With video conferencing replacing meetings and meetups with family and friends, many of us now find ourselves glued to computer screens morning, noon and night. This can mess with your energy levels (Zoom fatigue anyone?), making it hard to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. We gathered together some of our best tips for winding down after that final video call.
Cosy up in PJs
Creating boundaries between work and home life is especially important when you work from home. Slipping out of day wear and into PJs sends a signal to your brain the day’s over. “We live in a culture that worships speed. Changing into your favourite PJs after a long day is the best way to de-stress and prepare your mind and body for sleep,” says Molly Goddard, co-founder of Desmond & Dempsey. Wearing an eye mask that keeps light out will also tell your brain it’s time for sleep.
Drink before bed
Zooming with friends and a few G&Ts? Alcohol dehydrates the body, disrupts sugar balance and can have you tossing and turning in your sleep. Nutritionist Libby Limon recommends you “avoid drinking too much before bed and make sure you rehydrate with water and electrolytes before you sleep”. Coconut water is naturally full of electrolytes making it a great hydrator, but drink in moderation to avoid its natural sugars wrecking your sleep.
Time to switch off
Staring at a bright screen before bed can interfere with the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and trick your body into thinking it’s time to be up and about. To maintain your sleep pattern, Dr Tim Paget recommends you “dim the lights and implement a techno-curfew an hour before bedtime.” You could also put your device into sleep mode and turn your alarm clock around to stop obsessing about time.
Train your mind
“Mindfulness, meditation and gratitude apps are proven ways to calm the senses and help you sleep better,” says Tom Cleary of Train Your Mind . “Mindfulness isn’t about blocking out negative thoughts, it’s about letting them come and go rather than getting caught up in them or allowing them to dictate your mood. Learning a few mini-meditations from an app such as Calm or Headspace can really help reduce anxiety or stress,” says Tom. This can be especially effective if your mind’s racing after a lively group video call.
Unwind with this simple breathing technique
- Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet on the floor. Place one hand on your stomach and the other hand over your heart
- Inhale slowly through your nose and feel your stomach rise
- Hold your breath for a count of three
- Exhale slowly, feeling your stomach fall
Taken from Headspace
Make your bed
Nothing will make you embrace sleep more than a bed that looks like it belongs in a 5-star hotel. A well-made bed can also help you feel calm, relaxed and in control - good feelings to have when life feels chaotic and uncertain. It also makes a room feel clean and uncluttered. Tielle interior stylist Emma Hooton suggests dressing the bed with pure white cotton bed linen to make the bed look fresh and inviting. “White also forms the perfect backdrop to other hues or textures in the bedrooms.” See Emma’s step-by-step guide to making a luxury hotel bed you’ll want to dive into and show off in friends and family video calls.