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A 3-Day Guide to Fixing Your Body Clock This Weekend

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Did you know it only takes three nights of high-quality sleep to recover from sleep deprivation? There’s no better time to fix your sleep routine than with this three-day guide to resetting your body clock by Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay.

Read on to discover how you can bounce gleefully, full of energy, and eye-bag-free into work next week. As well as carrying out the following activities, Martin recommends sleeping for eight hours per night.

Day one: Saturday

Complete a 30-minute workout in the morning

Exercise has been proven to improve your sleep quality and duration of sleep, while a healthy sleep cycle ensures more strength and endurance when working out.

Drink at least two litres of water today for an energy boost

Not only does keeping hydrated boost your energy but your metabolism too. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling sleepy and tired while negatively disrupting your mood.

Use lighting (or lack of it) to notify your brain of the different points in the day 

Light is the most important external factor affecting sleep, as it plays a central role in regulating our body’s internal clock, otherwise known as our circadian rhythm. This signals when to be alert and when to rest, so you should expose yourself to natural sunlight throughout the day. Then, when the sun starts to wind down in the afternoon, start dimming your lights so that by the time you get to bed, your bedroom is pitch black.

If you’re struggling to sleep, try this five-minute hack

Known as the cognitive shuffle, you should list random items in your head that are easy to visualise, non-threatening, and not directly related, i.e., potatoes, Tarzan, and a violin. This will tire your brain out and help keep your mind off issues preventing you from sleeping.

Day two: Sunday

As soon as you wake up, open your curtains

Being exposed to bright light signals your brain to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes you feel drowsy.

Go for a walk to increase your vitamin D

Even just 10 minutes spent in the sun can boost your serotonin and stop you from feeling sleepy and sad. However, try to go for a walk that lasts as long as possible, as the more you tire yourself out, the easier you’ll find sleeping that night.

If you do need to nap, do it the right way

You should only sleep for between 10 and 20 minutes, as anything longer than 30 minutes can risk feeling groggy as your body will have entered a deep sleep cycle. Also, make sure to time your nap right. As your alertness naturally dips in the afternoon, you should pay attention to when you start to feel drowsy and nap right away (if possible). Make sure this is more than eight hours before your bedtime, though, as it could impact your sleep if not.

Refrain from drinking any alcohol

If you have the Sunday sadness of going back to work, you may be tempted to have a drink tonight; however, you should refrain from doing this. While alcohol can make you feel sleepy due to its sedative properties, it also lowers your sleep quality. Research shows that people who drink before bed are likely to experience disruptions later in their sleep cycle, which can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness the following day.

Day three: Monday

Eat breakfast to give yourself an energy boost

Research repeatedly shows that your diet and sleep quality are linked, so you should never skip breakfast, as it plays an important role in your wakefulness. Try to stick to a balanced breakfast that is adequate in protein and healthy fats for an energy boost. i.e., eggs, plain, lean meat, avocado.

Never drink coffee five hours before bed and stick to two coffees max

While caffeine can provide a short-term energy boost, it takes an average of five hours to eliminate half the amount of caffeine consumed, so keep this in mind.

Create a winding-down routine to reduce your stress hormone

When you’re stressed, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. The higher the cortisol, the more awake you feel – that is why it’s important to have a winding-down routine at night. This could include yoga, stretching, meditation, deep breathing, or a hot bath – as all are proven to help you relax.

Play rain sounds to help you sleep more soundly

Steady rainfall noises help lure the brain into falling asleep as they are predictable, calming, stable, and non-threatening and can block outside noises, making them the perfect sound to fall asleep to.

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