Waking up feeling groggy is the worst, and not a great way to start the day. There are many factors which can impact on our sleep, and in our pursuit for catching the perfect amount of zzz'z we came across Dr. Karan Rajan’s tips for waking up feeling refreshed.
Two words — sleep cycles. Each time we sleep, our brain goes through different sleep cycles. Each starting with a light sleep, then entering a deep sleep, then a dream phase and circling back to a light sleep. Each of these cycles are about 90 minutes long.
Dr. Rajan explains that if you wake at the end of the 90 minute sleep cycle during the light phase, rather than mid-way through the cycle, you will feel refreshed because you’re closest to your normal waking sleep state.
Okay, but how do we wake up at the optimum time? To increase the chances of waking up at the optimum time, Dr. Rajan recommends working out what time you want to wake up, and then working backwards in 90 minute slots until you’re close the time you want to go to sleep. For example if you’re alarm goes off at 7.30am and you like to get at least 9 hours of shut eye, then 10.30pm is a good time to go to sleep, to increase the chances of waking up at the end of your 90 minute sleep cycle.
If this sounds too hard, don’t worry – there are some great apps that can help you wake up in alignment with your natural sleep cycle. Some of our picks include Sleep Cycle and Sleepzy.
Dr. Rajan also mentions how sleeping with socks on can help prepare us for falling asleep. Wearing socks to bed increases blood circulation to your feet, causing blood vessels to widen. When blood vessels widen, they get rid of heat much faster because of the larger surface area, allowing core body temperature to cool down at greater speeds than normal. A lower core temperature is needed for sleep. In short, if you want better sleep — cover your feet!
Oat sleep socks, available here.