Get at least 1 hour of direct daylight (outside or sitting by a window) before midday
There’s a strong and undeniable link between natural light and sleep. Daylight and darkness are cues in your brain that naturally link your internal body clock (circadian rhythm) to the outside or ‘sun clock’. So the later in the day you get sunlight, the more your body clock becomes delayed. Do a quick morning walk to kickstart your day or have your coffee or breakfast outside. If you’re short on time, try adding this walk to your commute by getting off a stop earlier or parking your car a little further away than usual.
Eat three regular meals evenly spread throughout the day
Sticking with regular meals throughout your day helps to support your circadian rhythm which boosts your chances of better sleep. Skipping meals in favour of then eating a bigger dinner isn’t great for sleep as it means your digestive system is working double time. Instead, look to eat smaller, more manageable meals.
Don’t psych yourself out
We never really think about our sleep until we lose it. However, studies have suggested that one of the main causes of poor sleep is actually worrying about sleep itself. When we sleep, we don’t just sleep in one single block, we now know that we sleep cycles which transition us between REM and deep sleep. But as we transition between the cycles, we usually wake up for microseconds but then immediately fall back to sleep without any recollection of theses awakenings. However sometimes, in times of high stress, or noisey or uncomfortable environments we fully wake up – and therefore waking up at nighttime for those who do not have sleep disorders, can often just be a natural but inconvenient part of sleep. The best thing we can do is to prepare for these awakenings and by having a plan, and acknowledge that waking up is just a part of the sleep process, we can take the stress out of waking up at night.
If you love a quirky hack, a post shared by Viola Levy shows a super simple ‘foot rub’ hack inspired by the ancient art of acupressure. She wrote: “Thanks to @pointspace_ for sending me this acupressure diagram for insomnia. Normally see her for acupuncture when I can’t sleep but obviously that’s not allowed. Anyone struggling to sleep she advises the following:
- “Try rubbing the point on your foot in the “v” shape area between your big toe and second toe. (LIV-3)
- Using your thumb, don’t worry about the exact location because your thumb covers so much more surface area than a needle, but with firm (but not painful) rubs you should feel a nice ache.
- Try doing that for 15 minute about half hour before bedtime. You can do it for longer than 15 minutes but it’s quite boring to do it on yourself and your thumbs will start aching. But if you feel like it, go for it!!”