What’s that one piece of advice — as a sleep expert — that I would give to everyone, regardless of whether you’re suffering from insomnia or whether you are a good sleeper?
If you just want to get more out of your sleep…
Wake up at the same time every day.
How is that going to affect the night of sleep?
We have an internal body clock that regulates us, when you wake up at the same time every day you are resetting yourself and telling your brain that, at the same time every day, you want to feel awake and you want to feel good.
You want your body to release the right hormones at the right times, and this will really affect your circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythm is the physiological processes that run over a 24-hour period — your temperature, your mood regulation, your appetite regulation, and your sleep wake cycle.
So, if you keep your wake up time regular, your body starts to understand when to make you feel sleepy at night time.
But if you keep changing those goal posts, it’s hard for your brain to do that, to still make you sleepy when you want to go to bed and to give you the right mood throughout the day, or to make you hungry and full at the right times.
You start to see that it affects many different areas of your life.
If you can wake up at the same time every day and really set a good morning routine to reinforce this —like getting light exposure, doing some exercise or enjoying your favourite breakfast, you’re going to have a really good positive day. You’re also going to have a really good quality sleep because of that.
Obviously, there are times when you might not be able to do it. But as long as you’re doing it 90% of the time you will start to notice that your body and your brain will start working like the well-oiled machine that it is.