Neil here, the clocks are going back which means one thing… shorter days and darker mornings 😑
For a lot of people, this change in time can throw your body’s circadian rhythm off course, mimicking the feeling of minor jet lag. In this post, I want to share with you some tips on getting a restful night’s sleep. I’m no sleep expert but I’ve done a bit of sleeping in my time (around 13600 sleeps to be exact! I didn’t calculate leap years because, you know…I’ve got chores to do).
Start adjusting your sleep time incrementally
If you are a bit of a planner you can start to change your body clock day by day, just start shifting your sleep schedule by 15 minutes each night in the run up to the day in question. By the time you arrive at that day, your body will have adjusted and you'll be zipping around all of your colleagues, family and friends, getting on their nerves for being full of beans.
If this doesn’t work and you’re still having some trouble adapting then the rest of these ideas are definitely worth a try…
Breathing pattern - the 4-7-8 method
What if I told you that we can hack our own brains?
This breathing pattern has been claimed to get you to sleep within 1 minute but as a bonus it can also be used to reduce anxiety, increase focus and feeling of calm during waking hours.
Exhale using your mouth. Make a whoosh sound as you exhale.
Close your lips, inhale quietly through your nose for four seconds.
Hold your breath for seven seconds.
Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight seconds.
You’ve done a whole cycle so now repeat this three more times for a total of four breaths.
Don’t scrimp on your bed
We bought an Eve mattress a few years ago and we‘ve honestly never looked back. The perfect combination of soft and firm, we believe you won’t be wasting any time tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position.
In this post we shared some tips for making a 5 star hotel bed, and look out for an upcoming post on how to create a cosy winter bed.
Buying a cheap mattress is truly a false economy. As my late grandfather pointed out, you spend a lot of your life in bed so best make the most of it.
Stay away from screens
It’s known now that the blue light from phones and computer screens contributes to your wakefulness by suppressing melatonin, the hormone that contributes to promoting sleep. Most handheld devices are installed with a default blue light filter mode that turns on at certain times of the evening - so check yours does - if not, install an app. Laptops and computer screens can also be modified by installing an app. But blue light isn’t the only problem however, sleep disorders specialist Harneet Walia M.D says that these devices keep our brains active psychologically:
“Checking your phone stimulates the brain so we are more active and awake”
So really the best thing to do is to stay away from screens completely for at least one hour before bed.
Simulate dawn and dusk in your bedroom
Many years ago we bought a Lumie light similar to this one. They work by the lamp fading in and out at set times morning or night and are supposed to help with the fact that our brains do not appear to cope well with the affects of seasonal changes, clock changes and evening artificial light. According to the Center for Enivronmental Therapeutics
“Case studies using a combination of dusk and dawn signals are very promising”
The Military Sleep Technique
You’ve got it quite easy really haven’t you? a nice warm, quiet room and comfortable bed so sleep in.
Conversely, imagine the struggle for Z’s one might have in a combat zone; cold, damp, uncomfortable and with imminent danger. There’s possibly no worse environment for a human to attempt to sleep in.
The challenges faced by those on the battlefield were not ignored by those at the top of the US military who designed a near perfect technique for drifting into slumberland.
This technique is reported to work after six weeks for 96% of the people who try it.
Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes
Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time
Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down
You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:
You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you
You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room
You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.
How about you? Do you have any suggestions on dealing with the clocks changing? Let us know in the comments section below, we’re always looking for new life hacks to try.
Hope you have some sweet dreams!
Neil (and Fi) xoxo
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