It’s only March (did I say only? It’s ALREADY March!), but it feels like it’s time for another extended holiday. Tired of feeling tired? Do you go through your whole week feeling tired each morning and even more deflated each evening? Do you stay up late over weekends and feel the effects of it the entire week following? Do you wish you could just have an extra day to sleep? While you may not be able to get a bigger quantity of sleep (due to work and other engagements), what about better quality? It might be as simple as a new bed, or as relatively complicated as tracking your sleep cycles for a few days, but here are a few ways to improve your sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed:
Firstly, have a sleep routine. Try to wake up at the same time every morning, including weekends, and if you can, go to bed the same time every evening (at least during the week). You do this by:
Waking up between sleep cycles: Waking up in the middle of your sleep cycle disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythms, and leaves you feeling groggy and weary the entire day, as your body struggles to figure out where it should be. One sleep cycle is about 90 minutes long, and consists of normal sleep, REM sleep, and, at the end, a state of being near to waking. If you purposefully wake up at that stage of the sleep cycle, getting up feels far more natural and right for your body. We typically need 5 or 6 sleep cycles a night, so you can either laboriously count back from your waking time to what time you should be going to sleep to wake up between sleep cycles, or you can use sleepyti.me a website that’ll do it for you. There are also various apps you can download that do the same, even setting your alarm at the right time.
Sleep debt: Believe it or not, sleep is not an option: it’s as much an obligation as paying your house bond. Sleep debt is when you “owe” your body sleep for sleep that you’ve missed by going to bed late or waking up very early, compared to your normal time, or the time that you should go to bed according to sleepyti.me or your sleep cycles. You can catch up weekend sleep debt during the week by going to bed a half hour plus 15 minutes (to make one more sleep cycle) earlier that you would normally (for instance). You calculate how much earlier you should go to bed by the amount of hours you lost over the weekend. I.E, if you went to bed at 12 am rather than 9.30 pm, that’s 2.5 hours of sleep debt, and then by adding the amount of time you would need to make that extra time into an extra sleep cycle (otherwise what you’re doing is pointless anyway): going to bed 45 min earlier for 5 days will catch you up again.
However, do NOT catch up your sleep debt by sleeping late on weekends: This disrupts your circadian rhythms that were established by getting up at the same time every evening, and makes you feel even more tired once you get up early on Monday again.
Second: To really impact your sleep quality, you should have a quality mattress. This cannot be over stated enough. You may be following all the advice above, but still waking up unrested, because your mattress, pillow, or bedding robs you of quality sleep. A mattress and base that provide good support for your spine and muscles will allow you to sleep far less, but feel far more awake during the day. Your mattress cannot be too firm or too soft, and your base must support your mattress, not allow it to sag (as is often the case with pocket coil mattresses – like Simmons – that are put on sleigh bed bases).
You might have a good mattress, but it impedes your sleep quality because it is not firm enough (consider a Cloud Nine latex mattress) or not soft enough (try a Silentnight memory foam mattress) or simply too small/short for you! If your mattress is 10 years or older, you need to consider that it’s overdue for a replacement, because it just can no longer do its job. To buy a new mattress that suits you, your life style and your pocket, visit www.mynewbed.co.za and buy online, or call us today on 0861 007 00. We deliver nationwide, and make our customers feel like kings and queens.