In the first in the series we looked at hacking your sleep environment to optimise a great night shut eye. We now turn to sleep routines.
- There is no one size fits all when it comes to sleep timing. Your biology determines when is best for you to sleep and wake up. Some people are night owls, some people are early risers and most follow the circadian rhythm driven by sunset and sunrise. You can determine your sleep chronotype with Dr Breus’ quiz.
- Be consistent. Get to bed at the same time each night. Even at weekends- if you’re really serious about optimising sleep.
- Don’t do anything too stimulating a couple of hours before sleep: exercising, news, social media, eating heavy meals, computer games are excitatory and get in the way of optimal sleep.
- Activities such as journaling or reading fictions help ease the mind into a state of relaxation.
- Breathing exercises can also ease the mind into a place of ease. I use Heart Rate Variability breathing using a HeartMath device. Also useful is the Breathing app for the iPhone.
- Avoid alcohol – whilst alcohol initially can make you feel restful and may help getting to sleep, it doesn’t promote great overall sleep quality.
Come back to the final part in the series where we explore supplements that can promote a good night’s sleep.