Most people suffer from year-end fatigue, but you can get more rest over the holidays by adopting these healthy sleep habits.
The summer holidays are finally upon us and, like most South Africans, you’re probably looking forward to getting some rest, sleeping in (if the kids allow it) and maybe even working in a nap or two.
Limit your caffeine intake
We’re not suggesting you give up coffee completely (we wouldn’t dare), just that you should be mindful of what you’re drinking and how it affects the quality of your sleep. The holidays are more relaxed, so you won’t really be needing five cups of coffee to get you through the day. Start getting into the routine of drinking your last cup of coffee by 2pm. This will give the caffeine enough time to be fully metabolised by your body before you go to bed. Caffeine not only affects the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality. The less caffeine in your system, the better you’ll sleep.
Put down the tablet and pick up a book
How’s that reading list you made at the beginning of the year coming along? If you’re used to falling asleep with the TV on or browsing your tablet from the comfort of your bed, now is the time to kick the habit. Blue light emitted by screens affects your circadian rhythm, the body’s biological clock, by hindering melatonin production. Blue light is great during the day, because it triggers alertness and ups your mood, but at night you have to start winding down, which is not possible if you’re exposed to blue light in bed. Instead, pick up that book that’s been on your bedside table all year – by just reading 20 pages every night, you’ll be ticking off that reading list in no time.
It’s time to clean up your bedside table, throw on some clean sheets and be honest about how comfortable your mattress really is. If your bed is causing you discomfort and not offering you enough support, it might be time to get a new mattress. Many people put off buying a new mattress because of the hefty price, but if you consider that a better night’s rest can improve your health, your work performance and help you lose weight, the price you’re currently paying for a bad night’s sleep seems much heftier than a new mattress. To help you get comfortable, The Bed Shop will be giving customers free gifts when they purchase one of their bestsellers this festive season. Customers will receive Natural Chip Latex Pillows, a Dynamic Bedding Mattress Protector with an extended two-year warranty, as well as FREE delivery* with certain bestseller purchases.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.