Five tips for starting your day fully rested

Are you sleeping like a baby or are you perhaps tossing and turning? Maybe you’re struggling to sleep and lacking energy. How do you ensure you get a good night's sleep and why is it so important? Especially for colleagues who have seen their routine turned on its head, Nick Stöpler (Pon Fit coach) shares his tips for starting the day feeling fully rested.

What you do during the day affects how you sleep

Are you currently being forced to work from home? If so, your routine is very likely to have changed completely. This not only has an impact on your work, but also affects other areas, including sleep. You may be having restless nights or finding it difficult to get to sleep. What you do during the day affects how you sleep. Although you might not think it at first, your night is first of all a reflection of your day and not the other way around.
In these extraordinary times, there can be a tendency to dwell on things, making it more difficult for you to relax. Especially because you have fewer opportunities to get out and about to, for example, clear your mind.

Sleep and its impact on your immune system

Sleep is one of the key drivers of your immune system and how effective it is. If the virus decides to pay a visit, it’s obviously important for your immune system to be as healthy as possible. If you’re starved of sleep, your body makes fewer of the 'natural killer cells' that we need to protect us. 

What can you do to be sure of a good night's sleep?

  1. Give your day a clear structure
    1. Draw up a schedule for yourself. Organize your daily activities in regular timeslots, including work, going out (remembering to keep a distance of 1.5 m/six feet) and taking your daily exercise. 
    2. For exercise, it's preferable to go out early rather than later. This stimulates your biological clock, kick-starting your day. It’s easy to create a routine for yourself in this way.
    3. One key element of this is a regular time for getting out of bed. Don’t make any changes to this, or you will disrupt your routine. 
    4. Try to keep to your structure and don’t just laze around. But also make sure that you can find time just to relax in the evenings, putting the laptop away.
    5. Try to tackle any difficult jobs as early as you can. 
  2. Ensure sufficient time for relaxation
    It may sound like a cliché, but precisely because there’s no clear separation between work and home, there’s a danger that you’ll be unable to switch off. Many people also have children to deal with, which can be even more of a challenge. It’s very likely that your tension levels are mounting up more than normally. One option is to free up some time for yourself. Switch roles with your partner and take a walk around the block. Not sure what it is that relaxes you? Then draw up a list of activities that make you feel good or calm you down.  
  3. Limit digital news consumption 
    Avoid consuming more news and social media than you normally would. This just gives you extra stimulation and generally not in a good way.  
  4. Adopt good habits as bedtime approaches
    In the evenings, dim the lights, keep the volume low, put a night filter on your screen, end your working day with a walk around the block, try not to go to bed straight after watching TV, don’t eat too close to your bedtime and try to do some sport during the day.  
  5. Consider relaxation exercises before going to sleep 
    For example, you might want to try some breathing exercises. The well-known app Headspace features free exercises: https://www.headspace.com/covid-19.  

About Nick Stöpler
Nick Stöpler is a coach who specializes in sleep issues and their influence on your energy levels: physically and mentally. He developed an interest in this during his career as a top racing cyclist/track cyclist. It’s in this capacity that he works for Pon Fit as a trainer. For these unusual times, he’s compiled a special list for you featuring five tips for getting a better night’s sleep.