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Here's how to make sure you catch up on your sleep this week

Have the fear after the long weekend? Here’s how to beat it.

shutterstock_237699745 Source: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu

IT’S BEEN A long weekend in every sense of the word, and many of you may be feeling a little traumatised at the thought of heading back to work tomorrow.

Sleep is an amazingly under-rated commodity – we all need it but how many of us are getting as much as we really need.

Fear not, nutritionist and health blogger Charlotte Watts (whose new book, The De-Stress Effect, is out now) has written a fantastic blog post for healthista on the subject.

So without further ado, here’s 14 tips to getting the most out of your bed-time.

Find your quiet place before bedtime

It’s a little unrealistic to think that buzzing brains can just switch from wide awake and buzzing to full on sleep-mode. Give your brain a break before you hit the pillows.

Ban the screens

Of any sort. They induce quick eye movements which wake up the brain. Candles are a-ok though for those who love mood lighting.

Keep your temperature regular

A hot bath or shower may be wonderfully soothing, but be sure to bring your body back in check before bedding down. Otherwise the drop in body temperature could wake you up.

shutterstock_306481043 Source: Shutterstock/Lia Koltyrina

Get to bed by 10pm

The most soothing time of day for our adrenal glands is the two hours before midnight. And that means that’s the best time to hit the hay.

Be consistent

Your body responds to rhythm and patterns. Always get up at the same time regardless of how little sleep you may have gotten. Yes, even on the weekends.

Make your bedroom a dark one

Seratonin, a brain chemical which calms us in the evening before sleep, releases the sleep hormone melatonin, but the latter is only released when our body senses low-light levels.

Keep a diary or journal

If your mind is racing, put your thoughts on paper. It will help you empty your mind and is especially effective if you feel you have important things to remember.

Keep the bedroom free from clutter and as a sleep haven only

Your bedroom should be quiet and restful and free from distracting and distressing mess. Make sure all you do there is sleep (and other nice things).

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Wear ear plugs

If you struggle to sleep (because of a snoring partner say) ear plugs can be a very convenient solution. The wax ones are best says Charlotte.

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DO NOT get up during the night

And if you do, don’t turn on the lights. The less you stimulate yourself the greater chance you have of drifting off easily once more.

If you have a digital alarm clock, turn it to face away from you

Knowing what time it is stimulates your brain. It also stresses you out if you start to think about all the sleep time you’re missing out on.

shutterstock_262865372 Source: Shutterstock/welcomia

Waking up is perfectly fine

You are still probably getting a lot more sleep than you think. Enjoy your wakefulness and that wonderful, cocooned feeling says Charlotte. Worrying about lost sleep will just stimulate your nervous system and make it harder to drift off again.


A little fantasy never hurt anyone. Call to mind something pleasant or soothing, or simply relive in your mind something nice that happened to you that day.

shutterstock_284855627 Source: Shutterstock/PrinceOfLove

Listen to something

Break out the headphones and listen to something, anything, that isn’t your own thoughts, be it a podcast, audiobook, or an Iron Maiden LP (maybe not the last one). It’ll keep the part of your brain that craves language and speech happy and let you happily drift off into nothingness.

Charlotte Watts’ new book, The De-Stress Effect, is out now. You can buy the book here

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