S LEEP When it comes to getting much needed rest, some surprising tactics may be just the cure. By Li Ying Lim.
Sorry, but here’s the big news—being tired full-time or sleep deprived is not “the norm”, and neither is it “life”. “We’re so accustomed to this shared weariness that we dismiss it like a runof-the-mill windy day,” laments Dr. Holly Phillips, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. “My feeling is, it shouldn’t be that way and it doesn’t have to be that way.” Pick catnaps over caffeine, because these Stage 2 naps—as coined by experts—can substantially awaken motor learning skills and improve alertness. Tip: Naps have to be consistent and not ad hoc, and never exceed 30 minutes for high-performance inducing naps. Light is the official regulator of our sleepwake cycles,” explains holistic psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora. “When we’re getting sleepy, light from screens, lamps, and even ambient light pollution enters our eyes, telling the brain, ‘Good morning, it’s 7am!’ (even though it’s 9pm).” “Our brains get confused, thinking the sun just rose, and release hormones that make us wide awake. Then, we lie in bed, wondering why we can’t sleep.” Keep the light out when you nap, too, preferably with an aromatherapy sleeping mask. Enter your sleep mode gracefully. Vora recommends using F.lux on your computer—a free programme that gradually dims the screen to a softer, redder light, mimicking sundown. “Slouching makes you feel tired, too, because it places excess strain on your neck, back, and hips; when your joints aren’t properly aligned, your whole body has to work harder. Additionally, standing or sitting tall will improve the flow of oxygen to your brain, which increases your alertness,” explains Phillips. Exercising daily makes sleep come easier, but a caveat before you jump on that trampoline— night-time fitness routines may bring on an adverse effect, especially if you refuel with postworkout snacks, isotonic drinks, or a big meal. Hormonal changes should also be monitored, as lack of sleep may lead to adrenal fatigue. “Patients wake up feeling exhausted, craving caffeine. They are irritable and ‘hangry’ for salty or sugary foods. They can’t lose weight, and have little to no sex drive,” reveals Dr. William Cole. Please lie down. Beauty expert Renée Rouleau says, “When the body is in a vertical position, blood and fluids in your body circulate downwards due to gravity. At night, with the right amount of sleep, the flat position of the body helps regulate proper blood circulation.” Can’t get more than five hours of sleep? Rouleau recommends splashing your face with really cold water. “This will boost the circulation and add needed colour to the skin.” If all else fails, banish tired eyes instantly with white eyeliner close to the waterline and some highlighter in the inner corner of the eyes. Sleep— it is as easy as counting sheep.
Get a good night’s sleep, or look like you did, with a few savvy tricks