Time to relax
When it’s time to hit the hay, be armed with items that will support quality slumber. Think blackout curtains and weighted blankets, which are believed to bring calm thanks to a deep pressure touch on the body. Memory foam pillows relieve pressure on the head and neck. Wind down with the narrated bedtime stories on the meditation app Calm. “You can also try listening to relaxing music, working on a puzzle or deep breathing,” suggests Dr Lau.
For people who experience insomnia, lying awake in bed for hours might seem familiar. Instead of reacting to sleep interruptions with stress, Nair advises, try and perceive it as normal. Get out of bed and occupy yourself with a relaxing activity – get in only once you’re ready to sleep again.
To nap or not to nap?
We know what you might be thinking: that dozing for longer on weekends can somehow offset lack of sleep on weeknights. Unfortunately, this is not the case and you’ll continue to go through irregular sleep/wake cycles in the following week. If you do feel tired halfway through the day, a well-timed kip can help. “A nap as short as 10 minutes has been found to effectively improve alertness and mood,” explains Dr Lau. But avoid napping for longer than 45 minutes or after 3pm, as it might interfere with falling asleep at night.
Instead of relying on lie-ins, start establishing a healthy routine day in, day out – your body will thank you for it.
After getting a good night’s rest, see how you can challenge yourself and be a better you here.