How to sleep better at night and be more alert the next day

Feeling cranky, tired and foggy in the mornings? It’s time to get a better night’s sleep…and we’ve got five tips to make it happen.

Local Tetley Tea partner dietitian, Mbali Mapholi, gives us the lowdown on how to improve your sleep to help you feel fresh and well rested in the morning with these five easy tips:

  1. Start following a routine
    Haphazard sleeping cycles create confusion in your body. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day (even on weekends) to create a consistent sleep-wake cycle that will help your body understand rest times.
    Dietician tip:
    If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, leave the bedroom and do something relaxing such as reading a book. Do not scroll through social media on your phone or watch TV.
  1. Have a cup of tea before bed
    Now you don’t want to drink loads of tea before bed, but your body does need sufficient hydration in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep.  Opt for a caffeine and sugar free drink to ensure it won’t keep you up. Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine-free and promotes sleep and relaxation…in fact, research has shown that chamomile may be used to successfully treat insomnia.
  1. Get active during the day
    While being active during the day is great to improve sleep quality, you want to avoid trying to reach your step count right before bedtime, as this may energise you instead of unwinding you. Dietician  tip: Rather than exercising late at night, go to bed earlier and wake up in the morning for an early morning workout before the day’s routine starts.
  1. Take notes from a child’s bedtime routine
    Say goodnight to your phone long before bedtime and take a break from screens. Research shows that those who follow bedtime routines are more likely to go to sleep earlier, take less time falling asleep, sleep longer, and wake up less during the night. Dietician tip: Identify your bedtime routine and try to stick with it. Have a shower or bath, have a cup of Chamomile tea while journaling or listening to music, or read that book that’s been lying on your bedside table for weeks.
  1. Keep naps short
    While a quick power nap can do wonders to get you through the day, while helping to boost memory, improve productivity, increase brain performance, ease stress and lift your mood, it is important not to overdo it. Daytime naps should be brief to prevent them from impacting your sleep at night. Dietician  tip: Set an alarm during daytime naps to help you stick to the planned nap time.

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