How to sleep soundly – ten tips for your best ever sleep
Sleep. Most of us experience insomnia or sleepless nights now and then. But for a lot of us, every night consists of poor quality, fragmented sleep without even realising it.
And the consequences can be devastating to our lives; affecting our mood, energy, appetite, and even affecting our relationships and work.
During sleep, energy is conserved due to suspended activity, movement, and sensory responses, and is redirected to restore and replenish proteins into cellular structures. When we don’t sleep well, this process is suspended and it has a direct impact on our health.
Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time says, “We are living in a golden age of sleep science—revealing all the ways in which sleep and dreams play a vital role in our decision making, emotional intelligence, cognitive function, productivity, and creativity. Ultimately, science has proven that sleep is the ultimate performance enhancer. So it’s clear that if we’re going to truly thrive,” she asserts, “we must begin with sleep, the gateway through which a life of well-being must travel.”
So how do you break the cycle and get enough ZZZ’s to help improve your health and your life?
Here are our top ten tips to sleeping like a baby:
1) Avoid all caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Even if you think a cup of tea won’t have an effect on you, it will
2) If you find yourself getting up in the night to go to the bathroom, change your fluid intake habits; drink more water in the morning and then start to cut back later in the afternoon and then have your last drink a couple of hours before bed. If you drink enough water during the day then you won’t need it at night as your body will be hydrated
3) Don’t do strenuous exercise in the evening – exercise stimulates energy levels and you will find it hard to settle
4) Instead, get into a routine of doing some sleep-focused yoga before bedtime to calm your mind and body, and prepare you for sleep. We love Super Sleep Yoga by Lisa Sanfilippo
5) Create a routine and stick to it. Set a bed time and waking time and try to stick to it every day, to give your body a chance to get into a routine, which it is then more likely to stick to, naturally
6) Look at your bedroom environment – do you feel relaxed when you step into your bedroom or do the piles of clothes and un-matching furniture stress you out? Invest in creating a little relaxing haven with comfortable bedding and muted colours such as pale blue which is associated with calmness
7) Use technology to help – download a meditation app to your phone and listen to it to help lull you into sweet dreams
8) But don’t use technology just before bed. Avoid using your phone and laptop too much for an hour before bed; the blue light in digital devices suppresses melatonin production, thereby making it harder to fall asleep
9) Create a soothing bedtime routine; a warm bath, using lavender sleep spray and drinking a mug of warm milk in the evening all help to relax the body and prepare it for bed
10) Make sure you’re getting the right levels of magnesium in your diet. Magnesium has been found to help encourage good quality sleep and is found in foods such as beans, nuts and whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread. If you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet, a supplement containing magnesium can be a good idea, like the Potion London Bone Formula which contains magnesium as well as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K.