Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. Interested? We’re not talking about a cure-all wonder drug, but rather the proven benefits of a full night’s sleep.
Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers your food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?
We’re not talking about a cure-all wonder drug, but rather the proven benefits of a full night’s sleep. Something many long for and desperately need. If you have trouble sleeping, making simple but important changes to your daytime routine and bedtime habits can have a profound impact on how well you sleep.
- Routine makes you relax
Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Our body’s internal clock will form an excellent substitute to the annoying alarm clock. But go to sleep when you’re really tired, so that you don’t toss and turn.
- Natural light is the natural answer
You just woke up? Enjoy the morning sunlight and eat your breakfast by the window or have a cup of coffee outside. Keep the curtains and blinds open during the day at the office to let as much natural light as possible into your workspace.
- Avoid bright screens withing 1-2 hours before bedtime
Your phone, tablet or computer each produce a bluish light that inhibits the production of melatonin. Through apps, or directly installed on Windows PCs (Night Light mode), you can activate a blue-light filter. This signals your brain that it’s night time, allowing the production of melatonin to start.
- Say no to naps
While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Don’t give in to after-dinner dips
If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something to keep you busy. If you give in to the drowsiness, you might wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.
- Darkness at night
Make sure your bedroom is dark. Use curtains or shades to block the light from the windows or try a sleep mask. If you need to get up safely at night, try installing a dim nightlight.
- Sleeping in means being worn out
The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
If you manage to do all this, there’s a good chance you’ll be sleeping like a baby soon: a prerequisite for a productive day. Something they realised in Japan early on: a company even developed a sleep bonus. An idea for Belgium, perhaps? 😉