In my sixth blog post as a Thought Leader for Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts LinkedIn, I give you my top tips for sleeping tight and welcoming an energised and refreshed morning.
Sleep! It’s pure magic until it stops doing what you need it to do. Have you been waking up feeling like you just want to go straight back to bed? Have you been making a special effort to get to bed at a decent hour only to toss and turn half the night? Have you been dragging yourself around having gotten off to a terrible start?
That’s the thing with sleep. When it’s good, there’s nothing better. When it goes off-piste it can be a source of endless frustration. So here are my top tips for reigning your aberrant sleep back into line and waking up feeling energised and refreshed;
- Check your sleep quality: I don’t want to send you into a panic but if you consistently wake up feeling tired whether you feel you slept well or not, you might have obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA. In this condition, your snoring may or may not rattle the windows, but it will be punctuated by periods of up to quite a few seconds of not breathing at all. OSA not only leaves you feeling shattered during the day due to low quality sleep, but also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and depression. So we need to know if you have it. If your partner has heard you snoring, and you’re always tired, go to your GP. A sleep study will reveal the problem. After all, OSA affects around one in 20 Australians, especially those who are overweight, smoke and / or drink to excess and have a family history of OSA. The good news is, it’s treatable!
- Let the sunshine in: On waking in the morning we want to switch off your melatonin, your body’s natural sleeping pill. You do that by getting into bright light. So open up those curtains, turn on your lights or best of all get yourself out into the sunshine as soon as possible after waking to give your body the best possible wake up drug.
- Drink enough water (at the right time): Now this is a complex one...
- We need you to be having adequate amounts of fluid (2.1 litres a day for women and 2.6 litres a day for men plus replacement for water lost from overheating and or exercise!). Being as little as 2% dehydrated can make you feel very sluggish indeed. Get enough fluid- even if you work on the road!
- We need that fluid to be the right type. While soft drinks are horrible for your teeth, waist line and physical and mental health, they won’t cause fatigue directly. I’d still prefer water. But specifically I’d advise against two litres of beer a day. Waking up with a hangover will not help you wake up feeling energised. Quite the opposite.
- Then there’s drinking at the right time. If your midnight trips to the loo leave your sleep a little off kilter, try loading up your fluids in the morning. I’d try drink half a litre of water and a couple of teas and coffees first thing. Then drink normally through the day till you hit the magic total number and stop drinking altogether at dinner time. If you’re well hydrated enough you shouldn’t need to drink too much in the evenings, which will minimise the number of toilet breaks in the wee hours (pardon the pun!)
- Bedroom checklist: Is your bedroom too hot? Too noisy? Too light? Is your mattress too saggy? Is your pillow old and full of dust mites? These are all a recipe for poor sleep, crankiness and poor health. At home, invest in your wellbeing and overhaul your bedroom. Buy a decent fan, replace your old mattress and pillows and get some good curtains. Frequent work traveller? Your sleep is premium. Ensure your hotel values your sleep as much as you do. Only stay in a hotel with good mattresses and pillows, with decent window coverings and that allow you to sleep uninterrupted by the constant noise of slamming doors and dodgy plumbing! If at all possible, ask for a room that is in a quiet part of the hotel, where noise levels are low to ensure you can sleep well and wake up feeling your best.
- Techno detox: Are you one of those people who trawls Facebook only to notice it’s 1am and you’re still awake? Roll over in the middle of the night and quickly check your emails? You need a techno detox. Plug your phone in at the other end of the room - close enough that the alarm will wake you and your kids can reach you in an emergency, but far enough that it leaves your sleep untouched! Better still, organise a wake-up call with the hotel to guarantee you don’t oversleep, and keep your mobile phone turned off.
Do you have any tips or tricks that help you get a great night’s sleep whilst travelling?