk of going into a deeper sleep, which is harder to wake up from. Set your alarm clock at the time you need to get up, and commit to that time.
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