Few things in life are as important as a good nights sleep. Sleep is almost as vital for our bodies as water and food and should be the most essential part of any lifestyle. For most of us, 7-8 hours of quality sleep hits the sweet spot and sets us up to be best version of ourselves the next day. Below is a list of the simplest steps that any of us can follow to ensure we set ourselves up for a quality nights sleep.
Lights out and switch off from the outside world
The light that is emitted from our digital devices disrupt our body’s natural production of Melatonin which is a chemical that helps to control our sleep and wake cycles. Instead turn off the your TV, put aside your iPad, and even leave your phone on the other side of your room 1 hour before bedtime to allow your mind and body the time it needs to transition into sleep mode. Also try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible by turning off anything left on standby or anything that emits light into your room as these all will have an effect.
Save your bedroom for sleep
Make your bedroom your sanctuary for sleep and nothing else. Leave your laptop in another room to avoid any temptations to work or surf the Internet as both of these will keep your mind active and make it more difficult for you to relax.
Train your body clock
Train your body to sleep and wake up at the same time every day of the week including weekends. Your body will eventually adjust to your routine and will help you wake up feeling fresher in the morning.
Purchase a Phillips Wake Up Light to use as your morning alarm. These Wake Up Lights start with a soft dawn red that gradually phases into a warm orange until it reaches a bright yellow glow over the course of 30 minutes before your alarm is due to go off. The light from the Phillips Wake Up Light acts as a signal for your body which helps you to move from sleep to waking in a natural way.
Avoid caffeine before bedtime
Each of our bodies react differently to caffeine, and while causing no issues for most people, some of us can be highly sensitive to caffeine which can severely affect our sleep. If you are sensitive to caffeine, avoid any caffeinated drinks after 12pm. Even small amounts of caffeine can stay in your system and prevent your mind from switching off when you are trying to sleep.
Say goodnight to your nightcap
Alcohol such as red wine can make you feel tired before bedtime, however this effect can wear off and disrupt your sleep into the second half of the night. Instead switch to a hot tea which helps to relax the body and mind.
Eat light at night
Avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime as these can overload your digestive system and have a negative effect on your sleep. Instead when you’re feeling peckish have a slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter spread or a protein shake to leave your body feeling full. You should avoid going to bed hungry as this will also make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try to have your last meal at least 1 hour before you head to bed to allow your body to finish its work before you drift off.
Leave your day behind with a hot bath
As part of your winding down routine, have a hot bath with Lavender bubble bath. Lavender is widely recognised for its relaxing properties and is perfect way to relax after a long day. Some say that the heat from a hot bath can have the opposite effect and waking your body, but for the majority of us a hot bath will relax are muscles and mind and gently preparing your body for sleep.
Regular exercise leads to a restful sleep
A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation found that those who exercise on a regular basis, even as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day slept better than those who were more sedentary. Exercise has many benefits for our bodies including helping us to release some of the natural stresses that we build up over the course of each day. After exercise of any kind, our body needs to recover. While are bodies are sleep, they use this time to rebuild so that we are ready to go again the next day.
Read yourself a bedtime story
Reading before bedtime is a timeless tradition that has helped many parents get their children off to sleep for generations. Lucky for us adults, the results are the same! Whether you choose to immerse yourself into a world of fiction or throw yourself into the biography of one of your heroes, reading helps relax the body and helps to disengage your mind and body from any tension built up throughout your day.
Sleep should be the foundation of any routine as a goodnights sleep gives your body the best possible chance of working at full capacity the next day. If you feel your not getting enough sleep, start now to review this list and use this as an opportunity to break any bad habits that prohibit you from getting the sleep that your body needs. Until next my friends, goodnight.