We spend a third of our lives asleep. So, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. Discover our simple adjustments that you can make, to improve your sleep and consistently wake up on the right side of the bed.
Sleep in complete darkness
Science is key to explaining the complex function of the body. Our bodies produce a hormone called Melatonin that allows us to keep conscious and fall asleep. Our bodies produce the most between the hours of 11pm and 3am, and light can disrupt this vital process. It’s recommended to sleep in darkness, eliminating any cracks or spaces where light could slip in. Add thick curtains, blinds or a sleep mask to help achieve total darkness in your room.
Limit technology use
Our phones, laptops and tablets can also disrupt your sleep as they emit blue light which the brain interprets as daylight. The best thing to do is to reduce the amount of technology use before bed, so you can unwind and relax. If you can’t resist your phone, then try putting it downstairs overnight or use a blue light screen filter over your phone.
Get gentle exercise
With the many benefits of exercise, sleep is one of them. Yoga helps to relax the body and release tension by focusing on your breathing rhythm. This ancient practice has been recognised for its stress relieving benefits, which in turn calms your mind (great for those who overthink). Yoga moves such as the butterfly help to boost circulation and enhance flexibility.
Avoid certain foods groups
Curb the habit of eating at least one hour before you hit the pillow. Avoid consuming any caffeine or alcohol before bed, as they have stimulant chemicals which keep you awake. Additionally, eating sugar can disturb deep sleep making it much easier to be disturbed during the night sleep, as it will spike the blood sugar levels. Interestingly, spicy foods can react negatively on the digestive sleep, which impact the quality of sleep as more acid is produced. Don’t worry, we aren’t saying to cut out your favourite curry from your diet; we’re simply suggesting to have it earlier in the day.
Use an aromatherapy diffuser
Aromatherapy diffusers are a great sleeping aid to add to your room. Most feature a valve or chamber where you pop a few drops of essential oils in. Studies have also shown that essential oils can ease insomnia, as it relaxes the bodies muscles Lavender is one of the most popular oil to use as it has sedative properties. Vanilla has a sweet aroma and can be found in your local supermarket or pharmacy. It can help reduce restlessness, and it lowers blood pressure.
Have a self-care routine
Self-care practices ultimately make us feel good and help us to reduce our stress levels effectively. Napping throughout the day isn’t the best sleeping strategy, as it often leaves us feeling restless when it comes to switching off at bedtime. The odd 45-minute nap won’t cause great harm from time to time. However, consistent long overdrawn naps could lead to disrupt sleep at night.
Taking a long soak in a hot bath is a great tension reliever, and you can add Epsom salts and lavender to help ease your muscles. When you dry off, it’s the sudden drop in temperature that helps your body fall asleep at a faster rate, and you can sink deeply into bed.
These practical suggestions will help you fall blissfully into a deep slumber. Bringing it back to the basics, experts recommend that we get at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Researcher and cardiologist Dr. Epameinondas Fountas concluded “getting the right amount of sleep in an important part of a healthy lifestyle”.