Most of us know that the key to quality sleep is to maintain a consistent routine. But what if you unexpectedly stayed up too late working at home or were out on the town what can you do to give yourself a boost?
Top 5 tips
Here are five tips to give yourself a boost and get you back on track…
1) Get A Morning Caffeine Fix
Caffeine stimulates the release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone that makes us more alert. Tactical use of caffeine first thing gives you a boost, on top of cortisol’s natural morning peak. My preference is for Green Tea rather than coffee, as it contains ½ the caffeine and Theanine, an amino acid, which has stress and anxiety reducing properties. Always drink coffee at least an hour after you get up though as this extends rather than adds to your cortisol peak.
2) Get outside: Walk to work or run at lunchtime
Exercise helps your body release endorphins the ‘feel good hormones’, which can give you a natural boost. Getting outside also means you get more sunlight and therefore more Vitamin D (sunlight creates Vitamin D in our body), which is also part of our natural wake-up mechanism. Furthermore, exercise reduces stress, anxiety, and is proven to improve sleep quality.
3) Ditch Coffee & Biscuits in the Afternoon
It is always best to avoid all types of caffeine, in the afternoon -this includes energy drinks and chocolate as well as coffee and conventional tea. Sugary cakes and biscuits are also best dropped as after their sugar high you get a decrease in energy and they are full of unwanted calories. Sugar can also affect your sleep. Try something like Gluco tabs. These are caffeine-free tablets which contain only 11 calories. Protein bars are another good option for an energy boost, as they take longer to digest and therefore release energy slowly.
4) Power Naps
A power nap is another good option to help with your ‘sleep debt’. A short nap of 20-30 minutes will improve mental alertness. Even better, a full 90-minute cycle nap will be more restorative if you have that amount of time. Avoid naps between 30-60 minutes, as this will leave you feeling groggy, as you would be waking up from the deepest part of the sleep cycle. The best time to nap is around 2 pm, the siesta period when we most naturally feel tired in the day.
5) Go to bed at your normal time
Avoid the temptation to go to bed early the following night, as this creates a condition called Social Jet leg , where your body’s circadian rhythm (or boy clock) gets confused as to which time zone it is operating in. Getting straight back to your regular sleep time re-establishes your sleep hygiene straight away and will always make it easier to fall asleep seven days a week.
I hope these five simple steps can help you perk yourself up after having stayed up too late. If you liked this article or have any questions please leave me a comment and I’ll respond with more advice.