At a time when our routines have been turned upside down amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19, it is important to be increasingly mindful of the measures we can take to stay well.
There has been a lot of talk about how to take control of your day when working from home, but how about our sleep?
The immune system and sleep are more closely linked than you may think. If sleep quality or time sleeping is compromised, it is likely your immune system will be, too. When we have a lousy sleep, our body makes fewer cytokines, an immune supporting protein which is only produced and released during sleep.
Katy shares her own tried and tested evening routine below.
“We’ve probably all heard about the power of an awesome morning routine. Although, I truly believe that your morning routine must start the evening before. If I don’t take care of my sleep, I can’t expect to wake up feeling energised and I find it harder to start the day well.”
1. Invest in blue light blocking glasses and wear them in the evening, for at least 2 hours before bed. This allows your brain to start producing melatonin i.e. the sleepy hormone. Screens / blue light stop the release of melatonin, harming sleep quality. I feel the effect of my glasses pretty soon after putting them on, it’s magic for me!
2. Grab a notepad and ‘brain dump’ whatever is on your mind about an hour before bed, good or bad. This gives my brain a chance to appreciate, problem solve and organise, rather than taking a cocktail of thoughts into bed with me. I find it helps to still the mind and allows me to calmly put the day to rest. With everything that is going on in the world, this is more important than ever.
3. Put your phone to bed at least an hour before you go to bed. My phone doesn’t sleep in my bedroom and it’s life changing to be honest. Similarly, be sure to switch off all screens and avoid the temptation to binge on Netflix into the early hours.
4. Find a good book to read in bed and read in dim light or, my favourite, reading to candlelight (just don’t fall asleep before you blow it out 🙏🏻). Make sure the book isn’t too stimulating; I find a gentle novel or a chilled self-development book is cool.
5. Invest in a good eye mask to make sure you’re in complete darkness. Even if this falls off at some point during the night, it always does wonders in helping me get to sleep quickly.
6. Invest in an alarm clock for the bedroom (I use Lumi, which wakes you up slowly with natural light). That said, I always wake up before Lumi and have usually been on a morning stroll before she starts waking up!