It’s safe to say that these days we’re busier than ever. But as we try to pack even more into each day, have we lost the simple art of getting a good night’s sleep?
If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up, have a little look at the below (no sheep counting involved).
1. Download An App.
Apps such as Sleep Cycle for iOS or Sleepbot for Android can help with your natural sleep cycle, so you can get to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.Both apps work by analysing your unique sleep patterns and gently waking you in the lightest phase of your sleep cycle. You’ll wake more naturally feeling rested and not like you’ve just been run over by a bus or a similar large vehicle.
Up, by Jawbone iOS, monitors not only your sleep, but your activity levels during the day. The in-depth sleep graphs let you see how you’re progressing and the Power Nap and Smart Alarm features help you get to sleep quickly and wake you at your optimal time.
2. Find Your Rhythm.
All living things have an internal biological clock called the ‘circadian rhythm’. These 24-hour cycles regulate things like sleep, hormones and body temperature.
The main impact on your circadian rhythm is light. When it’s dark, melatonin levels in the blood rise preparing you for sleep. So as bedtime approaches try to keep lights low and avoid the bright light from iPads, televisions and computer screens. On the flip side, getting into bright light as soon as possible in the morning can wake you up quicker.
3. Keep Your Cool.
Studies have found the ideal bedroom temperature for sleep is around 18.5 degrees. Being too hot or too cold can have a dramatic affect how long you sleep and the quality of your REM sleep (the stage in which you dream). So keep your bedroom cool, be wary of memory foam pillows (which can cause you to overheat) and wear warm socks, as cold feet can keep you awake and also don’t feel too good either.
4. Prioritise Sleep.
Sleep plays a vital role in your health and general well being. During sleep your brain is forming new pathways and your muscles and tissues are restoring. Sleep also helps you maintain a healthy immune system and regulates the hormones that make you feel hungry.
Adults should aim for between 7-8 hours sleep per night. Less can have consequences for mental and physical health, so make it a priority to give yourself the gift of a decent night’s sleep.
5. Make Your Bedroom a ‘Sleeproom’.
Your bedroom should be an oasis of calm and comfort. This means banishing the TV, the iPad, the work desk, the clutter and the chaos to create a space that’s inviting and conducive to sleep. Think of your bedroom as a cave. If it’s cool, dark and quiet then you’re giving yourself the best chance at enjoying a restful and rejuvenating sleep every night.