There is nothing more painful than dragging your limp, tired body out of bed following a poor night’s sleep. There are a number of causes for not making the most out of your sleep, and there are also a number of fixes.
Try creating (and maintaining) a sleep schedule that you can stick to. It’s important to set realistic goals when you’re starting out – if you usually get to bed at 11pm, don’t set your schedule at 9pm. Reinforcing a solid, structured sleep pattern in your brain sets an expectation to be tired at a certain point. This helps you get up at the right time, too, because regular sleep schedules will ensure you get a full night of sleep in you.
AVOID SLEEPING IN
Look, we know how easy it can be to snooze for an extra few hours on a Sunday. However, your internal body clock loves a routine, and your extra snoozing time can really disrupt that. It is important to keep this in mind, because if you aren’t feeling fully rested after sleep, this is the likely culprit. Even if you’ve been up a few hours later the night before, you should probably bite the bullet and take the early rise. In the long run, it will help cement your sleeping pattern.
A NOTE ON NAPS
Napping is a bit of a double-edged sword – when employed correctly, they can give you that jolt of energy that you need to finish off your day. If you overdo it, though, a nap becomes a short sleep and you can actually wake up more tired than before. Moreover, if you nap often or too much it can directly affect your sleep at night, causing you to wake up in the middle of a sleep. The best practice for naps is trying to keep it under an hour, and if you start waking up at night cut out the naps altogether.
FIGHT THE AFTER-FOOD DROWSINESS
It has many names – the carb comas, food comas – but the drowsy feeling associated with a full stomach can trigger the onset of a needless nap. Similarly, with actual naps, these ‘food comas’ can ruin your sleep later at night and can make you more tired in the long run. To fight this off, try to walk around and get active. A little exercise – even walking – can stimulate your brain and keep you awake.