Leon Ho |
When I was twenty-something, I didn’t really care much about my sleep quality because I could recover very quickly even if I had a bad night’s sleep. Since my first son was born, it became a totally different story. Partly because I’m older now, partly because I’ve had many more responsibilities. I could no longer work as productively as I could before if I didn’t sleep well the previous night.
To make sure I slept well at night, I started to pay attention to everything I did throughout the day. And unlike what most people advise us, it’s not just a good bedtime routine that helps, it’s about everything we do – from the moment we wake up in the morning to going to bed at night.
Wake up at the Same Time Every Day to Build Patterns
That means even weekends and days off. Why? Because our bodies are intelligently rhythmic and thrive on consistency. By waking up at the same time, we regulate the circadian rhythm that co-ordinates hormones and metabolism connected to sleep and wakefulness. Our bodies prepare to wake up around 1-2 hours before doing so, so making sure we wake up at a consistent time will be much easier and less stressful on these important rhythms.
Making sure you wake up (and actually get up) at the same time every day will help you get a better night’s sleep later on as you build a gradual, strong desire for sleep during your waking hours. Try consistently for 1 to 2 weeks to allow your body to create the perfect rhythm.
Eat Breakfast First Thing to Calm Your Brain
Fuelling yourself for the start of your day is common wisdom but did you know that it can also positively affect your sleep cycle? It’s all down to our evolution.
Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan believes the eating first thing in the morning actually calms parts of the brain that are linked to our caveman behavior of preserving energy and avoiding predators. In other words, by eating first thing, we’re reassuring the brain that there is a good supply of food causing it to remain in a relaxed state ready for sleep, which in our modern day case, is at the end of the day.
The article originally appeared at lifehack.org