How To Improve Your Sleep Cycle For Maximum Productivity

Getting a good amount of sleep can have a significant positive impact on both our mental and physical health, as it gives our bodies the time it needs to rest and recover. In terms of our mental health specifically, getting 7-8 hours sleep helps us to wake up feeling more focused, productive and generally energised, to take on whatever the day has to offer. Whether you’re on a trip to London shopping for London souvenirs or you’re at home, it’s equally important to help you recover properly. 


However, perfecting your sleep cycle is about a lot more than simply having a cup of chamomile tea before bed. So, we’re here with some practical tips on how to improve your sleep cycle for maximum productivity, from daily habits you can do throughout the day as well as right up to before you go to bed. It’s amazing just how much of an improvement that more sleep can make to your life, so spend the effort and time getting into a new routine now and you’ll reap the benefits. 


Prioritise Natural Light During The Day 

The first thing you should do is prioritise natural light during the day. Natural light is an important part of our circadian rhythm, a 24 hour cycle that our bodies run off to tell us when we should be feeling awake and when we should go to sleep. This cycle is run on a combination of external factors and also the internal production of hormones. 


One of the external factors is light or dark, so when you expose yourself to natural light during the day your body will feel more alert, which will then naturally encourage the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, when it’s time to go to bed. This helps to just encourage the natural production of hormones and it hints to the body to respond to the natural environment. When this is paired with a dark sleeping environment at night, you’re doing what you can to support your natural system to get enough sleep. 


Create Distinction Between Working Day and Evening 

Another important thing you can do to help your body get enough sleep and therefore improve productivity during the day, is to create a distinction between your working day and evening. When we finish work, often our minds are still ticking over and it can be hard to switch off, so putting small rituals in place just to shift towards relaxation can really help you to begin to unwind as you get closer to going to sleep. This is especially important if you work from home, as living and working in the same environment can make it even more difficult to switch off. 


This could be getting out for a quick evening walk, going to an exercise class, changing into your favourite loungewear set and having a stretch, putting on some music and cooking a nice meal or sitting down with your book for half an hour. No matter what it is, having one thing that you do when the day has finished can help to change your mindset, enjoy your evening and then, get a good night’s sleep. 


Curate A Healthy Sleeping Environment 

You also shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good sleeping environment. Small tweaks can make a big difference when it comes to your sleep, so listen up! Make sure the room is well ventilated, keep it as dark as possible to help your circadian rhythm, reduce noise if you can (even if this means wearing earplugs), choose a mattress that supports your sleeping style and also choose warm mood lighting that you can have on before bed rather than bright white lighting. 


Try to avoid having any screens or TV’s in your bedroom, but instead, have this as a space designated to sleep. You could also choose a nice relaxing scent, like lavender or eucalyptus, that you only have in your bedroom and so you naturally associate it with sleep. These small things can make a big difference to your sleep when they’re combined into one. 


Avoid Devices For 2 Hours Before Bed

Last but definitely not least, you should avoid devices for two hours before bed. Moving back to our discussion of circadian rhythms, when you use devices with blue light in the hours before bed, it can halt the production of melatonin, therefore making you feel alert and not sleepy. So, get yourself an alarm clock for your room so you don’t need your phone and get into the habit of leaving your phone outside of your bedroom. 


Instead, replace the hour of scrolling with reading your book, having a nice relaxing bath, meditating, doing crochet or simply listening to music, and you’d be surprised at just how significant the difference in your sleep can be. 


Think About Your Diet 

You should also think about the foods and drinks you’re consuming in the run up to bed, as well as through the rest of the day. When you’re eating lots of sugar, as well as caffeine, you’ll experience spikes throughout the day that will make it difficult for your body to properly settle into its sleep cycle. So, try to reduce your caffeine and sugar intake and limit it to before 3pm. Also, you should focus on foods that help to support our sleep cycle, including things like bananas, walnuts, cherries, fatty fish and eggs. Thinking about drinking herbal teas before bed without caffeine is also a good way to help us unwind and promote our sleep cycle, particularly specialist night time teas that contain chamomile and lavender. Peppermint tea is also a good option. Overall, a healthy, balanced diet containing lean proteins, healthy carbs and fresh fruits and vegetables will all combine to help promote healthy sleep. Alcohol can also disrupt sleep, so reducing this as much as possible is also advised. 

Final Thoughts

The smallest changes can collate to make the biggest difference when it comes to sleep, so try adding a couple of the things below to your routine and we’re sure you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make. Sleep is so important and affects our lives in so many different ways that we wouldn’t consider, from our mental health to our physical health, and putting more effort into our sleep cycle. From reviewing your diet through to changing your device usage, getting natural light and curating a healthy sleeping environment, these things all add up to help add real value to your life through the power of sleep.