Saturday, 21 October 2017

Sweet Dreams - Your Guide To A Better Night's Sleep

As someone who works long hours, I know all too well the feeling of waking up at silly-o-clock in the morning, feeling groggy and totally unprepared for the morning ahead, only to find that I still can't fall asleep at a decent hour after the day is done and so the cycle begins again. Only recently have I begun to make small changes to get my body clock working with me rather than against me and I have never felt more refreshed and awake, even if it's 5-o-clock in the morning!

Switch off an hour before bed. Stay away from electronic devices an hour before bed. The light exposure makes your body think it needs to be awake and it just makes it that little bit harder to drop off. So no scrolling through your social media feeds in bed, and your emails can wait until the morning.

De-clutter your bedroom. When your sleeping space is clean and minimal, your mind will feel de-cluttered too. Trust me, it is a nightmare trying to wind down in messy room. Associate your bedroom with sleep and relaxation, not with clutter and work.

Get into a routine. Your body is smart enough to adapt to a routine, but not if you have a new routine every day. Aim to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time, even at the weekend! That lie-in or "catch-up" sleep can make you feel more groggy the following day.

Get a dawn simulator clock. Nothing wakes you up as beautifully as a nice sunrise. Unfortunately, the real thing is scarce, especially if you're getting up very early in the morning so the next best thing is to get yourself a simulated one. Experts say that a gradual brightness can help to wake up in the morning and reduce that groggy feeling. In the same way that you wake up gradually when you've got the day off work, a dawn simulator clock will produce similar effects to slowly awaken you from your beauty sleep. Lumie and Phillips are probably the big players in this field and I know that most of my friends have a love for one or the other.

So how do they work? The gradual brightness of a dawn simulator helps to increase cortisol and reduce those sleep hormones, as opposed to being woken up by an alarm in the darkness (or in sudden sharp light). People also say that it helps them feel a lot more productive and alert throughout the day. I, for one, know that it's a so difficult to get up super early in the morning with my alarm buzzing in my ear as it pretty much shocks you into waking up. With a dawn simulator clock, imagine being gently coaxed out of your dreams!  And for those minimilists out there, getting a dawn simulator clock means that you get both an alarm clock and a bedside lamp all in one!

What are your tips for a good night's sleep?

*Sponsored post. This post has been written in collaboration with Sunrise Clocks but, as always, all content and opinions are my own.

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