The importance of a good bedtime routine
Good quality sleep allows your body to recover and your mind to make sense of the learnings of the day. In order to get good quality sleep you need to make sure you manage these key areas appropriately:
Amount of caffeine you consume
Caffeine’s effects on the body take three to six hours to wear off, depending on the level of caffeine in the drink. So stay away from caffeine in the afternoon and evening to avoid negatively affecting sleep.
Caffeine blocks the brain’s adenosine receptors. Adenosine is involved in making us feel sleepy, so blocking it inhibits the body’s homeostatic desire to sleep after a long period of wakefulness. Bear in mind, the amount of caffeine you should consume is hard to say because caffeine affects everyone differently.
Exercise you complete
Regular exercise is likely to improve sleep quality. Happily, improving sleep quality also improves your likelihood of sticking to exercise. Ying and yang. However, avoid high-intensity exercise in the hours leading up to bed, as this can activate the sympathetic nervous system.
Things that can influence your bedtime routine include:
Lighting in the bedroom
Low lighting or darker lighting is best as it helps maintain the ‘light-dark’ cycle. Humans go to sleep when it is dark, therefore bright lights are not ideal. Rather than just switching lights off when it is time for bed, lower them in the lead up to bedtime to let your body know it is time to sleep.
The temperature in the room
Your room should be kept fairly cool, around 19˚C. It is thought that a cool room helps to reduce the body temperature prior to sleep, which helps initiate the sleep process.
Thursday 10 November 2016