A few months ago I decided that I wanted to get out of the habit of fiddling around on the internet until 11 or 12 at night (consequently yawning my way through the next day) and rather get to bed earlier and have a decent night’s sleep as routine. This quickly led me on to researching other ideas which would improve my rest and thus my daytime productivity, which is important to most of us I’m sure!
All the time we hear that having the adequate quality and quantity of sleep is essential to our functioning at peak levels during the day, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one that ignores that good advice and gets into bad habits of staying up later and abusing flexitime by only waking up at 9am!
If you are wanting to gain more from your sleep, I recommend the following top tips that have worked for me (unfortunately this is all anecdotal – YMMV):
- Routine: Try get to bed at the same time every night, but much more importantly, wake up at the same time every morning. I was amazed at after only 8 or 10 days my body was “programmed” to wake up at a certain time. Also, since (seemingly) my body was expecting to wake up at the time that it did, I felt much less groggy that I did before sleephacking.
- Cut out Caffeine: After reading about the effects of the morning Starbucks routine I decided to cut this out. Much yawning ensued, but a few weeks afterwards I no longer yearn coffee/caffeine and I do feel like the absence of it is contributing to my overall increased alertness during the day.
- A cool, dark bedroom: Light disturbs us and prohibits the body from producing melatonin (which affects quality of sleep). And who ever sleeps well in the heat, right? I’ve found that having a dark and slightly-cooler-than-room-temperature bedroom has been critical to a good night’s sleep.
To improve your sleep I also recommend a free e-book from a character named Sleep Warrior that is some interesting reading and has plenty more tips to try out.