So we all know, and perhaps don’t heed very well, that we all need enough sleep to function. You know how you feel when your tired:- Sluggish, forgetful, cranky! I personally find that lack of sleep, makes me hungry at weird times and my weight starts to fluctuate. Research has shown that adults (24-69) should be getting at between 7-9 hours sleep per night to function at the best they can. And as the old adage goes “An hour before mid-night is worth 2 after”.
With our lives becoming non-stop with work, family, social media etc. knowing how to get good nights sleep is essential. Here are some top tips to keep in mind:-
- Have a relaxing bedtime schedule
Keeping things nice and relaxing before bed will help soothe you into a sleepy state. Having a hot bath can help. At night, your body temperature naturally dips a couple of hours before sleep time. When you take a bath, this raises your body temperature a degree or so and the rapid cool down after puts your body into a relaxed state, thus helping you sleep.
- Dim those lights
As your body gets ready for sleep, it releases a chemical called Melatonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycle and gets you ready for bedtime. This is all dependent on your environment (which is why you won’t fall asleep in a night-club!). Try to transition your last hour before bed, from light into darkness by dimming your lights, which will help put you into the sleep mode.
- No Stimulants (ahem!)
I’m talking coffee, alcohol and eating too late. These, including smoking, can get the heart rate going thus keep your body awake and you will find it hard to sleep. If you must eat and drink before bed, try to have a banana – these contain magnesium and potassium, which are natural muscle relaxants, or a cherry drink – cherries contain melatonin, the very thing we need to drift off!
- Turn off the telly (this includes ALL electronics)
Ok, “as if!” right? How many times have you gotten into bed and spent the next 2 hours catching up on what you missed throughout the day on Facebook, Instagram etc. Before you know it, its 12.30am! Research shows that even having your phone or a TV in your room whilst not being on, can still generate waves that disrupt your sleep. If you can, try to remove all of this from where you sleep. If you must charge your phone close to you, try to have it plugged in at the furthest corner from your bed. This will also help when your alarm goes off as you will have to cross the room to turn it off!). Instead of browsing late at night, switch to a good book, or listen to some soothing music.
- Keep warm
Having an extra layer at night, particular in the winter, can improve circulation to your extremities which can help you fall asleep more quickly, so get those fluffy socks on! Keeping your body warm but the room cool and ventilated can improve your sleep mode immensely. Just don’t make the room too cold!
- Include physical activity into your day
Whether this be a work-out or a 20 minute walk, having your body raise its heart rate throughout the day can help tire you out thus help you sleep better. Doing physical activity too close to bedtime however, may make you too energetic and thus act as a stimulant, which will make it harder to switch off. Try to keep physical activity to pre-7pm.
- No worries
Trying to control and manage your stress will ease the worries that we carry to bed. Over thinking things that we need to do the following day can keep our mind active. Try making lists at night, setting priorities and to-do lists thus removing the thoughts from our brain to the paper. If you have bigger issues or worries that go deeper than making lists, try to speak to someone about them. Keeping something big to ourselves can make the problem seem greater than it has to be. More often than not, it’s the “saying it out loud” that actually helps and makes you see things more clearly. The mind is a very powerful thing – which can sometimes be overpowering!
- Sweet sweet smell
Research has shown that the smell of lavender eases stress and insomnia. The aroma increases the slow wave sleep, which is when our heart rate slows down and our muscles relax resulting in the deepest slumber (I love that word! Slumber :)) Try sprinkling some lavender oil onto a tissue and placing it under your pillow.
Getting a good nights sleep keeps you looking great and ready for the world, which for me sounds pretty good!
Sweet dreams <3
Love, P x
Need to get that good nights sleep??