After all the late nights over the Christmas period, it can be hard to get back into a structured sleeping pattern
Losing just 2 hours of sleep a night decreases your productivity by 32%, so it’s important for you (and all those New Year's resolutions) that you can reset your sleep routine as soon as possible.
1. Introduce a wind down routine
It’s not just newborn babies who benefit from sleep cues. If you need to get back to normality after the fun of Christmas, introducing a relaxing bedtime routine – and sticking to it – is the most reliable way to regulate sleep. Commit to staying free of TV, tablet and smartphone screens for a few hours before bedtime, try these techniques and you should be sleeping soundly at a reasonable hour.
2. Incorporate guided meditation into your routine
If you haven’t yet got into the practice of meditation, it may be that using an app or video to guide you through meditation will be the best starting point. Meditation will take your mind away from stressful or negative thoughts and help you to wind down for the night.
With regular practise, it becomes easier and feels more natural to release stressful thoughts. Dedicate just 10 minutes of your evening to meditation and you should be able to drift off to sleep without any stress.
3. Have a warm bath
Relaxation is key if you want to sleep soundly, and a warm bath is perfect for this. If you enjoy reading, then this could be a great thing to do in the bath, but if not then simply sitting in the warm water, perhaps with a candle or two, can be just as relaxing. Also, this makes great use of all that fancy bubble bath that you received for Christmas!
3. Get the temperature right
Did you know your body has a temperature sweet spot that can help you sleep? The US National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature of 14-15 °C (60-67 °F).
During the winter months, this is important to remember as the cold can often hinder sleep. However, it’s not as simple as getting your room to the correct temperature, you need to ensure your tootsies are warm too. Research has shown that the blood vessel dilatation in your feet is important in regulating your body’s temperature for sleep. Try putting on some fluffy socks for bed and see if this helps you to fall asleep more easily.
4. Practise conscious breathing
If you’ve followed the whole routine, yet you’re still lying awake in bed unable to sleep, focusing on your breath should be the final step to help you to feel calm and relax the muscles in your body. This increases your chances of falling asleep as it helps to clear the mind from any thoughts you might be having that are keeping you awake and allows you to focus solely on your own body and your surroundings.
To use this exercise:
1. Lie down on your bed and make yourself comfortable.
2. Breathe in through your nose for 5 counts. Think about how the air feels going into your nostrils.
3. Hold at the top of your breath for 2 counts.
4. Exhale through your mouth for 5 counts. Envision any negative thoughts leaving your body like a puff of smoke. Give those thoughts a colour. If you’re feeling angry, they might be a deep red.
5. Repeat the process. As you breathe in fresh air, focus on how it nourishes your body.
6. Let go of all your negative thoughts and feelings as you expel them with your out breath.
7. Try to stick to this routine every evening and you should feel refreshed from the party season in no time.
For more sleep advice visit: www.mattressonline.co.uk