Everyone needs sleep. Getting the right amount makes a massive difference to how you feel. Experts say you’re going to need 8.5 to 10 hours a night.
Going to bed late and then sleeping in doesn’t really fit with school or mahi/work, which sucks for night owls. But you can rewire your brain so you’re not out of sync with the rest of the world.
Getting into a routine helps because it sets your body clock which helps you get a good night’s rest. The idea is to teach your body to go to sleep and get up at the same time each day. Keep in mind it takes time to retrain your brain! But the better you stick to the same routine the sooner it will have an effect and you’ll find yourself feeling much better when you wake up in the morning.
So what’s the best way to get into a sleep routine?
A quiet bedroom is a good place to start. If you haven’t got one of those, or it’s just too noisy, earplugs work well.
You’ll need to set an alarm too to help you get into your routine. Try not to lie in – if you aren’t asleep, get out of bed. Also try to avoid naps.
Try and avoid screens before you go to bed - it’s really overstimulating and can affect your ability to get to sleep. Bright light from screens can also trick your mind into thinking it’s daytime. So try to get away from the TV and put down the smartphone well before you head to bed.
Exercising too close to bed-time can also make it hard to fall asleep.
Here are some more things that could help you sleep:
- A relaxing hot bath or shower before going to bed
- Light stops the brain from thinking it’s time to sleep. So see if you can make your room dark by pulling the curtains, and make sure there’s no light coming from your screensaver, mobile or electronic clock. A sleep mask might help, too.
- If you’re stressed out, try and calm down before going to bed. Play some soft and mellow music or practice a bit of meditation.
- Keep your bed for sleeping. Not for doing homework, messaging your friends, or playing games on your phone. Your mind needs to know that when you lie down on your bed, it’s sleep time. Keep that strong and powerful link between bed and sleep.
- Try to avoid caffeine or Coke at night.
- Aromatherapy works for some people. Scents like orange blossom, lavender and chamomile can help make you sleepy.
- When you wake up your brain needs to be told it’s time for you to get up. To help it get the message you could open the blinds and turn on the light.
Once you’ve got a good sleep routine down, you’ll feel way more rested in the morning, and you’ll be able to start the day with a brain that’s switched on and ready to go rather than fighting through that morning brain fog.