Feeling well rested and ready for the workday can seem like an impossible dream for anyone these days. Sleep deprivation and parenthood within dual income households are known bedfellows but, rather than reaching for our normal (unhealthy) pick me ups, there are some simple tricks that can make feeling energised a whole lot easier.
Top 5 tips
Here my top 5 tips for what to do after a bad night’s sleep…
1) Swap that morning coffee with a morning run
For many of us, that first cup of coffee is the energising spark we first cling to before getting stuck into the hectic morning routine . Although caffeine is perfectly fine before lunchtime, as a substance that raises your energy (as long as your don’t suffer from insomnia) it can come with a serious dip afterwards as your body becomes dependent. Exercise, however, helps not only with productivity but also motivates you to keep a better diet and keep a routine that leaves you well rested. Starting the day with a burst of exercise is a much healthier way to give yourself the boost you need to take on the manic school run!
2) Swap a slow morning start to an hitting the ground running
We all know what it’s like to wake up groggy, clumsy and with a memory like a sieve (the calling cards of sleep deprivation), which turns a relatively busy to-do list into an ascent of Everest. Whether you find it best to plan your day first or last thing you should line up a couple of key but easy-win tasks to start off with. Things that are templated or simple to do, but essential, are ideal. This ensures you have a strategy that gets you feeling productive and motivated right off the bat and will give you the push you need to carry that energy through the day.
3) Swap the sugary snacks for energy boosters or Gluco
It is easy to indulge in a couple of sugary treats as our energy naturally wanes in the afternoon. Instead try swapping to savoury rather than sweet. As protein takes longer to digest than sugar, it will keep you feeling full for longer and comes without the energy dip later. Go for high protein options such as pumpkin seeds, greek yoghurt. Equally try Gluco rather than sugar snacks which gives you a controlled , natural boost of sugar and energy if you prefer ‘sweeter solutions’
4) Swap the late night emails with yoga and meditation
Time poor execs and parents often find themselves sitting in bed doing a last check of emails before going to sleep and then find it impossible to switch off to get to sleep despite being dog tired. Instead, set a cut off time for doing any work at home, at the very least about 90 minutes before your bedtime, so that your brain and body have time to relax into sleep mode. (Ideally we should lead by example and start to wind down when your kids are winding down) You can then use your evenings to give yourself a break and really let the stresses of the day go. Try combinations of your favourite (un-caffeinated) hot drink, a warm bath, a good book or a simple meditation to find your ideal sleep routine.
5) Swap the phone in bed with a book in bed
Finally, but frequently a tough one to manage, ban your phone from your bed. Besides the fact that your brain registers the blue light from these devices as sunlight, and so will wake you up, late night visits to social media or the web can often go on for a lot longer than you mean them to and give your brain a lot more to ponder than it should be. Another tip is to turn on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ settings on your phone to ensure you won’t get any unnecessary late night phone calls or messages and pick up a good book instead. Other than the benefits of getting cosy with a book, such as helping you relax and sleep better (plus a number of other wonderful book-loving perks ), it’s vital that your brain knows the phone won’t be ringing ever few minutes, and the blue light won’t be undoing the hard work you’ve put into supporting your body clock.