You can try all the productivity tools & hacks in the world but these things are completely pointless if you’re not getting enough sleep!
It’s recommended that adults need around 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night. So here are my top tips to ensure you’re getting your recommended dose of sleep.
I bloody love to sleep! I would honestly sleep all day if I could but I can’t.
However, I know that’s not the case for everyone.
Poor sleep is becoming more and more common especially during the pandemic. New studies even show that 36% of adults in the UK struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis.
Getting enough sleep is also not always considered a top priority.
According to Matthew Walker, sleep scientist and author of Why We Sleep, human beings are the only species that deliberately fight the urge to sleep.
So every time you force yourself to wake up early to workout, having only had 5-hours sleep, you’re telling yourself that sleep isn’t a priority.
Whenever you choose to stay up late to watch another TV series on Netflix, you are bumping sleep down the list of your priorities.
Every time you stay up into the early hours trying to finish off your work, you are depriving your body of the sleep it needs.
And then what happens?
A lack of sleep leads you to wake up the next day feeling tired, groggy and probably miserable.
You can’t concentrate so you procrastinate more than usual.
And then because you feel unproductive, you push yourself to work harder.
You google, “how to be more productive” to find a new hack that will make your problems go away.
You then end up downloading a new productivity app which you will only ever use the once.
And you play instrumental music because some blogger called Thalia (that’s me!) said it helps to boost focus and concentration.
So yes, you can try all the productivity tools and hacks in the world, but the truth is, they are completely pointless unless you are getting enough sleep.
The benefits of sleeping
There are many health benefits of sleeping.
And I don’t just mean improving productivity and concentration so you can show up as the best version of yourself.
I mean, allowing your mind & body the time it needs to repair itself in order to function.
“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day”matthew walker | why we sleep
Sleep reduces your risk of serious health problems, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
It also improves immune function so you get sick less as well as helping you stay at a healthy weight.
Yup, you read that right, “studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.”
But sleep isn’t just good for your physical health but beneficial to your mental health as well.
Sleep is proven to boost your overall mood and reduce stress. Studies also show that “poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression.”
My top tips for better sleep
So right now you’re probably thinking, “I get it – sleep is important! But how can I ensure that I’m getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night?”
And that my friend is where I come in!
I’m famous (well not really, just among friends & family) for having around 9 hours of sleep every night!
So here are my top tips to help prepare you for a better night’s sleep every single night.
1. be consistent
The easiest & simplest tip for getting better sleep is to make sure you are falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day.
Even on weekends.
So pinpoint the perfect time to wake up and go to sleep that works for your lifestyle and stick to it.
By being consistent, your body will begin to get used to its new sleep cycle. And in the long run, it will be easier for you to get a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
2. get outside and move your body
Exercise is proven to improve your sleep, not only because it physically wears you out but because your brain releases endorphins when you exercise, ultimately helping you feel less stressed.
Being exposed to sunlight is essential for your circadian rhythm (it’s too scientific for me to explain so definitely check the linked article) and your circadian rhythm is essential to your sleep pattern.
So why not kill two birds with one stone and exercise at the same time as getting natural light.
3. LIMIT CAFFEINE INTAKE
I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I honestly hate the taste so I steer clear of it and I’m still baffled when people say “I can’t function without coffee!”
I find it quite shocking that people are so reliant on a substance that is known to have detrimental effects to the human body.
But enough about my dislike of caffeine!
A sure way to have a better night’s sleep is to go caffeine-free or to seriously limit your caffeine intake past 1 pm.
Unlike coffee, tea has numerous health benefits so if you are in need of something hot choose tea instead!
Or my preference – a hot choccie on weekdays or a hot toddy on weekends.
4. go screen-free at least 30 – 60 mins before bed
Although blue light from your electronic devices can boost your mental awareness during the day and stop you from falling asleep, too much of it can prevent you from winding down at night.
Blue light prevents the release of melatonin in our bodies, which is the hormone that makes us feel drowsy.
It is therefore scientifically recommended that you turn off all electronics (including your phone) a good 2-3 hours before bed.
For me, an hour is enough but you might need more time without blue light.
Try out some schedules and once you’ve found what works for you, stick to it!
5. build a relaxing evening routine
An evening routine provides you with the structure and downtime it needs to prepare your body for sleep.
There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep straight after shutting down your laptop or turning off the TV.
Allow your mind the time it needs to find calm, and your body the time it needs to relax by spending your evening unwinding with some simple rituals.
I highly recommend having a hot bath in candlelight, listening to calming music and then reading a fiction book to help you drift off.
6. listen to binarual beats
If you still struggle to fall asleep and are on the brink of counting sheep as a last resort, then I suggest listening to binaural beats.
Binaural beats are brainwave frequency sounds and are proven to enhance your relaxation & meditative state.
So if you’re looking to have a deep sleep listen to Binaural Beats: Sleep playlist on Spotify.
I hope you have found these tips useful and will implement them the next time you have trouble sleeping.
Sleep has always interested me but going deeper into the research for this blog post has made me even more obsessed!
So stay tuned for more blog posts on sleep and for a book review on Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
Why We Sleep is at the top of my TBR list and I will be reading it very shortly.
Matthew explores the benefits of sleep on a wider scale, and just reading some of the quotes on Goodreads is making me question why I haven’t read it earlier!
If you would like to read it as well then why don’t we become book buddies?
If this interests you, then leave me a comment below or find me on Instagram and slide into my DMs.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
One last thing…
Go a step further by tracking your sleep pattern and building a relaxing evening routine with The Wellness Planner.
This 18-page planner provides you with the accountability and structure you need to plan rest & self-care so you can wave goodbye to burnout for good.
Use it to:
- Build a morning & evening routine that works for you
- Successfully build better habits
- Track sleep
- Map out your meals & exercise for a healthy week
- Reflect on the day and practice gratitude
- Plan out a week of self-care activities
- Journal your thoughts & feelings
- Plus much much more