How to Wake Up Feeling Refreshed?
Research has identified a strong link between sleep and our physical and mental well-being. Getting your eight hours a day is not enough either – the quality of your sleep is crucially important too. Yet many people still don’t get the sleep that they need. Here are 9 sleep hacks you can employ to feel more refreshed each morning.
Sleep in complete darkness
When the brain detects light, it starts releasing hormones to make you wake up. For best results, your room should be completely dark. Use blackout curtains and cover any LEDs on any devices. Use an eye mask if you can’t get complete darkness.
Stick to a schedule
When it comes to sleep, the brain is a creature of habit. Office workers will know the experience of waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday even though they’d rather sleep in. You can use this to your advantage. If you stick to a schedule you’ll find yourself getting tired before your usual bedtime, and you’ll fall asleep more quickly. Even more important this is for your kids, make sure you start adopting their back-to-school schedule before their Holidays end, to give them some time to adapt.
Start with the wind down at least one hour before bedtime. Turn off all screens, don’t do anything physical, and stop all productive activities. You can also dim the lights slightly to start the release of hormones that trigger sleep. This winding down period is a good time to meditate.
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, try to take a 20-minute nap in the early afternoon if you can. Studies show this has restorative effects far larger than its short time period would suggest.
Leave at least an eight-hour gap between your last caffeine intake and your set bedtime. Caffeine can affect sleep quality as well as quantity, so even if you are able to sleep soon after consuming caffeine, you won’t be getting a good night’s rest.
Keep your room cool
Your room should be fairly cool, but not too cold, for the best chance of getting to sleep, so select your air conditioning settings, bed sheets, and sleepwear appropriately. If you’re too warm through the night, try sticking your feet out from the sheets.
Sleep in silence
Complete silence is difficult to achieve but ideal. The second best option is to play white noise or natural sounds like rainfall or ocean waves. This is particularly useful if you get intermittent noise outside your places, such as if you live near a busy road or a bar.
Take a shower
Try a warm shower or bath just before you go to bed. When you’re done, step straight out of the warm bathroom into the cold beyond. The drop in body temperature when you leave the shower into a colder room is thought to help trigger sleep.
Have a little something to eat that’s high in carbs before bed. You don’t want to eat too much, though, as this can have the opposite effect. A slice of bread or a couple of tablespoons of honey will do.
Track it to hack it
Everybody is different. Some people are very sensitive to noise, while others can fall asleep in a football stadium. So, use a sleep tracking app and/or keep a manual log of your sleep time and quality (manual logs should record the time you went to bed, approximately how long before you fell asleep, the time you woke up, and how refreshed you feel the next morning). Then you can apply the above nine hacks either individually or in combinations, and see what works for you.