At GRANA, we frequently discuss the importance of a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle, emphasizing the significance of maintaining a work-life balance, physical fitness, mental well-being, both in the workplace and during leisure activities. However, let's not forget about the crucial role of sleep. A truly balanced life should always include a restful night of sleep. So, here are our recommendations for effectively caring for your sleep:
First: Create a conducive environment
Let's begin with the basics. Are you satisfied with your mattress, pillows, and overall bed setup? Ensure that they are comfortable and to your liking. Additionally, reserve your bed exclusively for sleep and intimate moments, avoiding food stains from late-night indulgences and keeping activities like watching Netflix to the living room before you settle under the sheets. When nighttime arrives and the moon appears, transform your bedroom into a serene sanctuary by maintaining a cool temperature, dim lighting, and a peaceful ambiance.
Next: Understand your body's natural rhythm
Also referred to as your circadian rhythm, this internal system regulates your sleep and wake cycles. It influences brain activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological processes that follow a daily pattern. While hormones primarily govern this rhythm, external factors such as light and darkness can also have an impact. When darkness falls, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus, signaling that it's time to feel tired. Conversely, when the sun rises, the light that enters your eyes prompts your body to awaken and be alert.
Stop hitting the snooze button! Disregard the notion that the fragmented sleep you get between your first alarm at 7:30 am and the dreaded second alarm at 7:45 am qualifies as restful and beneficial. In reality, it only disrupts your REM sleep, disturbs your rhythm, and likely drives your partner crazy. Instead, consider waking up at 7:45 am directly, putting an end to this torment. Return to basics and reduce your reliance on your phone. Pay attention to the oldest alarm clock in existence: the sun.
After that: Establish a consistent routine
While it's not always feasible due to life's demands, we want to reiterate what you already know:
Avoid consuming coffee in the afternoon.
Refrain from heavy, late-night meals.
Engage in exercise to elevate your heart rate, which can improve your sleep, but be mindful not to do it too close to bedtime.
Strive for consistency in your sleep schedule, setting an alarm to remind yourself to go to bed rather than staying up excessively late binge-watching shows and experiencing a rude awakening in the morning.
When your bedtime alarm goes off, it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Take a relaxing bath, slip into comfortable silk pajamas, and perhaps indulge in some light reading from a book—avoid scrolling through your phone or using your iPad. You could even try having someone read to you. Once you're tucked under the covers, take deep breaths to calm your body and mind, and drift off into a peaceful slumber.