In this weeks blog we go through a quick run of simple ways to ensure you are getting the best sleep.
1- Avoid any stimulants
Various stimulants have an effect on the body’s nervous system in different ways. They include anything from coffee to alcohol to smoking.
2- Magnesium loaded food
What we eat generally affects us in different ways. We all know that it is better to drink coffee or any other stimulant in the morning and not at night. Similarly, some food we eat can cause insomnia whilst other nutrients can help the production and release of certain brain chemicals that help your sleep. Magnesium, in particular, is known to be a muscle relaxant, producing a calming effect that promotes sleep. Taking a magnesium supplement before sleep or eating magnesium loaded food such as almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds or leafy green vegetables will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
3- Eliminate all lighting
Keeping your bedroom dark is fundamental to a repairing sleep. While we are asleep, our body produces the highly light sensitive hormone, melatonin. Even the smallest amount of light in your bedroom can send signals of activity and wakefulness to your body. Without complete darkness, your body is unable to optimally produce melatonin.
Turn off all electronics or any light emitting gadget before sleep. Ideally avoiding using them two hours prior to bedtime.
4 – Keep your bedroom cool
If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, you know how important it is to keep your body temperature cool for a good night’s sleep. Our body temperature fluctuates between the daytime and nighttime, in order to regulate our circadian rhythm, which determines when you feel awake and drowsy. Whilst your body temperature increases a couple of degrees between morning and evening, it drops to its lowest a couple of hours before you wake up. That’s why bedrooms should ideally be kept at a temperature between 18 degrees (Celsius) and 24 degrees, as recommended by the NHS. A room that is too hot or too cold can seriously affect your sleep.
5 – Bedding
Put simply, you have to choose your bedding based on its highest capacity to absorb moisture and breathe. In terms of duvets and pillows, always resort to natural fillings like down and feather. They keep you warm but don’t trap the heat, allowing for your body temperature to regulate itself. Down is naturally lighter, longer-lasting and fluffier than feather, although they do create similar insulations.
The same concept applies to your bed linen. As long as you buy Egyptian cotton, anything above 300 thread count will be great quality.
Egyptian cotton is particularly better for those who struggle to sleep, this being because the fabric is more porous and therefore allows aire to pass through – avoiding that stuffy feeling at night.
6 – Exercise
According to the Sleep Foundation, people who suffer from insomnia are able to sleep faster and slightly longer after they engage in cardiac exercise at least four hours before sleeping. That may be because exercise increases the body’s temperature. This rise is soon followed by a drop in body temperature which leads to drowsiness and therefore tiredness.