Number 6 will surprise and delight!
We all want to head to bed, close our eyes and drift off, waking up the following day feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. Sadly, with more and more people suffering from restless nights, tackling the day for many can be a bit of a drag!
We’ve compiled a little list of the best ways to fall asleep, and more importantly stay asleep! Let us know which ones work for you, or any others that you use!
1. Reduce technology – the blue light emitted from tablets and phones upset our circadian rhythms, these are the natural rhythms that tell us when to go to sleep and when to wake up! This unfortunately also includes the TV, even though watching those murder mysteries just before we head to sleep can be tantalising! By turning off these devices at least an hour before we head to bed it allows our body and eyes time to relax.
If you are wondering what to do with that hour, you can take time to enjoy a nice cup of Chamomile Tea, do some gentle relaxing yoga, or read a little – as long as it’s relaxing.
2. Watch what you eat and drink, as well as when! – We know that going to bed on a full stomach isn’t a good thing, however even snacking in the evening can raise blood sugar and lead to a challenging night’s sleep. Try not to consumer foods in at least the hour before bed, if not two hours where possible.
If you are a little peckish, why not try a few almonds which are a great source of tryptophan and magnesium, both which will help you to fall asleep when you climb into bed.
3. Coffee, tea and you – It probably doesn’t need to be said that not having that espresso after dinner is going to work wonders in getting to sleep when you head to bed, but then neither will the cup of normal tea either. Even if you are one of the people who say that caffeine has no effect on you, reducing your intake in the afternoon, and taking it out of any evening routines will work wonders in getting to sleep. You don’t need to feel jittery after a cup for it to stop your body from resting properly.
An alternative later evening drink is the chamomile or fruit tea, as long as they don’t contain sugar or caffeine.
4. Routine – they say that routines can cause things to get boring, but when it comes to bedtimes, routine is king! By going to bed at the same time each evening you start aligning your circadian rhythm. There are a number of studies out there that show irregular sleep patterns lead to poor sleep.
5. Keep that bedroom cool – at this time of year we like to ensure that all our rooms are warm, or at least the ones where we will be, however studies have shown that a cooler bedroom improves sleep quality.
Ensure that whilst your room is cooler that it isn’t damp, a damp bedroom is not conducive to good health.
6. Sleep Naked – This might not be the first thing you think of, and certain situations may call for you to wear night attire, however, according to the national sleep foundation, sleeping in your birthday suit allows you to fall asleep faster and gives you a better nights sleep, it also keeps your skin healthy, can reduce stress and anxiety and boost your self-esteem.
7. Make sure your mattress and pillow are up to the task – hands up how many of you are still sleeping on the mattress you got 15 years ago? What about 20 years ago? Funnily enough, they aren’t designed to last that long. A good mattress supports your posture, reduces pressure points and feels super comfortable. Though there is no hard and fast rule, think about updating your mattress if you’re not waking up fully rejuvenated in the morning.
8. Exercise – We all know we should push play for 30 minutes a day, this is essential if you are having sleep problems. If you are exercising for sleep, it may have the side effect of better health!
Try not to exercise too close to the time you want to sleep. Exercise can have a stimulatory effect, increasing your alertness.
9. Meditation – you don’t have to bang a gong or sit in a cross-legged pose to meditate, though the act of clearing your mind and relaxing is vital. You can try listening to some relaxing music, get the other half to give you a relaxing shoulder rub, or read a relaxing book. The meditation comes in as you work through any challenges of the day and let them go, bringing gentle breathing to relax the body and mind.
There are a number of guided meditations that you can listen to if you need a little hep to let go.
10. Alcohol, the silent alarm – Although after a few drinks you may find yourself heading to sleep with no issue, you don’t actually end up with a restful night’s sleep. Alcohol plays havoc with going into a deep sleep that helps us feel rested in the morning.
Not all of the above will help everyone, as we all have different routines and habits. However, one of the key things we can do is ensure that we have the right nutrients in the body. Magnesium is present in over 600 biological functions, and having adequate amounts of this particular mineral helps the body produce its own natural sleep chemicals, like melatonin. Ensure that you eat plenty of dark leafy vegetables, and add a few nuts, like almonds. Alternatively, look at a powerful magnesium supplements like Element 12 Magnesium from About Health.