Monday, 19 October 2015
spring forward, fall back
Public service announcement! The clocks go back this coming Sunday (25th October) meaning sunrise and sunset will be an hour earlier.
Spring forward, fall back.
You know the drill, brighter mornings again... at least for a little while, and darker evenings. I remember as a kid knowing it was winter when Neighbours was on and it was dark outside. The end of daylight saving means a few things to me; finishing teaching at 4.30pm and it's almost dark outside, being fooled by the initial lighter mornings only soon to realise you leave the house in the dark and come home in the dark, and finally... the festive season is coming!
Every year I say it; I love summer, but as soon as Autumn comes round I'm ready for Santa.
The lighter... then darker... mornings can throw up a whole load of sleep problems for me. I need a good 8-9 hours each night and in the past have really suffered when I've not had this. Back when I first started teaching I would be lesson planning til 11pm and getting up at 6am; my 45 minute drive to work would be a real struggle and I would often have to try and stop myself from drifting off behind the wheel.
So what do I do to ensure I get a good night's sleep?
1. Routine. I now go to bed around 9.30pm on school nights. Sad, but necessary. It means I can read my book and wind down and am usually fast asleep by 10pm. It's no party, but it works for me!
2. Exercise. 3-4 days a week I either run or work out at the gym. This ensures I keep fit, healthy and well, but also means I am ready for bed each night. There's nothing worse than restless, fitful sleep - exercise means I am able to sleep well and deeply.
3. Bed. I love my bed! The mattress is perfect (firm) and when I stay in other beds I can really struggle to get a good night's sleep. The soft mattress at my parent's house gives me such a bad back and keeps me awake. Figure out what works for you and it's worth paying the extra ££ for something that you find comfortable. VictoriaPlum.com is offering up to 35% off mattresses at the moment. Likewise, bedding makes a huge difference. Our cosy winter duvet is back on and I'm sleeping better than ever! I love brushed cotton sheets for that sleeping-on-clouds feel.
4. Alarms. Using a dawn-simulating alarm clock can really help counter that dark morning struggle. The gradual light increase helps stimulate hormones that help us feel awake and energised - they really do work, I promise!
What are your top sleep tips?
*this post is in collaboration with Victoria Plum
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