Sleep To Perform
Experience heightened productivity with our expert tips
Lack of sleep, or interrupted sleep patterns, can impair memory function, shrink the brain and raise stress levels. Our bodies repair and rejuvenate whilst we sleep so it is essential to get a good night's sleep in order to function well and fully across all aspects of life, and work.
Dr Guy Meadows, our resident Sleep Expert and leading figure in the area of chronic insomnia, has prepared his top 10 Sleep Tips to help aid a restful night and recover from the dreaded jetlag. Aim to put these steps into action, and you'll soon say 'Goodnight!' to fatigue, memory loss and sleep-deprived irritation and hopefully emerge a newer, more rested you.
The best sleep is achieved in a cool, quiet, dark and comfortable bedroom as this limits the amount of sensory stimulation received by the waking centre in the brain and allows sleep to emerge. If you find sleeping in a new environment a challenge, especially for the first night, then come prepared with your own ear plugs, eye mask and pillows. If you need something extra, just ask Corinthia London for help in creating your perfect sleep haven.
Being mentally and physically relaxed in the day leads to biological changes within your brain and body that deepens your sleep during the night. Allow yourself to unwind by heading to the spa and having a massage or simply take time out to read a good book in the comfort of the hotel.
For a more restful night’s sleep limit the stimulants in your diet. Aim to drink no more than 2- 3 caffeinated drinks (like coffee, tea and soda) per day and none past 2pm. Whilst alcohol may help you to fall to sleep, it inhibits your ability to move into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, hence us experiencing early morning awakenings after a heavy night. Aim to limit your consumption and always drink alcohol with a meal. Ideally leave at least two hours before going to bed for it clear from your body, as one unit of alcohol is metabolised by the body in about an hour.
Being active and performing regular exercise is proven to increase your sleep drive, making it easier to fall to sleep, as well as, deepening your sleep. Make use of the gym and pool at ESPA Life at Corinthia or simply go for a walk around town to tire out your muscles and release relaxing endorphins. Aim to exercise during the day or late afternoon, but avoid doing it too late as this may disrupt your sleep.
Watching TV, answering emails or checking Facebook in bed requires a level of mental processes akin to daytime, thus unhelpfully stimulating the waking centre in your brain. This makes it harder to fall asleep and leaves you experiencing lighter, non-restorative sleep. Get into the habit of switching off all electronic devices around 30 minutes before going to bed, dimming the lights and enjoying a calming book to tell your brain that sleep is on its way.
KEEP ON TIME
Your sleep is kept on time by your internal body clock, a mass of 20,000 clock cells found just behind your eyes, hence why going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time everyday is a proven method to achieving good quality sleep. If you need to stay up late, aim to still get up close to your natural rise time as this will prevent disturbing your next night’s sleep.
NIGHT TIME WAKING
Your body naturally wakes four to five times per night as it briefly transitions between sleep cycles. Originally designed to check for impending danger, such awakenings can offer an opening for worry to take hold fuelling night time wakefulness. Let go of such worries and be in the moment by objectively describing the touch of your duvet on your toes or the gentle movement of air in and out your nose.
STAY IN BED
If you are awake at night avoid turning on the light to read, watching TV or playing with your phone. The light emitted from such electronic devices unhelpfully stimulates the light sensitive cells in your eyes, releasing the waking hormone cortisol waking you up. Instead, choose to stay in bed in the dark and conserve your energy by lying still and being calm.
Napping is a highly effective and quick way of recharging your batteries in the middle of the day. Research has also proven it to boost creative problem solving, memory processing, focus and attention. Aim to nap between midday and 3pm to tap into your body clock’s natural sleepy period and always limit it to less than 30 minutes.
If your journey to the hotel involved crossing time zones you will undoubtedly be suffering from jet lag. Minimise its effect by syncing your internal body clock to the local time zone by getting out in natural light - as well as eating, working, socialising and sleeping at the local time.