Sleep. It is a wonderful thing and so important to being productive the next day. Sometimes with one thing and another a good night’s rest just doesn’t happen. Brian, our awesome personal performance coach, has some tips to help with getting a good nights sleep. Atlas, when not sleeping on the job, also provided some dog inspired comments.
Eat sleep-inducing foods – A night time snack of Greek yoghurt drizzled with honey may just help you get a better night’s rest: both honey and dairy contain compounds that may induce sleep. (Food before bed, man, I am in. I eat any time, anywhere and I never have problems sleeping – Atlas)
Stretch before bed – Stretching your limbs relieves aches, but it can also calm you and prep you for sleep. (I love a good stretch, and a walk, and playing fetch, and chasing cats, and chasing my tail – Atlas)
Wake up at the same time every day – Sleeping in on the weekends can make it that much harder to feel well-rested during the week, so stop the Sunday morning lie-ins and stick to your normal wake-up time. You’ll have an easier time getting to sleep and won’t feel as groggy the next morning. (I agree this is very important. I do my best to wake at the same time everyday regardless of what day of the week it is. For some reason my humans don’t appreciate this on a Sunday morning. I see nothing wrong at waking at 6.30 on a Sunday – Atlas).
Put away the electronics –The blue light from tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it’s day, so have a cut-off time for watching movies and catching up on email that’s at least 20 to 30 minutes before you need to get to sleep. (I am old school – This dog is techno free – Atlas)
Don’t nap – Even if restless sleep makes you want to nap during the day, don’t. That nap may be just what’s keeping you from catching nightly Zs. Instead, take a walk or get some fresh air to reenergise until it’s bedtime. (I am sorry but I disagree with you Brian, I love a nap, especially when my humans are being boring. A quick nap passes the time until something more exciting happens – Atlas)
Read a book – Set aside a few minutes each night to meander your way through a favourite book to help power down from a hectic day. (Reading is for humans, blah – Atlas)
Don’t drink – Alcohol in your system can lead to a disruptive night of sleep, so if you usually enjoy a glass of wine every night, go without and see if it helps your slumber. (Water is the best. Always drink lots of water – Atlas)
Take a warm bath or shower – A warm bath or shower can further soothe your muscles; it’s also great if you’re suffering from a cold or allergies, since the hot steam can help open up your sinuses to help you breathe better while you sleep. (Hate baths and showers, I prefer to go dig a hole in the garden- Atlas)
Go dark – Electronics, alarm clocks, street lamps – all of these can prevent deep sleep. Turn off your TV before you drift off to sleep, get blackout curtains to keep outside light away, and cover anything else that’s contributing to light pollution in your bedroom. (ohhh, I need to talk my humans about the laptop lights, the clock on the oven, – man they have no consideration for a dog and his sleep – Atlas)
Change your pillow – Your pillow may be hindering, not helping, your sleep, so make sure you’re sleeping on the right one for you. (Love me a good pillow, especially if it is someone elses, night, night – Atlas)
If none of these points, or pictures of cute sleeping dogs don’t help you, then do not fear, this was part one of two. Part two with photos of sleeping cats to follow – I wonder whose tips will work best!
Brian Johnston, Graduate Research School and Atlas, King of the World