Are you feeling a little down – a little less peppy? Here are some ideas to improve the mood and energy.

These are the conclusions from a survey of 840,000 people done by a group of doctors. The first study to quantify concrete conclusions.

Conclusion – Wake up one hour earlier

It was that waking up one hour earlier that reduced a person’s risk of major depression by 23%

Changes in life style (especially due to lockdowns etc over the 2 years of Covid) has seen more people at home and getting up at a later time to normal. Habits that create laziness and inaction are easy to include in daily life.

Day in and day out life is Messy – we encounter all sorts of blocks, challenges, frustrations, which impede the progress of our day and what we wish to focus on and achieve. This increases panic, anxiety and leads to poor decision making and even poor behaviour.

The study also found that night owls are also more inclined to suffer depression – regardless of how long they sleep.

On the other hand the benefit of each one hour shift actually multiples the good effects on your mind and body up to 40%.

Instructions to help you take this prescription:

  1. The idea you cannot get up earlier is bunk!
  2. The key to getting up earlier is getting to bed earlier
  3. What you don’t do is sacrifice your 6 to 8 hours of sleep.
  4. Poor sleep is linked to:
    1. Physical weakness
    1. Poor focus
    1. Poor productivity
    1. Way more likely to have chronic disease, heart attacks, strokes etc.
    1. May lose friends if are crabby, irritable, cranky etc.
  5. You are not cutting your sleep – only shifting the time of sleep
  6. Focus on the time you go to bed – rather than the time you get up. You can even move by 10 minute slots until you get the one hour change

Thousands on ways that advice you on how to sleep better -here are 4:

  1. Light exposure is key – keep your days bright and your night’s dark.
    1. Start shutting down computers, phones etc. . . . . about 2 hours before bedtime and remove as much activity and light as possible. Watch something light and entertaining during this time as a process of unwinding
  2. During that time take some magnesium and herbal relaxant
  3. The bedroom has to be a sanctuary – NO TV, NO phone, a comfortable temperature, NO computer work – absolutely no technology distraction at all.
    1. Any stimulation reduces the peace, calm and quiet that you require to get to sleep and stay asleep.
  4. Bedroom needs to be dark, comfortable temperature, and bed needs to be comfortable as well as your pillow.

Good sleep improves your health and vitality better than anything else. We spend probably one third of our lives in bed so make it count and do your best to have a good sleep and wake you earlier.

I love the mornings. However I go to be later that I should at times – and I am programed to get up early anyway. So, I need to ensure I get to bed earlier – say 9.30 or 10. 

Good sleep is so important for our health and daily function and productivity that we should ensure we set up the bedroom, mattress and pillow with the best we get. Yes perhaps we may need to forego some other luxury for a time.

But sleep – good sleep- is essential to our wellbeing and our wellness and our happiness and achievements –  we simply must focus on it.

Today the availability of iPad, phones, computers just keep us hooked and we pass the time too late at night. We don’t allow our brain to unwind and relax. These devices are addictive and consume our time.

Many people say to me – I don’t have time to eat breakfast in the morning, or make my bed. A cup of coffee and a piece of toast then I am on my way.

I know a nurse who works fulltime as does her husband. And she has two school aged children. She prepares dinner for the family when she gets home from work. The prepares lunches for all the family for the next day and most of the breakfasts as well – the night before.

They then sit down talk, watch some TV and prepare to go to bed.

What makes her so organised and others don’t have time?

Because she does not waste time on devices and TV News etc. No TV allowed during meals. This maximises family interaction, laughter, and helps everyone to wind down.

She goes to bed with a calm mind – knowing that there is no rush in the morning and her family is being taken cared for.

Good sleep, getting up and one hour or to earlier by shifting to an earlier bedtime, using your nights productively to prepare for the next day, winding down with darkness and minimal external distractions – means we are more energised, more focused, more relaxed and more ready to face the Messy life we all encounter.

There is a time and a place for everything in our lives – at the appropriate time. Don’t sacrifice your health.

I worry about young people working with devices most of the day. Most of them hold the screen too close to their eyes. Especially with primary school kids – iPads are just so easy to use and roll up with. However down the track dry eyes, poor vision, cataracts and even neurological problems are waiting.

Make this a year to focus on better sleep, get up one hour earlier and rethink how and when you use the wonderful technology we have available. Make technology your slave and not your master.

Sleeping well and eating well are both crucial to good optimum health. Why discount either?