The secret to a great night's sleep

After the election all-nighter

It's been a busy week with the general election and whichever way you voted you're likely to be feeling pretty tired today if you stayed up to watch the results live.

We've asked our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, to give us her top tips for getting through the day after pulling an all-nighter.

Cut yourself some slack

Today it will be particularly important to take a deep breath and try not to get caught up in the hysteria of post-election debate. You'll inevitably be exhausted today if you were up all night gripped to the polls, and it can be hard to focus and impossible to prioritise if you are over-tired. Make a list of everything you need to get done and try to work through it. However try not to put too much pressure on yourself; it really is impossible for your brain to focus if you haven't had enough sleep.

Have a nap

Try to minimise the damage and boost your productivity by having a power nap during your lunch break. Just 10-20 minutes of shut eye will be a welcome break from all the post-election chat and you'll wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Stay away from coffee and sugar

Loading up on coffee and sugar might seem like a great idea especially if you're struggling to stay alert today. However, when you do want some sleep this evening you'll be left feeling wired and unable to rest. Stay away from the coffee and opt for low GI, slow release energy foods like nuts, seeds and lean meats to keep your blood sugar level stable. This will stave off a potential crash later this afternoon.

Switch off tonight

A head full of election rhetoric will not not make for a good night's sleep so tonight is when you really need to switch off. This means turning off the news an hour to 90 minutes before bed and letting your brain properly unwind.

Scrolling through Twitter is the worst thing you can do if you want to sleep well tonight. The blue light from your phone or tablet will trick your brain into feeling awake and you won't be able to sleep however tired you thought you were. Use the time before bed to have a bath.

Adding two big mugs of Bicarbonate of soda to the bath is a fantastic way to wind down and prepare you for a deep, restful sleep. The bicarbonate neutralises the skin's acidity, softens dry skin and is a good aid in detoxification. Don't use soap or shampoo as the chemicals will reduce the effect. Rinse off and go to bed straight afterwards; you will feel very tired and enjoy a restful sleep.


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