But at what cost? It turns out consistent sleep deprivation can impair our productivity, prematurely age our skin, make us forgetful and cause weight gain.
These aren’t small things, so we decided to do something about it. We’ve done the research and put together a handy-dandy guide – backed by science – that will teach you how to get better sleep (and feel better for it). Keep reading to check out our favourite kip tips.
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Pay attention to sleep cycles
Studies have found that our sleep cycles are roughly 90 minutes long, and that each sleep cycle is followed by a brief time period during which we are somewhat wakeful. Accordingly, you will feel most refreshed if you wake at the end of a 90-minute sleep cycle because you will be closest to your normal waking state. Typically, this will mean adjusting your routine so you are sleeping for 6 hours, 7.5 hours or 9 hours sleep each night.
Drink cherry juice
A recent study undertaken in the United States found that drinking sour cherry juice twice a day could help you sleep better at night. Why? Cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin, which is often used as a sleep aid and in the treatment of sleep disorders. Of course, sour cherry juice isn’t for everyone, which is why it’s lucky that kiwifruit can have a similar effect.
Don’t sleep in on weekends
After a long working week, it is pretty tempting to spend Saturday morning catching up on sleep – especially when you have nothing to do, it’s raining outside and your bed feels so good. But not only can changing your sleep cycle be hazardous to your health, it can also make you feel more tired. Instead, try to stick to a consistent cycle all week long.
Get more exercise
A study undertaken in the United States found that people sleep significantly better when they get at least 150 minutes of vigorous activity or exercise each week. Better yet, the research showed that those who exercise also feel less sleepy during the day. If you factor in two days a week without exercise, that means you need to get 30 minutes of brisk exercise each day to sleep better. Not so hard!
Cut the caffeine
It’s no secret that caffeine, which is found in coffee and many teas, can have a disruptive effect on sleep. What may surprise you, however, is the time frame. A 2012 study found that caffeine intake up to six hours before you go to sleep can be troublesome. So, it might be time to swap that mid-afternoon cappuccino for something else.