There is so much literature out there on how to improve sleep but for so many of us getting a good night’s shut-eye can be a challenge. Whether it is stress, worry, health, diet or simply kids waking you up at all hours there are some things you can do to help promote a healthy night’s sleep. These are some of our top tips for getting a straight 8 hours of blissful rest.
1. Have a consistent bedtime and wake up time (as often as you can). According to sleep experts everywhere going to bed and waking at a similar time each day (even on the weekends!) is one of the best way to ensure your body gets in to a great sleep routine. The time you go to bed is also important, so try to aim for lights out before 11pm.
2. Listen to relaxing music. The rhythm and melody of some songs can really help to relax your mind and body. While music is a matter of personal taste and some people can fall asleep listening to heavy rock, one song that is guaranteed to always help us fall asleep is Erik Satie’s Gymnopedia No 1. Give it a try, we guarantee this beautiful composition will have you yawning after the first 20 seconds.
3. Try drinking herbal tea before bed. Choose any tea with valerian or chamomile as the main ingredient to promote a good night’s rest, our tip is to drink it an hour or so before bed so you aren’t up in the middle of the needing to go the bathroom. One of our favourites is Pukka Organic Chamomile Tea.
4. Keep your bedroom cool. It might be tempting to keep your bedroom toasty warm particularly in winter, however the optimal room temperature for a good nights sleep is 15-19 degrees Celsius or 60-67 Fahrenheit.
5. Keep you bedroom dark (or wear a sleep mask). Our bodies respond to light and any night light can disrupt your body’s natural rhythm so keep your bedroom dark and cool. If you have to get up in the night for the bathroom or any other reason try to keep the lights off so its easier to fall back asleep.
6. Switch your device to warm tone. Let’s face it there is little point telling most people to avoid screen time before bed and while it may be the best option to ban all devices from the bedroom it is unrealistic for most people. The next best option is to set the tone on your phone – most new devices have the option to display more ‘warm tones’ in the evening to reduce the blue light effect.
6. Limit heavy food and alcohol before bed. Ok we know this sounds boring and we aren’t going to tell you to avoid all of life’s pleasures but in order to get the best night’s sleep try to avoid very large meals, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugary foods or too many liquids close to bedtime in order to give your body a chance to rest. If you do need a pre-bed snack go for half a banana, warm milk and honey or toast with jam to help send you off to a peaceful slumber.
7. Try Deep Breathing. Deep belly breathing is one way to relax your mind and body before sleep. Breathe in deeply and hold for a few seconds before breathing out through your mouth. Try to keep your thoughts focused on your breath and nothing else if possible.
8. Get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise during the day. Our daytime habits influence our sleep as much as our night time ones do so try to get out in to the sunshine or bright light, do some light exercise and get some fresh air to help set you up for a good sleep. Napping during the day is also not ideal so try to avoid those mid-afternoon siestas if you can.
9. Get more magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is a mineral that has many benefits for the human body including promoting deep, restful sleep and helping you to get to sleep quicker. Try a diet in magnesium rich foods including leafy greens, legumes, broccoli, chocolate and dairy products or try a pre-sleep soak in the bath with Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes.
10. Try not to stress about not being able to get to sleep. It’s easier said than done but if you feel yourself laying in bed and worrying about not getting to sleep it’s best to get up and distract yourself for a little while before trying again when you are really sleepy. Try reading a few pages of a book, or even writing down everything that you are worrying or thinking about with some simple steps you can take to reduce the worry.
Good quality sleep is one of the keys to improving health, mood and happiness so try these tips for a perfect night’s slumber. As always, we would love to hear from you if you have any other great sleep tips, leave us a comment below. Happy Sleeping!