How to hack your sleep routine

After the long summer holidays, September is a time of new beginnings; whether it’s the start of a new school year or a return to work. During time off our normal sleep routine can be disrupted or changed as we enjoy holiday lie-ins, siestas and late nights, but it’s important to get back into a routine to ensure we are well-rested and ready for the season ahead.

To help ensure a good night’s sleep, we have worked with the team over at Tempur and the guys have compiled a brilliant hitlist of hacks to target common sleep nuisances to ensure you’re able to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day.

“Sleep can impact our efficiency at work and school, our ability to manage mood and our body’s physical ability to repair and recover,” says Tobin James, Tempur UK Managing Director. “To ensure a good night’s rest, it’s important to prepare the sleeping environment and make lifestyle adjustments. If you’re struggling to get back into a routine, or to get children settled ready for bed, read on for the following tips to get a great night’s sleep.”

1. Take your parents advice

Everyone remembers their parents sending them to bed at the same time every night and although not fun at the time, it’s also a great way to ensure children (and adults) get into a good bedtime routine. The body thrives on routine thanks to the internal “sleep clock” and a regular bedtime will ensure everyone is more awake in the morning.

Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day – even at weekends. Trust us, you’ll feel better for it!

2. Recommend sleep for children

Getting children to sleep is a challenge, but ensuring their rooms are dark, cool and comfortable will really help them to nod off. Avoid distracting overhead or bright hallway lights by installing softer night lights along the corridor for any bathroom breaks in the night, ensure all light chinks are covered up (using black out curtains) and keep noise levels low. Eight to 14 hours sleep is required depending on the child’s age, but more sleep is better than less. A bedtime story and a warm drink can also help even the most reluctant sleeper into a peaceful slumber.

3. Exercise those September blues away

There’s no doubt that regular exercise benefits both our mental and physical health, reducing levels of stress and anxiety, however did you know it can also contribute to better quality, more restful sleep? Even at this busy time of year you should aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day – this can include walking during your commute to work or school or trying a new exercise class.

It’s best to make exercise part of your day if possible, as exercising too late might keep you awake for longer. You should ensure you enjoy one to two hours of down time between exercise and sleep.

4. Log out and switch off

Are you guilty of the late-night scroll through social media feeds? Or perhaps you find yourself firing off work emails to get a head start on the following day…?

We’re certain that you’ve already heard about the benefits of moving your mobile phone into another room overnight so take this as a gentle reminder.

Moving your phone into another room will discourage you from scrolling or emailing which can eat into precious sleep time. Ditching your phone will also help prevent disturbances whilst asleep. Instead, enjoy an activity you find relaxing – try drawing or reading, or better yet just chat to your partner or children about each other’s days.

5. And finally, bad dreams keeping you up at night?

Dreams involving falling, trying and failing to run away and being naked in public are unsettling but completely normal. Rather than ignoring these dreams it’s worth considering that dreams can offer us visual insights into emotions that are often hard to verbalise when we’re awake. So, if you find your sleep disturbed by bad dreams this September take stock of how you’re feeling before you go to bed.

If you find yourself feeling anxious and stressed about workload before bed, take a few deep breaths and try making a list of the tasks you need to pick up the next day.

Or perhaps your stress stems not from workload but social anxiety – try writing down your worries. You’ll find that offloading your worries will leave you feeling calmer and more relaxed, ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.

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