The key to better sleep – and waking up refreshed – might be a very simple bedtime routine
Are you feeling a little worse for wear after a string of bad night's sleep?
Do you find yourself tossing and turning when you get to bed at night?
Struggling to go asleep even though you know for a fact that you are actually pretty darn exhausted?
Even though experts are always banging on about just how important sleep is, to many of us, it is just not that easy.
I, for one, find myself mentally writing tomorrow's to-do lists when I am meant to be going to sleep, as well as pondering silently over where I'd love to go on holiday and wondering just how many calories were really in that deliciously squidgy brownie I scoffed for lunch.
Apparently, though, I can look forward to a full eight hours tonight going forward – if this latest sleep hack is just brilliant as the internet seems to claim it is.
According to the editor of Early To Rise, Craig Ballantyne, his 10-3-2-1-0 technique helps you “get to bed on time, sleep better and wake up the next morning well-rested and ready for battle”.
Curious? Here is how it works:
10 hours before bed: No more caffeine
“Stop drinking all caffeinated beverages 10 hours before bed,” instructs Ballantyne.
“This is generally the amount of time required for your body to clear it from the bloodstream and eliminate its stimulatory effects.”
3 hours before bed: No more food or alcohol
“This will help you avoid heartburn (gastric reflux) and interrupted sleep. Alcohol might make you feel sleepy, but it impairs your natural sleep cycle and interrupts valuable deep sleep,” says Ballantyne.
2 hours before bed: No more work
“End all work-related activities two hours before bed,” instructs the expert.
“No more taking phone calls, checking emails, reading reports or thinking about tomorrow.”
1 hour before bed: No more screen time (phones, tablets, computers)
The blue light emitted from screens makes it difficult to fall asleep,” says Ballantyne.
“Spend the final hour reading real books, talking with your spouse, meditating, taking a bath or enjoying “other” activities in the privacy of your bedroom — but do not use your iPhone or tablet, unless you want to stare at the ceiling for another hour.”
0 - the number of times you are allowed to hit the snooze button in the morning
“It’s your one and only life, one that is not rewarded for staying in bed, one that does not move forward because you stole an extra five minutes of sleep,” writes Ballantyne.
“If you want more sleep, you need to get to bed earlier, not wake up later. You cannot miss out on your magical fifteen minutes in the morning.”