Sleep Tips

Sleep Tips

Mark Stuart |

Improving your sleep can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. Here are eight simple tips to help you get better sleep:

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule:

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle. Your sleep-wake cycle or your ‘circadian rhythm’ is directly linked to your body’s Cortisol levels, this controls your bodies natural stress levels. Cortisol is more prominent in the morning so if you can settle in to a good sleep pattern this ties in perfectly giving you the natural get up and go required to conquer the day ahead!

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine:

Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing mindfulness. Avoid stimulating activities like using electronic devices or intense exercise. Intense physical activity elevates your heart rate and body temperature. Both need to decrease to prepare your body for sleep. Exercising close to bedtime can delay this cooling process, making it harder to fall asleep.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment:

Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Enhancing your sleep environment for comfort will relax both your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep quickly. Additionally, you'll be less likely to wake up in an uncomfortable position during the night. Keeping your room cool and dark by using blackout blinds and minimizing noise by closing doors and windows. Investing in a high-quality mattress can significantly improve your sleep. Many people are surprised to discover that a sore back or neck can often be attributed to using a mattress that doesn't suit their needs or is not offering sufficient support for your body.

Limit Exposure to Light in the Evening:

Reduce exposure to blue light from screens (phones, tablets, computers, and TVs) at least an hour before bedtime. Blue light can interfere with your body's production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Engaging with your phone before bed, whether checking emails, social media, or playing games, can increase mental stimulation and alertness. This makes it more difficult to wind down and transition into a relaxed state necessary for sleep.

Be Mindful of Your Diet:

Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. While alcohol might make you feel sleepy initially, it can disrupt your sleep cycle later in the night. Diet plays a significant role in your sleep health. Consuming large amounts of sugary, salty, and fatty foods can negatively affect your sleep patterns. To promote better sleep, incorporate healthier options into your diet, and you'll soon notice an improvement. 5 of the best foods to consider are –

  • Bananas- High in potassium and magnesium, which help relax muscles and promote sleep

  • Kiwi- High in serotonin and antioxidants. Serotonin helps your body produce melatonin.

  • Almonds - Rich in magnesium, which promotes sleep and muscle relaxation

  • Camomile tea - Contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain to promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia.

Exercise Regularly:

Exercise benefits more than just your waistline; it increases daytime alertness and promotes better sleep at night. Regular physical activity can reduce insomnia symptoms, improve sleep apnea, and extend the time you spend in deep sleep (REM sleep). Choose the stairs, walk instead of taking the tube, and join your kids for a bike ride. Small changes can make a big difference. The only thing to avoid is strenuous exercise too close to bed time. Spiking your heart rate and increasing your temperature just before jumping into bed may mean you require longer to fully wind down

Manage Stress and Anxiety:

Stress and anxiety can lead to racing thoughts and worry, making it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Managing these feelings can help calm your mind, making it easier to transition into sleep. Stress and anxiety often cause physical tension in the body, such as muscle tightness and elevated heart rate, which can make it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Managing stress can help prevent anxiety from interfering with your sleep.

Limit Naps During the Day:

If you need to nap, try to keep it short (20-30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the day. Long or late naps can negatively affect your night time sleep.

By incorporating these tips into your routine, paired with a high quality mattress you can create a more favourable environment for quality sleep and improve your overall sleep and subsequently over-all life!