How is your winter going? Have you faced any issues with sleeping well and being energetic during the day? Sometimes all the darkness and coldness might make it hard to remain happy, balanced and destressed during the winter. In this post I’ll share some great practices that help you to sleep better and be the best version of yourself. If you’re studying or working, keeping those energy levels high is crucial.
5+5 Tips: How to Sleep Better + Remain Energetic During the Day
How to Sleep Better?
Tip 1: Relaxation Exercises and Reducing Stress
Do you know the feeling that you have million thoughts in your head and those just don’t let you sleep. There are to do lists, the fact you have to wake up early and it’s already late… Find ways to cope with stress. One good one is doing relaxation exercises before going to bed. It can also be something else like a hot cup of tea and a piece of paper – write it all out and then don’t think about those things again before morning.
You should do long time decisions, like doing those exercises every (week)day. Sometimes it’s also good to drop or change some things in life. For example if you go to gym 10pm every night and cannot sleep after that it might be good idea to go some other time or at least try to have less intense workout if you must go that late.
Tip 2: Let Some Fresh Air into Your Bedroom Before Going to Bed
Fresh cool air is an excellent sleep aid. Let a window open for 5-15 minutes before going to bed and sense the difference. If the air is too warm and lacking oxygen falling asleep can be nearly impossible – so make sure you have best possible air in the room while falling asleep.
Tip 3: Have Some Low Intensity Outdoor Walks Before Going to the Bed
Earlier I said that exercising late might be a good idea, however, if you do low intense walks outdoors it might actually be a great idea. When walking outdoors you’ll get some fresh air and time for yourself and relaxing. Often, it’s also easier to sleep when you have exercised a bit during the day.
If you have a dog, you can start doing walks with it or just go by yourself and explore the silence of the night. Before going, make sure you’re in a safe location so that you don’t have to stress for your safety.
Tip 4: Have Routines in around the Bedtime
In general, doing the same things every night (as boring as it sounds) can help your body to know when it’s time to fall asleep. Go for a walk, drink a cup of tea, open the bedroom window to let the fresh air in, take shower, brush your teeth and go to bed. That’s one good example of a relaxing night routine that can help you to sleep tight.
Tip 5: Eat a Healthy Dinner Couple Hours Before Going to the Bed
You don’t want to sleep if you’re hungry. On the other hand it’s hard to sleep if you’re full of food. I have solved this issue by eating my dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed. This way you’re not super full anymore but you’re not hungry either. Quite perfect. If you happen to be still hungry, have a smaller snack like a fruit with some nuts 30-60 minutes before going to bed.
How to Remain Energetic During the Day?
Tip 1: Daily Routines & Remember to Have Moments for Relaxing
Try to make your days more or less similar to each other, try at least to go to bed around same time. Doing so helps your body to remain less stressed and more energetic. Having routines also reduces stress in another way: you don’t forget things as easily when you have routines.
Schedule some own time and relaxing into those routines. For example have an our for reading your favorite blogs after work. Or go out for a walk every morning before going to school. Doing activities that let your brain and body to relax will help you to recover for other activities.
Tip 2: Use Wakeup Light or Bright Light
Are you living in somewhere where you have to wake up before the sun gets up? Waking up in dark can really be hard sometimes, especially if doing for months in row. One solution is using a wake up light. I have also found eating breakfast with bright light helpful. It’s not the same than waking to sun but it’s better than nothing though. For me, this gives a little bit of additional energy for morning.
Above: Banana pancakes, yum!
Tip 3: Breakfast is the Key to Energy Before Noon
Have a nutritious breakfast every morning. Never go with just coffee or water. Grab a smoothie, do oatmeal or eat a sandwich – whichever works best for you. Try to get some carbs, protein and good fats boosted with some vitamins and other nutrients. For me this means preferring natural things like fresh berries, fruits and nuts.
Tip 4: Move Outdoors When There is Light
It’s amazing how much sunlight can affect your mood and energy levels. Go out and enjoy the sun! Walk, go to beach, just be there and take that energy in. Also, when you’re out during the day it will help your brain to maintain the circadian rhythm – which makes it easier to sleep at night and be energetic during the day.
Above: a 4.95€ ($5.50) breakfast in Ikea with some extra kick from coffee / pepsi saved our morning after driving 5 hours
Tip 5: Caffeine – Only if You Really Need that Extra Kick
Sometimes we all are tired irrespective of trying to create those routines, having a wake-light, eating good breakfasts and going out. Sometimes a neighbor, baby or stress just keep you awake too long before an important day.
On those days, don’t be ashamed on having an extra cup of tea, coffee or other caffeinated drink. Just make sure you only use that extra caffeine when you really need it. Also, try to do that during morning rather than night to make sure the extra caffeine will not ruin your dreams next night.
Also, remember that caffeine also has side effects (read what caffeine did to me couple years ago here). It’s addicting and can cause things like too fast heart rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep or rest. Caffeine is a friend as long as your in control. If you start getting those side effects try to reduce the amount of caffeine you use or see a physician if situation is getting out of your control.
And finally, here are some additional tips and inspiration on how to sleep better and remain energetic:
The graphic above is made by the sleep-start up company, Casper. They offer a variety of sleep essentials including their pillow in a pillow. I’ve used the graphic with their permission.
Share your tips to better night sleep and higher daytime energy levels in comments!