We all know sleep affects our health, happiness and productivity. But new research and popular guidance suggests getting somewhere between 7-8 hours sleep may not be enough to get the day off to a great start. Our routines and rituals can be just as important in setting the tone for the day.
Time your sleep
Mattress company Amerisleep believe they have pinpointed the exact amount of sleep adults need to feel on top form - seven hours, six minutes. An unlikely number when scheduling a wake-up time. However, respondents to the 2,000-strong survey who achieved this magic quota described themselves as 'perfectly happy'. Those who got seven hours of shut-eye felt 'mostly happy', and those who slept for six hours 54 minutes felt 'somewhat happy'. Proof perhaps that seven hours or less sleep may seriously impact the way we think, act and feel.
Change your ways
The survey also found that those who meditate or take a shower before getting into bed get better sleep. Second only perhaps to snuggling up beneath fresh, crisp bed linen, one of life's greatest pleasures, in a room conducive to sleep. Food, exercise and pre-bed rituals also play a key role in boosting your sleep success. In her article Eat Your Way to a Good Night's Sleep, Nutritional Therapist Libby Limon, recommends people 'Develop a pre-bed routine that is relaxing and familiar' and avoid 'television, work, computer use, movies and deep/stressful discussions late at night'. Libby also suggests avoiding sleep stealers such as 'caffeine, alcohol, spicy and fatty food and dieting' which can have a negative effect on sleep.
Switch up your morning routine
Diet, exercise and bedtime rituals aside, how you wake up each day and your morning routine can also affect your mood and success. In his book 'The Miracle Morning', Hal Elrod believes that by adopting six simple morning habits - silence, affirmations, visualisations, exercise, reading and scribing - you can become the person you need to be to create the levels of success you want and deserve in every area of your life. In his eyes, if you win the morning, you win the day. So why not complement your night-time rituals with a motivational Hal Elrod's style wake up routine, and let us know how you get on.
Win the morning, win the day with Hal Elrod SAVERS-style morning routine.
Meditate, pray, breathe - whatever helps you start the day with calm thoughts.
Tell yourself encouraging words to achieve goals, overcome fears and feel happy.
Take time to visualise your goals - you'll be more motivated and prepared to pursue that goal.
Get the blood and oxygen flowing to the brain with some exercise.
Fill your mind with positive thoughts and ideas to improve yourself.
Write a journal to process your thoughts and reflect on what you've achieved.