Stress, diet and other influences can quickly eat into our precious sleep time, leaving us cranky and vulnerable to illness
Sleep strategist Christine Hansen shares her tips on how to get more from your sleep
Stress, diet and other influences can quickly eat into our precious sleep time, leaving us cranky, less efficient and vulnerable to illness. Holistic sleep strategist in Luxembourg Christine Hansen shares her five top hacks to help insomniacs get their sleep back on track.
Take a walk every day
There are a couple of things people can do during the day. One very effective and seemingly simple tool yet, which is sometimes hard to put into practise, is to take a walk every day. Even if it’s just a five-minute walk at lunch time. If people think it’s difficult, they can schedule a walking meeting. Harvard has come up with new research that walking meetings are more productive because people are more creative in fresh air. It’s a very efficient tool.
Leave the office, get lunch somewhere else. It could mean parking your car further away or getting off the bus at an earlier stop.
Taking a walk is something that can help diffuse stress so you don’t have that monkey mind racing at night time.
Take a power nap. There are a couple of ingredients: take them at the same time every day as much as possible. Ideally, it’s going to be around 2pm. That’s when you have a natural slump. If you’ve a reclining chair, lean back, close your eyes and drift into the first phase of sleep, which is light sleep. Astronauts are actually being trained in power napping. It’s something that’s being used a lot.
Photo: Christine Hansen. Christine Hansen, pictured, is a mother, author of Amazon best seller “Sleep like a boss” and host of the iTunes podcast of the same name
Watch what you eat
Towards evening, watch your nutrition. Avoid any foods that will raise your blood sugar level—no sugary foods or foods that are difficult to digest. That will depend on each person but, in general, avoid starch, refined cereals like white rice or pasta: anything with a lot of sugar or white bread. You could even avoid fruit if you have sensitivity.
Get a routine
Really get a routine established. It seems so simple but it’s very important to do that every day. The people who are most rested have a pretty strict sleep schedule—they go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, including at weekends.
Figure out how much sleep you need, have a schedule and stick to that. You know how much sleep you need when you go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
Dim the lights
I like to be aware of light in the evening. It’s quite illogical that the harshest light we usually have is in our bathroom. It makes it difficult for our bodies to realise it’s night time. You can dim the light or use candle light in your bathroom when you brush your teeth or wash your face. It helps your body realise it’s time to go to bed. It helps you to relax.
About Christine Hansen
Christine Hansen is a holistic sleep strategist and coach who helps insomniacs get their sleep back on track through a combination of emotional, lifestyle and biochemical stress management changes.
She is also a mother, author of Amazon best seller “Sleep like a boss” and host of the iTunes podcast of the same name.