So this week sees part two of the helpful sleep pointers Brian our awesome personal performance coach has suggested to encourage a better nights sleep. Last week, Atlas, King of the World, was invited to comment and give a dogs perspective on these, namely cause Atlas’s human has a lot of photos of him asleep (it is her favourite time of day, he is a full on pup after all). This weeks was to see how helpful these tips are from a cats point of view – we are after all both pro cat and dog round here. However, in true cat fashion, off doing who knows what, no sleeping cat has been located in time for this post to go live. Just as well Atlas’s human has lots of photos of him sleeping.
Drink herbal tea Settling down with a mug of non-caffeinated tea can help you relax before bedtime. Up the sleep-inducing power by opting for herbs that have their own relaxing properties, like chamomile, mint, and valerian. (Herbal tea, you say? I see my humans drinking that chamomile stuff. They do get awfully cross when I try to take a sip of the dregs at the bottom of the cup – Atlas)
Stay active Exercise isn’t the only way to expend energy; being active throughout the day, whether it’s running errands or talking on the phone while you take a walk, helps ensure that you’re sleepy when your head hits the pillow. (I love a good run (naturally cause I am a dog). Best sleeps ever are after a hard day chasing my BFF at day care – yes I go to day care, you got a problem with dat? – Atlas)
Try a natural supplement Many people swear by the supplements melatonin and valerian for helping you get sleep naturally. (mmm, interesting idea. Although when I am in the herb garden and nibbling on some of the plants it results in a lot of yelling from one of my humans in particular. Obviously she is unaware of how natural supplements are important to a good nights sleep – Atlas)
Have an exercise routine Expend your energy for the day with exercise, and you’ll be ready to drift off to sleep as soon as you hit the hay. Make an exercise plan so you stick with your fitness goals and sleep better in the process. (See comments for stay active – Atlas)
Eat an earlier, lighter dinner Eating a heavy, greasy, and late dinner can cause discomfort when you’re trying to go to sleep, so go with an earlier, or lighter dinner to ensure your digestive system isn’t causing you to stay awake. (Food, Food, I love to eat any time anywhere. I am a little frustrated with my humans, they never give me enough! – Atlas)
De-stress Constant worrying keeps you up at night, so learn to take time out to de-stress – both during the day and before bed – to clear your mind. (I am a dog I have no worries – good way to be, WWAD- Atlas)
Stop the afternoon coffee break Caffeine affects people differently, but if you’re finding that tossing and turning correlates to your afternoon coffee run, now’s the time to switch. If you’re looking for ways to reenergise in the afternoon, take a walk, gulp water, or trade your coffee for an herbal tea. (This dog is caffeine free, although I have tried to sneak the dregs from the Mister Human’s cup – again he was not best pleased – Atlas)
Find the right temperature Did you know that the best temperature for helping you get proper sleep is between 18-22 degrees Celsius? (oh, so important, especially if you are a double coated hairydale – I get so hot easily and I need my space to cool down – Atlas)
Check out your mattress If you’re tired all the time and are waking up with aches and pains, then your mattress may be the thing that’s keeping you from much-needed rest. (no aches and pains for me, got me a dog gon good mattress – tee hee – Atlas)
Make a routine Taking time to wind down in the night can help you prep your body and mind for a good night’s sleep. A pre-bedtime ritual is so important; whatever you choose, make it a routine so you get used to the idea of “winding down.” (My bed time ritual is to stare down my humans until they get off my space on the couch, then I throw the cushions off and snuggle into the blanket nest I make – night night, Atlas)
In conclusion, hopefully one or two of these pointers encourage a good night sleep. Atlas also takes this opportunity to invite Monster Truck to have right of reply.
Brian Johnston, Graduate Research School and Atlas, King of the World