Dr C Shu Chan, Sleep Specialist at the Sleep and Chest Disorder Centre in Sydney suggests how…
Get the right amount of shut-eye. You’ll never enjoy the morning if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. For some that means a solid nine hours of uninterrupted sleep, for others, seven hours will do. The average is eight hours. The best indicator of how hours are perfect for you is to take note when you’re on holidays. The number of hours you sleep in the second week of your holiday is a good reflection of how shut-eye your body needs.
You hit the ‘snooze’, you lose. Hitting the snooze button is a no-win exercise. You may get about five or 10 minutes of fragmented sleep, but you’ll probably wake up groggier than when the alarm first went off. Instead of trying to sneak in 10 minutes extra sleep, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier.
Be consistent. You don’t have two biological clocks—one for weekdays and one for weekends. That means you have to stick by one. Sleeping-in on weekends to compensate for lack of sleep during the week will throw your sleep schedule out, making Monday mornings even worse than they need to be. Try to keep your sleep schedule fairly regular by getting up and going to bed on the weekend within an hour or so of your weekday schedule.
Don’t take work to bed with you. Learn to leave work worries at work. Take 15 to 30 minutes before you leave to go home from work to reflect and unload the day’s worries and plan for the next day.
Think before you drink. Avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime, as it can delay sleep onset and disturb deep sleep. The same goes for alcohol. While it may help you to sleep faster, alcohol causes sleep fragmentation.
Quit smoking. Nicotine is an even stronger brain stimulant than caffeine. This combined with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which can start two or three hours after the last puff, can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep.