Sleep hacks for daytime
Can’t seem to drift off at night? Here are some sleep hacks for daytime.
Enjoying a good night’s sleep doesn’t just come down to hitting the sack at a reasonable hour. There are many things you can do during the day to improve the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling far more rested than ever before. Want to feel ready to take on the day? Experts gave us their tips on the best tried-and-tested sleep hacks you can do during the day.
Put your phone away
It should come as no surprise that going on your phone or laptop just before bed could be sabotaging the quality of your sleep. ‘The blue light the devices give off can disrupt your body’s natural nightly production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
Don’t fret, pet
We all know that feeling when you’re trying desperately to fall asleep but have something stressful on your mind. ‘Many say they try to get to sleep but are distracted by worries,’ says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com. ‘I’d recommend using the traditional herbal medicine passionflower as a sleep aid for night-time.’
The way you eat during the day can affect your body’s ability to relax at night. ‘Ensure you are eating little and often during the day to keep your blood sugar stead,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’. ‘This will ensure that the hormone cortisol will start to wind down when you go to bed.’
You snooze, you lose
Hitting the snooze button on your alarm in the morning can mess up your whole morning, plus it could even set in motion a bad repetitive sleeping pattern. ‘This sleeping habit can make you feel groggier in the day, and can even disrupt your sleep the next night too,’ explains Cassandra.
The effects of coffee don’t simply wear off after a few hours. ‘Caffeine can stay in the body for up to 12 hours,’ reveals Shona. ‘If you do have sleep problems, avoid tea or coffee from about 12 noon onwards.’ If you need a pick-me-up, drink some water or eat some fruit.
Becoming more active can help your body ease into a peaceful sleep at night time. Research undertaken by The National Sleep Foundation discovered that making changes as simple as sitting down for a shorter amount of time a day can help improve the quality of your sleep.
Sticking to a regular bedtime routine is a very practical way to improve the quality of your sleep. ‘Bedtime routines are helpful for good sleep,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘You want to try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. Getting up at the same time is most important.’
Set the scene
Going to bed in a tranquil, peaceful environment can help you drift off a lot easier. ‘It’s important to keep work out of the bedroom,’ advises Shona. ‘Make the room a calm and relaxing environment. This includes the colour of the walls and décor, avoiding very bright, stimulating colours.”
Relax with magnesium
It’s important to be aware of the nutrients that you’re consuming in your food. ‘Magnesium is known as nature’s tranquilliser and has a calming, relaxing effect on the body,’ says Shona. ‘Try to include magnesium-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens. I’d also recommend Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Capsules.’
Say no to booze
Regular drinking could be preventing you from benefitting from good-quality sleep. ‘Not only does alcohol affect blood sugar levels causing adrenaline and cortisol to be released, but it also blocks the transport of tryptophan into the brain,’ says Dr Glenville. ‘Tryptophan is important because it is converted into serotonin, the calming and relaxing neurotransmitter.’