Suddenly spending more time at home? Put it to good use!

The situation we now find ourselves in is a challenge – on all levels. Many of us are currently spending more time at home than ever before. Nevertheless, or perhaps for that very reason, some of us now feel that our quality of life is noticeably restricted. With that in mind, we have provided some useful tips below to encourage restful sleep and to help you bring some variety to your life at this challenging time. After all, healthy sleep strengthens your immune system and increases your energy and efficiency during the day, whilst a balanced lifestyle has a significant effect on your wellbeing.

Tips to ensure a varied lifestyle

Many of us are a bit more flexible right now when it comes to our daily routine. Those who are not required to work can make good use of the time in order to find their own individual sleep pattern for example: Am I a night owl or am I up with the lark? How much sleep do I need to feel on top form throughout the day? And do I actually need that afternoon nap at all? You can find out the answers to all of those questions by not going to bed in the evening until you actually feel tired, by documenting your periods of sleep with a fit smiley and by not setting the alarm clock for the morning after. The reason for this is that in some cases, an alarm clock wakes you up from your deepest sleep and once that has happened, you will mostly feel less rested. Anyone who works from a home office cannot be quite as flexible as that when it comes to getting their full quota of sleep, however. Nevertheless, you can still do what you can to identify your own sleep pattern – after all, you will gain a bit of time in the morning as you don’t need to travel to work.

You can then use the time you have gained to do some spring cleaning or to give a new touch to your home: decorate your home in spring-like tones, move your furniture around or clear out your wardrobe – possibly using the recommendations of the decluttering guru Marie Kondo as your guide. Anyone who doesn’t work can now pursue their hobbies more avidly and make good use of the time for reading, knitting, photography, writing or gardening. You will find that this will give rise to a new outlook on life and will mean that when you go to bed at night, you will also be more content. People who work in a home office, on the other hand, can possibly take a bit of time in the afternoon to cook up something healthy to eat. Recipe ideas can be found in publications such as the cookery book SIMPLE by Yotam Ottolenghi or in publications by the Swiss cookery book publisher, Betty Bossi: as part of its recipe campaign, the company recently made all of its cookery books available free of charge online. Cooking and baking using healthy recipes will not only help you clear your mind, but will also encourage you to sleep soundly at night. For example, by eating food that is high in fibre, as opposed to high in fat, your periods of deep sleep will be longer.

You can also use your free time to take steps to further your education in an area that is relevant and of interest to you. You could learn a new language, brush up your knowledge of Excel or expand your professional, political or artistic knowledge. An abundance of opportunities and courses is available on line – on sites such as udemy.com. Let yourself be inspired! Sleeping well will help you learn, as while asleep, your neural pathways are not only consolidated, but your brain also processes the things you have learned. Important knowledge is stored; unimportant information is overwritten. That is why it is preferable to take in new information before we go to sleep, so that the things we have practised and learned can be retained in the most effective way possible. But don’t keep your mind active too late into the night. If you don’t get enough sleep, your memory will not perform as well as it should and you will be less perceptive.

Our sense of smell also has a profound effect on our general wellbeing. A clear and pleasant fragrance in your surroundings can emphasise different atmospheres, thereby energising you or imparting comfort. Room fragrances can spread a pleasant atmosphere in enclosed rooms, and that is certainly true of the fragrance diffusers and aromatic candles from Bico. These exclusive fragrances with typically Swiss accents create a pleasant living atmosphere in the home and are available online.

Tips for relaxation and for restful sleep

To help you pass more easily into the land of nod in the evening, it is advisable to get enough exercise during the day. So why not put together your own work-out routine with the help of apps or of services that are available online? You don’t need any special devices or equipment for this – just a bit of space. Anyone with the opportunity can complete their sports routine on their balcony. The exercise and the fresh air can help you clear your mind and promote physical exhaustion. If possible, don’t plan your workout for late in the evening, as sport before bedtime causes you to fall asleep more quickly. For those who work from a home office, it is worth fitting in a small sports routine in the afternoon – exercise will help you to clear your head so that you can be productive in the second half of the day. Even yoga or meditation can help you fall asleep more easily in the evening and can make you calmer and more relaxed. Thanks to online courses or meditation apps you don’t even need to leave your own four walls, as you can do the exercises at any time.

Sport during the daytime is not the only thing that helps you fall asleep more quickly. Relaxation in the evening also has the same effect: a nightcap made from valerian root, balm leaves or camomile, lavender or orange blossoms can have an easing and sleep-promoting effect. These therapeutic herbs and blends of tea are easy to order online. Warm milk with honey or soothing foot baths can also help improve the quality of your sleep. You should also make sure that you only eat easily digestible foods in the evening, such as boiled vegetables, rice or lean fish. Ideally, you should eat around 4 hours before you go to bed. You should however avoid sugar, raw fruit and vegetables and salad on an evening.

In order to ensure restful sleep, your sleeping conditions must be right: you should air and wash your bed-linen regularly and turn your mattress over every few months. Make sure you have access to fresh air in your bedroom by ventilating regularly and putting plants, such as aloe vera, in the room.

So why not experiment for yourself and use the time you have gained to relax? So make sure that you and your nearest and dearest get restful sleep and that you optimise your diet. That isn’t just good for your body, but for your mind too, and will give you the energy you need to help you develop yourself as a person.