Sleep is essential to human function. Without it, we risk premature aging, an imbalance in the hormones responsible for blood-sugar levels (which can lead to overeating and weight gain), as well as poor brain function and irritability.
Studies have shown that those who sleep better than those who don’t live longer and stay healthier. But for some of us, getting to sleep and staying asleep can be quite challenging. If you have trouble getting the recommended 7-8 hours a night, check out our list of solutions to help you sleep and feel better.
Light Daily, Exercise
You don’t have to be the sportiest person in the world; vigorous exercise is preferable but even light activity such as yoga is enough to release the feel-good hormones and post-exercise body temperature drop that’s thought to lead to better rest.
Write it Down
How often have we lain there in the dark staring at the ceiling, with a million thoughts circling in our mind? Sometimes, stress and worries can keep our minds in a state of hyperactivity. One way to tackle this problem is to take pen to paper and write down all of your worries, one by one – then read them back.
Simply venting these feelings can often give a sense of relief by having confronted the issues expressly, allowing you to put them to one side and deal with them in the morning.
If you haven’t done so in a few years (eight, to be precise), it’s probably time for a new mattress to ensure you have the best stage of sleep. Bedding manufacturer Eve Sleep offers a mattress developed with the help of customer feedback, complete with the 100-day risk-free trial (to further embolden you with confidence). The UK-based brand has also been faring rather positively in independent reviews.
Go Caffeine-free (…after 2 pm)
Caffeine stays in our systems longer than you might think. Up to 6 hours, in fact! On average, that afternoon pick-me-up coffee contains a whopping around 95mg of caffeine… Avoid coffee, tea, and cola from around 2 pm onwards, or switch to herbal or decaffeinated products if you like to sip hot drinks during the afternoon.
Set the scene for sleep
Take some time to wind down before you turn in. A relaxing bath or warm shower, lavender scents (either fresh lavender plants, essential oils or fragranced candles) and are all the right way to go. If you’re frequently woken up by neighbor or external noise, listening to background sounds as you fall asleep might be a wise idea.
Noise generators cancel out external sounds that disturb your sleep by creating a soothing sleeping soundtrack. Check out a website such as Noisli, to create your own ambient backdrop.
Turn it Down
You would think the key to a good night sleep is in being cozy – but according to science, the answer lies in keeping cool! While you should never sleep in a room that’s too cool either, during the night our body continues working to ensure we remain at the optimum temperature (60-67 degrees Fahrenheit) for sleep.
If the room is already at a perfect temperature, our body needs to work less and therefore you will wake up feeling more rested!