Did you experience a night of tossing and turning in your sleep? Did you wake up feeling less than refreshed? Did you plan on getting a full day of work done? If you answered “Yes!” to all three questions, then your day may not go as planned because sleep deprivation does that to your mind and body.
Fortunately, there’s always hope that you can perform better than expected and you can get a better night’s sleep later at night. Here’s what you can do to achieve both goals for the day.
#1 Stop Your Alarm
When your alarm sounds off, you may be tempted to hit the snooze button and get 10 more minutes of sleep. You hope that it will provide a boost of energy during the day. But it will not because the body needs up to an hour of extra sleep during the morning before it will actually help.
Besides, there’s also the fact that sleeping in will only create more stress during your morning prep routine. You will be running late, which will affect your day’s stress levels, too. Even when you decide to take the day off or you’re on vacation, your body’s internal clock can be set more effectively when you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Just turn off your alarm, get up from your Beautyrest bed, and start with your morning prep routine. Your body will appreciate it better, especially when you adopt the next steps.
#2 Catch the Early Morning Sunlight
The sun’s warm rays in the early morning hours aid the body in setting its internal clock, as well as in countering the effects of sleeplessness. Your circadian rhythm will benefit because it recognizes the light for day and, thus, your body becomes more awake, not to mention that you’re also getting bone-boosting Vitamin D. Aside from your morning exposure, you may also take a stroll through the park during the midday instead of getting your power nap.
And while you’re taking in the sunlight, you may want to either exercise or drink your coffee. You’re hitting two birds with one stone and setting the mood for the day.
#3 Drink Your Coffee
There’s a reason even health experts suggest a cup of coffee during the morning – studies have shown that it perks up your brain and body! So, drink your regular morning coffee so that you will readier to take on the day’s challenges. But don’t drink too much during the day because a cup of coffee will stay in your bloodstream, so to speak, for several hours.
And never drink coffee and caffeinated drinks close to your bedtime or else you will get a repeat of your tossing and turning from the night before. This also applies to alcoholic beverages and sweet foods since these can stimulate your body resulting in a sleep-deprived night. Instead, a warm glass of milk may just do the trick.
#4 Get in a Few Physical Exercises
Even a 10-minute dynamic stretching routine after waking up will make your body and brain more alert for the day’s tasks ahead. There’s also the fact that physical exercise can improve sleep patterns, boost your mood, and contribute to weight loss.
But don’t exercise too close to your bedtime. If you want to exercise after work, you should do it at least three hours before your bedtime. Otherwise, you will be too keyed up to sleep so you’re feeding the sleepless cycle again.
#5 Take a Nap But in the Right Amount
Sleep experts suggest a 20-minute nap is the best because it will sharpen the body’s motor skills and the brain’s attention span. You can take it during your lunch hour although you may also want to take a short stroll outdoors. Just don’t nap for more than 20 minutes as you can wake up groggier than you want, as well as decrease your need to sleep later at night.
#6 Be Conscious of Your Food and Drink
Even when you’re awake, your body starts its preparation for sleep. What you eat and drink during your waking hours, especially close to bedtime, will have an impact on your sleeping pattern later. For this reason, here are a few important things to remember:
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks, especially coffee, close to your bedtime. You may say that alcoholic drinks make you fall asleep faster but that’s only temporary. As your body metabolizes the alcohol a few hours after consumption, you will wake up resulting in poor quality of sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant so when you drink it at night, your body’s too keyed up to even go to sleep, much less stay asleep. Instead of alcohol and caffeine, your best bet is water because your body needs sufficient hydration for normal functioning. Just don’t drink too much of it before bedtime so you don’t have to get up to pee.
Avoid eating greasy, salty and sweet foods for dinner. Eat like a pauper with a light meal, perhaps a quinoa salad, so that your body doesn’t have to work too hard to process them before bedtime.
During your bedtime, you will likely find that getting to dreamland isn’t as much a struggle as it used to be.