Sleep is something we would ALL like some more of!
Whether it’s because we have a hectic work schedule or have become night-owls spending far too much time online, lack of enough sleep can often (and almost always!) leave us feeling groggy and SO-low-energy through the day! Read on to discover how these 11 surprisingly simple hacks will allow you to sneak in more sleep every day!
1. Trick yourself into sleeping earlier
Yes, going to bed earlier might seem like an obvious point, but as we all know it’s the hardest one to execute! Those of us who are night owls find it super-easy to distract ourselves pre-bedtime no matter how good our intentions are at the start of the day! What you need to do is prepone your bedtime every day by just 5 minutes (yes, only 5 minutes, not those un-accomplishable 2 hours) - but do this EVERY day. If you keep at it, in 10 days’ time, you have an hour’s worth of more sleep under your belt. Do the preponing routine for as long as it takes until you’re up to your daily recommended sleep allowance of 7-8 hours.
2. Start a Sunday nap ritual
Sunday is officially the best day of the week - even more so if you use them to take a day to rest and catch up on sleep from the week! Catch some extra shuteye after lunch. Just make sure to set an alarm and wake up before it’s evening, else you’re gonna end up groggy, and then sleep later than usual at night! (Psst! If you work on Sundays or something, obvs pick your weekly off to try this out.)
3. Use your commute time wisely
Simply getting a hands-free set for your mobile would allow you to catch up with your friends on your way home from work instead of after dinner; saving you a good twenty minutes or so, that you could use to sneak in some more sleep! Alternatively, if you have the luxury of someone driving you, and your commute is longer than 30 minutes, it’s a good idea to sneak in a power nap!
4. Email anywhere
Think about it… Every time you’re in a line waiting for coffee, for example, you could just reply to emails, check Facebook - even check POPxo! ;-) Doing this allows you to stay on top of your inbox(es) and could lead to less time being spent playing catch-up when you’re in bed at night! It’s also worth noting that staring at your screen at night keeps you awake for longer - meaning that you’re seriously losing out on some snooze-time!
5. Shut down!
Following on from the last point, it’s equally crucial to know when to shut down completely! Turn off your WiFi before you hit the sack! Since 3G can only take you so far, you would potentially be saving yourself hours that you would normally spend surfing the net - sleep instead!
6. Have a working lunch (and a power nap)
Instead of going out with co-workers, pack an easy lunch (like a sandwich or a salad) a couple of times a week - and eat it at your desk, while you’re catching up on emails and paying bills and so on. You can use the time you save by not eating a leisurely meal to rest up a bit during your lunch hour. Just lean back in your seat and close your eyes!
7. Ditch that caffeine habit - seriously!
Fine, fine - you can still have that cup of tea or coffee in the morning! But limit your caffeine intake post 4 p.m.! Depending on how much caffeine is in that mid-afternoon glass of perky, it could take up to 24 hours for your system to flush it out. That means you could still feel the effects of your pick-me-up at, say, 10 p.m., and instead of winding down for the day, you’d be rearing up to do more! Switch to herbal tea instead - no caffeine!
8. Make A P.O.A
Think about all your errands and ask yourself if there’s a way to spend less time behind the wheel. For example, can you use the grocery store’s pharmacy instead of the one a mile away? Is your current dry cleaner really better than the one next to your friend’s house? Make all your stops as convenient and as close as possible - you save not only time but also energy. So that you can SLEEP instead of passing out from exhaustion at the end of the day.
9. Naps are great, but only if done the right way
There is a study that says that if you nap for more than 26 minutes at a time, you will end up feeling sleepier when you wake up than you did before! This is because after that time, your body enters deep sleep; if you try to rouse yourself from this deep sleep, you will notice that you feel very groggy and that is because you have woken yourself up during an unfinished sleep cycle. So next time you go for a bit of shuteye, set an alarm for 25, minutes and you should find that you wake up feeling slightly more refreshed! And do NOT hit snooze!
10. Get A Routine!
What time do you HAVE to wake up in the morning? Be it to get to school, work or even just to a sale - figure this out and then work backwards seven or eight hours accordingly to figure out when you must hit the hay to get a full night’s sleep. About an hour or two before, take a warm shower or bath, so that your body can get into relaxation mode. This scheduled downtime will also prevent you from losing track of time by falling down a rabbit hole of reading, Facebooking and the like!
11. Cuddle Time
If you live with your partner, make sure to set one night aside for cuddle time! No talking, no - ahem - night-time activities, just silent cuddling. This should allow you to both drift into a peaceful slumber!Images: ShutterstockMUST-READ: Are You Finding it Difficult To Sleep? Try These 8 Tricks For a Good Night!MUST-READ: Zzzzz! What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About YOU?