Design your night-time ritual
Your preparations for success always start the night before.
If you are serious about your progress in 2019, commit to your personal night-time ritual for sleep and use the following tips to design the perfect path to sleep.
1. Remove stress
Stop any late-night worries before they begin, with a little preparation earlier in the evening. Lay out your clothes, tidy away clutter, write out any to-do lists for the next day and even prepare your breakfast to ensure a smooth start to the next day. When you set your alarm clock, allow an extra 10 minutes to wake up and stretch. This “buffer zone” gives you a sense of space and luxury to wake up, instead of immediately jumping out of bed.
2. Give yourself time to wind down.
Allow at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before you sleep. Studies have shown that blue screens can disrupt your body clock, whilst social media apps and forums easily eat up time through mindless surfing. So banish the TV and the phone from your evening. Go for a bath, do yoga, read a book or take up a repetitive hobby such as crochet or meditative colouring to rest your mind. It’s also worth putting sleep cues in your bedroom, such as calming scents, luxurious throws and good quality bed linen. Your room should make you smile when you walk through the door – it’s your retreat.
3. Make an appointment with your sleep pattern.
The quality of your sleep is directly linked to your mental and physical health, so don't skimp on it. There are a number of good sleep trackers on the market, designed to help you pick the optimum amount of rest. The hard part is sticking to it and getting up at the same time each day: even on weekends! By giving your body a regular sleep cycle, you are respecting its need to rest and repair each day.
4. Stop your mind from racing
When you are overtired or stressed from the day's events, it's easy to watch your mind run ragged with various scenario's plans, regrets or guilt. Whatever the problem may be, it's stealing your sleep! In this case, you need to actively calm your mind with music or meditation techniques. Unless you have an immediate deadline for that evening, everything looks easier to handle with a full night's rest.
5. Stick to water
Snacking at night is a great way to gain weight and disrupt your sleep. Sugary snacks leave you buzzing whilst heavier meals force the body back to digestion duties instead of refreshing and repairing your brain. On the other hand, we seriously underestimate how dehydrated we get when we are asleep. Drink herbal tea or lightly flavoured water before bed and keep a full glass in your bedroom for when you wake up.