5 tips for getting a better night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep can not only help you feel better, but also improve your health. Sleep can be the key to restoring energy, healing inflammation, mental clarity and so much more. However, life’s daily stresses – as well as poor sleep hygiene, can often get in the way.
So what is the key to getting a better night’s sleep? Here are five top tips from the WellBeing team.
1. Synchronise with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
Our bodies are designed to thrive on routine, and this is particularly the case when sleep is involved. Your body’s natural “sleep-wake” cycle is called a Circadian Rhythm and it is built-in to the human body to regulate, most commonly, how you sleep and eat within a 24-hour time period. The evolution of these cycles is quite mysterious but they can be seen in plants, animals and even bacteria.
Tuning in to your natural sleep-wake cycle and maintaining a regular routine sleep time will help you feel even more refreshed than sleeping the same number of hours at a different time of the day. Avoiding sleep-ins, naps, and dozing on the couch will all make a difference to a much higher quality of night-time sleep.
2. Avoid caffeine late in the day
Many people cannot imagine getting through the day without their daily dose of caffeine, whether with a cup of tea or coffee, but regulating stimulants is important in controlling a good quality sleep.
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime had a significant effect on worsening sleep quality. So even a mid-afternoon cup of coffee is best to be avoided.
3. Set yourself a wind-down routine before bed
A wind-down, or de-stressing, routine before bed can lead to a much more relaxed and better-quality sleep. A few simple routines can include performing a series of gentle yoga poses, bathing before bedtime to relax your muscles, reading a good book, or performing a body scan exercise. You might even like to try a combination of one or more of these steps in your routine!
4. Choose the right pillow or mattress for your sleeping style
Sleeping in a healthy position not only contributes to a much better sleep, it also helps you avoid back and neck problems that occur when the spine is misaligned through a poor sleep posture. A good mattress and pillow can go a long way to making your sleep quality better.
A memory foam pillow, like those made by TEMPUR®, will soften as it responds to your body temperature and conform to the natural curvature of your head and neck. This not only makes them enormously comfortable – but also provides invaluable neck support while you sleep.
Similarly, a memory foam mattress will absorb and distribute pressure to fit the shape of your body while you sleep. TEMPUR®’s unique memory foam material also responds to changes in temperature. This helps provide an ultra-soft yet fully supportive bed for the perfect night’s sleep. TEMPUR® material is created using a unique formula that was first developed by NASA to support astronauts during lift-off. While traditional memory foam can break down over time, a TEMPUR® is designed to last with a 10 year guarantee.
5. Reduce your screen time before bed
Lastly, but importantly, reducing screen time can make a big difference when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep.
One of the main concerns when it comes to sleep is additional exposure to blue light – this is the light emitted by electronic devices, and it interferes with the circadian rhythms we spoke about earlier.
Not only does the light from devices or screens interfere with sleep, the content they display can often lead to extra stress; such as work-related e-mails or stimulating TV movies.
To ensure minimal disruption to sleep, it is best to avoid any bright screens, including those of your phone, tablet, computer or TV, at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.