Create fatigue by trying something new

As sleep is in part related to our waking activity, trying something new and different that challenges our mind and body will help promote good sleep at the end of the day.

Often times, when we experience difficulties getting good sleep, we tend to slow down in our daily lives. With lack of energy and motivation associated with increased sleepiness, we much prefer taking it easy and relaxing in front of the television. However, this can lead to a reciprocal negative effect on our sleep and wake behaviour if maintained over time.

Sleep is, in part, related to our waking activity. The more active we are during the day, the more welcoming will be our sleep. Activity, however, is not only limited to the physical realm, although exercise does benefit our sleep quality. A cognitive challenge, whether it is learning something new, spending time socializing and having good conversations, or pondering on philosophical questions can also be beneficial to our sleep.

For example, have you ever found yourself coming home exhausted after starting a new school semester or a new position at work? Even if we exclude the additional stress factors of these particular events, the new environment, as well as the social and cognitive challenges from these days contribute to the additional sleepiness at the end of the day.

Doing something new and different that challenges our minds and/or our bodies will therefore help promote sleep at the end of the day. At the same time, sleep has direct impact on our learning and development and will in turn benefit our performance in our daily lives.