In last week's blog, we went over different tools to stop tossing and turning at night when you can't sleep. I've gotten lots of positive feedback about people who have tried my tricks and have seen positive results! If you missed it, you can catch up HERE.
Today is the last part of our sleep series: Part Seven! I hope you have enjoyed it. We have now got lots of useful information about sleep and some strategies that you can use to sleep better, whether it's before falling asleep or while you sleep. In this blog, we’ll go over what you can do after you wake up to optimize your sleeping habits. Watch the following video or read the full blog below for more...
Sometimes, you didn't even have that bad of a night: You just didn't get to sleep enough. You went to bed really late because you had to work, or because your child was sick, or just because you HAD to watch another episode of Grey's Anatomy...
#1: Track It
Every morning when I wake up, I check my watch. I have a smart watch that tells my exactly how I slept: It has measured my heart rate during the night, it knows how long I spent in each of the stages of my sleep cycles... I always check what kind of sleep I had, kind of as a prevention. For example, if I feel more emotional than usual, or more reactive, I will know it might be because I didn't get a great night's sleep, according to the app on my smart watch. Then, I can rationalize my behaviors and understand that it's probably because I'm sleep deprived.
My watch also sends me messages telling me: "Hey, you are a little bit behind on your sleep. I know you want to have eight hours of sleep and you haven't for three days in a row now. Why don't you go to bed early tonight?" Or: "I recommend that you go to bed around 8:45 tonight, if you want to catch up for the week." It helps me stay honest about my sleep.
Let's say you wake up after a bad night's sleep. The most important thing to do is to stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water. You need even more water than usual when you don't sleep well, because your brain will be parched.
This is even more important if you're a coffee drinker. Some people compensate for a bad night's sleep by thinking if they drink more coffee, they'll be just fine. If you revert to using caffeine to wake yourself up, make sure that for each cup of coffee you drink, you have an equally sized glass of water. Coffee is a diuretic, and it will dehydrate you, so it's not a great idea to up your caffeine consumption after a bad night's sleep.
#3: Not Today
If possible, you might want to postpone any major decisions. My husband and I had friends over the other day, and they left at 11:00 PM. We usually go to bed around 8:30 PM. I'm sure you can imagine how late this was for us! The next day, I was up at five, because that's what I do. I get up early. I have meetings starting at six. I knew that I would be running on five hours of sleep, so I made sure that I wouldn't have any important decisions to make that day. It might not be the best days to choose, to decide on things that might have a big impact in your life.
#4: Catch Some Z's
Remember in part three of the Sleep Series when we talked about napping? We mentioned that if you do nap, you should either go for a short power nap (about 20 minutes) or for a longer, 90-minute nap in order to go through a full sleep cycle. If you take a nap after a short night or after a bad one, it would be ideal to sleep through the full cycle.
Is there a moment throughout the day where you can afford to have a 90-minute nap?
Fun Facts About Sleep
There are a few fun facts about sleep that I wanted to share with you in order to end this Sleep Series on a fun note.
Q: Why do we yawn?
A: Usually, it's because your brain is overheating and it needs to cool off. We yawn to bring oxygen to the brain.
Q: Why don't we fall off the bed when we sleep?
A: It's because when you're sleeping, somehow, your brain deactivates its movement coordinator. There's a portion of your brain that makes you move, but it's deactivated when you sleep. That's why!
Hopefully you enjoyed the Sleep Series. It was really fun for me to talk about this! Obviously, there is so much more to say, and you will be able to learn all about it in the full THINK Yourself® ASLEEP Online Course. Do you know someone that needs a little extra help when it comes to their sleep quality? Stay tuned for the course launch!
In the meantime, have a great night's sleep, everyone.
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Want more? Check out the previous parts...
Anxiety, Weight Gain & Other Results of Sleep Deprivation
The 5 Stages of a Sleep Cycle
Sleep Inertia, Snoozing, Napping & Dreaming
4 Strategies to Help You Sleep Better
Tools to Prevent Bad Sleep
5 Tools to Stop Tossing & Turning