Sleeplessness is a very modern compliant. While our ancestors fell into bed after a long day at work, physically tired out, we tend to keep going, our heads spinning with emails that need to be sent, meetings we’re anxious about and an endless to-do list. We have exchanged physical tiredness for mental exhaustion.
While you may not wish to change your job and go back to mining or farming like your ancestors, you can make changes to your home to ensure that you are living as healthy a lifestyle as possible. And when it comes to getting the best night’s sleep, your bedroom is the place to begin.
Get the Right Environment
Your bedroom should be cool, dark and comfortable to maximise the quality of your sleep. With this in mind, you should have a clear out right now of any electronics that glow all night (hello, digital alarm clock) and ensure that you have proper blackout curtains. Rising and sleeping with the sun may not be possible with orange streetlights right outside but a Lumie body clock light will simulate the effects, making it much easier to wake and sleep naturally.
Your bed is also really important and the right mattress really does speak for itself. To get high quality sleep, you must ensure that you are comfortable and well supported. Whether you are a side sleeper or you sleep on your back, your spine should be perfectly aligned to that you don’t wake up with aches and pains. Have a look at silentnight mattresses for more information.
Good Habits to Prepare for Sleep
Sleep, getting to sleep and waking up are all still areas of research and there’s a lot we still don’t know about the process. But what we do know is that there are a few behaviours that help to aid sleep and some that prohibit it.
Good habits to get into are reducing the amount of blue light you are exposed to before you plan to sleep. Blue light tends to inhibit the production of melatonin (the hormone that triggers tiredness) and so you don’t sleep as easily. Using soft lighting and reading a book or magazine an hour before bed is a really good idea.
Taking a warm bath around an hour before bed can also really help if you struggle to get to sleep. The idea is that as the body cools after the bath, you simulate the natural cooling process that comes with a good night’s sleep.
Ditch the Bad Habits
One of the worst things you can do is start worrying while you should be sleeping. Checking emails, social media and even working late at night is pretty tempting for everyone but doesn’t help in the long term. Leave your electricals and gadgets outside the bedroom, or at least turn your phone onto airplane mode to avoid distraction.
A warm drink before bed acts a bit like a warm bath but if you favour tea or coffee, you might be self-sabotaging. Try to limit your caffeine intake to the morning to avoid being overstimulated when you want to rest. Hot chocolate is your best friend.