You can go to bed at eleven o clock and wake up at seven knowing you got a full eight hours in and still spend all day feeling tired, run down and sluggish. Just because your body has shut down it doesn’t mean your brain has and in the autumn when the days start getting shorter you brain doesn’t understand what’s going on and as a result your internal body clock is a mess and you’re not getting the best night’s sleep possible which is why you’re always feeling so run down
Get some exercise. This may sound crazy if you’re feeling you don’t have the energy to get through the day but a half an hour run on a treadmill could be all you need to get your body pumping. When we exercise the brain releases serotonin which gives you a natural high and will sustain you for longer than that chocolate bar will or cup of coffee. If you’re not the sort of person who enjoys a good workout try something like a vibrating power plate which gives your muscles a workout without involving too much strenuous movement on your part.
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours so try not to drink any in the afternoon, that coffee after dinner or even the last cup before you leave the office could be what’s stopping your brain switching off and letting you get a proper night’s sleep. You may feel like you’re drifting off just fine but the caffeine will stop you entering REM sleep which is when your brain gets the chance to make sense of everything that’s happened that day.
Give your mind and body time to physically wind down before you go to bed. You can’t just turn the TV off or shut the lap top off and except to crawl straight into bed and drift off to sleep. A hot bath is a great way to clam the body down or a soothing mug of mint tea. Try to avoid anything strenuous or exciting that gets the brain all fired up. Get a regular routine so your body and mind starts to recognise it’s almost time for sleep.
Make sure the environment you’re sleeping in is suitable for a good night’s sleep. If your body is too hot or too cold you won’t sleep properly, make sure your mattresses isn’t too soft or too hard and ideally you should be changing your bed sheets every week if possible. Scents like lavender are calming and could help you sleep better too.
Make sure you’re got a regular routine and make sure you stick to it. It might be tempting to spend all of Sunday morning laying around in bed not doing very much but come Sunday night you’re going to struggle getting to sleep and getting up for work on Monday morning.