Everybody’s got their personal tips, tricks and life hacks – something different in their routines that synergises all the other elements in their lives. It’s an age-old tradition to sit around the campfire and talk about these things. Campfire Spotlight honours this tradition by featuring one of our Campers and what helps them go further, faster.
As the Head of Sales at Hush Home and our partner in supporting good sleep at Campfire Live, Stephanie is helping campers enhance their business prowess through getting quality rest. We sat down with Stephanie to discuss the importance of the quantity and quality of sleep, your before-bed-ritual, and the importance of where we snooze.
Sleep averages about a third of your day, which translates to about a third of your lifetime. Which is why waking up refreshed and effectively powering your waking hours is important for performing effectively. For Stephanie, sleep is an essential part of work-life balance. Her philosophy is that, “at work, good rest ensures that I am energised in order to be more productive. Outside of work, sleep gives me energy to be social. It enables me to do more with my friends and family, as well as be more focused on them when I’m with them.” In short, sleep directly impacts the amount of energy that you have to do the things you need to do, and the things you want to do.
Despite the well known recommended 8 hours of sleep, the quality of rest may impact the actual amount of rest needed. Here are Stephanie’s tips for improving the quality of your sleep:
- Take time to wind down: whether it’s meditation, relaxing music, or a long bath, it’s worth recognising the value of relaxation to help put your mind at rest (literally!) for a deeper more restful sleep.
- Eat healthy: a lesser known fact! Gut health can impact your energy levels which can affect when you get sleepy. Ultimately, your diet can influence both your energy and your ability to recharge!
- Have a before-bed-routine: having a routine before you go to bed can help regulate sleep by creating recognisable patterns for your body to signal sleep and wakefulness.
- And of course, a comfortable sleeping conditions: even though we can’t control everything (read: loud neighbours, construction noises, typhoons), there are certainly elements of our surroundings that we can control to support better sleep including a comfortable mattress, light, sound, and temperature.
Once you’ve established how to achieve your best sleep, you can experiment with how much sleep is optimal for you. Science supports this as well: the actual amount of sleep needed is unique to individuals. You may find that a restful sleep leads you to need less of it! Don’t forget, for those that can afford to, midday napping can also be a game changer in your energy levels.
Routines and rhythms go hand-in-hand. Before bed rituals create a signature pattern that can help your mind and body when it’s time to wind down. Likewise, a morning ritual can help you get into gear faster. Despite the word “ritual”, your routine need not be long or complicated. Something as simple as making your morning coffee or powering off your phone before bed can be enough. Just remember to do it regularly; iterations are key!
It can be difficult to maintain a routine, especially in this day and age with our increasingly dynamic work and social lives. Often times, things are not in your control such as work emergencies and changing commitments. Stephanie suggests trying to get up a little earlier or making the effort to get to bed at a good hour to alleviate the impact of interruptions in your routine.
The traditional discussion of when we sleep generally focuses on time of day. However, there’s a different kind of “when” to consider in the discussion about getting a good slumber. It’s difficult to sleep when…
- you are hungry or too full! Your digestive system occupies the majority of space in your abdominal cavity. This means that if it’s overactive or unhappy – you’ll be losing sleep over it. Take note of when you last ate before you get in bed to avoid a grumbling tummy.
- you’ve just worked out. Your heart is pumping and even though you find yourself exhausted, your body isn’t ready to crash yet. Low intensity exercise like relaxing yoga or light stretching can calm you down. However, calisthenics, cardio, or heart rate increasing exercise is not recommended.
- you’ve had too much caffeine. Caffeine is the best known stimulant that can throw off your circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, because everyone’s sensitivity to caffeine is different, the most best way to figure out your cut-off time for consuming caffeine is through trial and error.
- you’re really nervous or excited! Sorry campers, this can’t be helped. We’re excited that you’re excited! There isn’t much that can be done about your adrenaline. Although, being in bed to rest your body never hurt anyone – even if your mind is abuzz.
Additionally, the “where” discussion extends beyond merely the place where you decide to rest your head.
- Location matters. Whether you are sleeping at home, in a hotel, on a longhaul flight or in the woods at a campsite will determine which elements will be in your control.
- Furniture: Naturally, the surface you sleep on can dictate the level of comfort you experience when you sleep, and also how you feel when you wake up!
- Sleep accoutrements: The firmness of your pillow, the thickness of your duvet, and the support level of your mattress – all features that can impact the physical experience of sleep. Nothing is worse than waking up feeling cold, waking up with a cold, or waking up sore.
- Environmental issues: Light, sound, air flow, and ambient air temperature are just some of the environmental factors that can affect how quickly you fall asleep and whether you stay asleep.
At the end of the day, as Stephanie reminds us, “Sleep is very personal. It’s all about seeking what’s right for you.”
What helps you go further, faster? We’d love to know!
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