Don’t you just hate when you’re in the middle of an amazing dream, about to score the winning goal or marry your dream partner then *BLOOP* your boss comes by and wakes you up? Rude right? Getting better sleep at night can help with that.
But on a real though, some of us have struggled with the issue of falling asleep in the middle of the day for years, dating back to even high school, and the reasons for these struggles might be simpler than you think.
One such reason is that we’re not getting enough effective sleep at night. If you’ve never thought about it, sleep is the body’s reset button – like a battery pull for those of us who remember the good ol’ low tech days.
During sleep the brain assimilates memories, performs a systems check on all the organs, rebuilds damaged muscles and helps with healing ailments overall. Sounds like an important process indeed.
So how do we get more effective sleep?
Make your bedroom your bedroom and stop confusing your mind
Is your bed a place for life or for rest?
If you do everything from working to studying to eating to watching Netflix, to exercising all on your bed, then your mind will never see it as a place of rest. Just another flex.
Aim to limit activities in your bed to sex, sleep and meditation.
Getting better sleep might mean putting your lights out
There’s a very useful hormone called melatonin and its purpose is to knock. You. Out. The thing is, it only comes out at night… and in the dark. And guess what, too much light, especially blue light, can block this hormone from being produced by your brain.
So things like sleeping in a brightly lit room and screen time – aka scrolling on your phone or laptop – too close to bedtime can impact your sleep.
Watch your body clock
If you’ve ever used a washing machine then you’ll understand the concept of a cycle.
At different points you’ll have different things happening within the machine. It’s the same with sleep and the body. Within a 90 minute span your brain and body go through an entire ‘Sleep Cycle’. At the end of that cycle you either go off into a new one or you are to wake up.
If you’ve ever stopped a washing machine abruptly in the middle of a cycle, you’ll realize that it doesn’t stop smoothly – again it’s the same with sleep. It’ll feel like you got run over by a truck.
Aim to get consecutive uninterrupted sleep cycles each night – meaning 3 hours, 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours (2-5 cycles). So set that alarm and don’t hit snooze!
Create a your own sleep rhythm
Practice going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. That way your body will start to instinctively know what’s up when a certain time hits.
It helps to have a bedtime routine starting about an hour before your chosen sleep time. One where you limit, or completely eliminate, looking at a screen, use your preferred method of relaxation and lay down until you go off to sleep.
It’ll take consistency and practice but you’ll thank yourself for it. Your boss will too.