After months of routine, holidays are the perfect time to allow yourself some freedom. Staying up late, sleeping in and generally doing whatever you feel like on a day-to-day basis is something we experience fleetingly every year. During this time, your sleeping patterns often fall by the wayside, so by the time work rolls around, setting your alarm before 10am can feel like a rude shock.
To ensure you’re getting as much sleep as possible, it’s important to create some discipline around your slumber. While creating an environment that is conducive to sleep is essential, you should also look at the food you’re eating before bed as well as your pre-slumber habits that might be affecting your sleep hygiene.
If you’re completely out of routine (and averaging less than eight hours a night), you might want to consider trying a sleep cleanse. Now, the term ‘cleanse’ is often associated with diet culture and not something we ever recommend when it comes to restrictive diets. A sleep cleanse, on the other hand, is a seven-day challenge where you make changes to your sleep schedule.
On each day of the cleanse you are encouraged to make changes to your current routine and check that everything within your bedroom is conducive to quality sleep, including your mattress. Created by a team of sleep consultants at the Good Night Sleep Site, the tenets of The Good Night Sleep Cleanse are pretty simple: For seven days you should go to bed and wake up at the same time — even on the weekend.
During the seven days, you should be averaging seven to eight hours of sleep per night so simply adjust your bedtime accordingly to when you need to wake up in the morning. “This may be one of the most important steps in this challenge because when we consistently synch our sleep with our natural sleep rhythms and 24-hour biological clock we are able to achieve the best restorative sleep possible and going to bed and waking up become easier,” says the team at the Good Night Sleep Site.
While going to bed at the same time every night might feel difficult at first (especially if you’re a night owl), setting an alarm when its time for bed helps to create the routine. Set an alarm for your bedtime for the next seven days, as well as an alarm to wake up.
Other steps in the seven-day challenge include taking tech out of your bedroom — which means no longer using your phone as your morning alarm — and keeping a journal beside your bed to write down any worries you have that could potentially be stopping you from sleeping.
While a sleep cleanse might not change your slumber patterns overnight, it is a handy way to create a routine and insert some discipline into bedtime. Quality sleep is incredibly important for your health, with poor sleep shown to negatively affect your brain function, lower your libido, make you more accident-prone and even change your skin.