In a time when the world is adapting to so much change, and new worries pop into our heads on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that everyone’s body clocks are as messy as Boris Johnson’s hair.
I’ve certainly felt the impact that staying home is having on my sleep. What used to be my relaxing, calm bedroom is unrecognisable whilst doubling as a designated home office. Having to combine your work and home spaces definitely makes it harder to switch off and get a good night’s sleep.
So, if you have been struggling with your sleeping pattern too, here are a few easy tips that might help you have a more restful night’s sleep.
Make use of your daily exercise
You may think that preparation for a good night’s sleep would start in the evening, but you’re wrong. Soaking up natural sunlight during the day can improve not only your energy levels, but also your quality of sleep. That paired with getting your body moving for a walk, run or cycle will help release any energy you have and make you feel a sense of accomplishment.
Try sleeping and waking at consistent times
Most of us are lacking routine at the moment, and that could be sending our body clocks into a spin. Being consistent with your sleeping and waking times can really help your restfulness in the long-term. So, instead of staying up until 2am binging Normal People for the 3rd time, try and get to bed at a realistic time and make sure to set an alarm for the next morning (without any snoozing!).
Stop scrolling before bed
I can’t be the only one who checks their phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? It’s a habit that I’ve had since way before quarantine, but it can be even more tempting now to have one last connection to the outside world.
Though it feels normal to have one last look at Instagram before bed, it could actually be the blue light radiating from your phone causing your sleep trouble. This light from electronic devices tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Maybe think about swapping out your last scroll on Twitter or an episode on Netflix for a good book, mindful colouring, or even writing down your to-do-list for the following day.
Have a caffeine ban
This might sound like an obvious one, but drinking caffeine late in the day can effect your ability to have a restful sleep. It is a stimulant, so having a cup of coffee in the evening can effect your nervous system and stop your body from relaxing naturally before bed. As we’re all (obviously) a lot more anxious than usual, caffeine may not be the best idea full stop. Not only can it keep us awake, it has been found – in some cases – to trigger panic attacks in individuals who have been struggling with anxiety. So, if this sounds familiar then you might want to acquaint yourself with the next best thing, decaf!
Marie Kondo your room
You know what they say, tidy room: tidy mind. Making time to tidy your space each evening can help you feel more relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.
When your space becomes less cluttered and more organised, so does your mind – helping you to switch off and enjoy the time you’re spending in there. So, Marie Kondo-ing your bedroom at the end of each working-from-home day can help differentiate your work environment from your sleeping environment. Personally, nothing brings me more joy than lighting a candle and picking up a good book in a clear space with a clear mind.