Now that the clocks have gone forward the days will be getting longer, this means the sun will be up earlier and dropping later, both of these things can affect your sleep and thus have a knock on effect on your energy and recovery.
Having spent a large proportion of my life travelling the world through summers and different time zones, often with long days, lots of sunshine and high humidity, I've found out that the better the quality of sleep you can get, the better your productivity will be for work or pleasure during the day.
What tips can we follow to help us get good quality sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go? Assuming we're not travelling and just following our normal daily routine:
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise can encourage better sleep but try not to exercise too close to bedtime as this may have the opposite effect. Why not take advantage of the earlier sunrises and get some exercise in at the start of the day. Not only is it cooler but it sets you up both physically and mentally!
Try to watch what you eat and drink. Avoid heavy meals too close to bed and try not to go to bed either too full from eating or too hungry. This may cause restlessness and keep you up. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are all stimulants and can keep you up at night because the effects of these can take quite a few hours to wear off.
Don't doze off during the day! Sleeping during the day will affect your night time schedule, but if you feel the urge to take that much needed sofa nap, try not to do it too close to bedtime or you may find yourself laying in bed wide awake.
Try to keep your bedroom at a good temperature. Often rooms that are too warm will cause you to stay awake as you may get restless, especially on hot summer nights. Cooler rooms are always better for a good night's sleep, so where you can keep windows open, a breeze coming through or keep a fan on before bedtime to cool the room down. Change your duvet to a lightweight summer option and use heat wicking pillows.
Try to maintain a regular sleep pattern. The recommended number of hours of sleep is 8 per night, but some people can get away with less. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day so your body clock becomes used to it.
The biggest thing you can do, is to turn off phones and tablets an hour before bed as this gives the eyes and brain time to unwind and relax. Dump the social media scrolling and watch some TV, read or listen to music.
Enjoy the summer, get a good night's sleep and this will ensure you optimise productivity throughout the day.