For a long time now, we have known that not getting enough sleep can have a serious impact on our health. And yes, you guessed it, not the good kind. If this is the nudge you needed to start taking your sleep routine seriously, here are some tips to make the most of your slumber.
When you’re getting primed for the perfect night’s sleep, it’s important to take temperature into consideration. Chances are, if it’s too hot you won’t be able to sleep, and if it’s too cold you’ll be tossing and turning. Find the perfect balance by layering up with blankets and try to avoid sleeping with a heater or fan on. You are more likely to be able to sleep well if the temperature is slightly cooler. Contrary to popular belief, don’t have a bath right before bedtime as this raises your body temperature and will make it hard for you to fall asleep.
Create a sleep haven
If you’re regularly struggling to sleep, invest in your bedroom. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows, that your sheets are soft and that your room is filled with calming vibes. You should look forward to getting into bed and falling asleep. If not, have a think about what you can add to your room (or take away) to create a sleep sanctuary. When it comes to the bedroom, less is more.
Meditate, but not at night
You may have heard that meditation helps you sleep. But if you’ve tried it before bed hoping it would send you into a deep sleep quickly, it’s likely it didn’t work. One of the main culprits of bad sleep is stress. If your body is stressed it struggles to relax. Meditation most certainly can help overcome stress, but you’ll need to do it regularly to see results. The best time to meditate is in the morning or the afternoon, not right before bed.
Get into a routine
If you’ve been staying up until 2am most nights, it’s a far cry to then try and get to sleep by 10pm when you need to get up early the next day. Chances are you won’t be able to fall asleep on command when you decide to switch things up. The body loves routine. If it’s impossible to go to bed at the same time every night, try creating a little sleep ritual that will signal to your body it’s time to wind down. Light a candle, get into your pyjamas, or read a book (fiction, and nothing too thrilling!) each night before getting into bed.
Keep it dark
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. It is produced naturally when it gets dark, signalling to our body that it’s the end of the day and time to go to sleep. But if your home is bright and you spend your evenings looking at a TV, computer screen or phone, your body gets confused and doesn’t produce the normal amount of melatonin. Then, if you turn off all the lights and try to fall asleep, you may not be able to straight away. When the sun goes down outside, try to keep things dark inside too. Turn off the lights and burn some candles, use some fairy lights or a Himalayan salt lamp to create some relaxing mood lighting.
Here's to better sleep!