5 Basic Sleep Tips
Sleeping is so extremely important. New research shows that not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night - and thats 7-9 hours for most people - has some pretty dire consequences. That's because sleep is highly restorative. During sleep your body recovers from the day and goes to work. In the brain - enhancing brain repair, nervous system function, balance, reflexes and memory. In the muscles, it repairs and rebuilds - enhancing performance, endurance and muscle growth and function. In the immune system - fortifying and promoting cellular repair, reducing inflammation and getting those the immune cells working well. In short- getting adequate sleep also has a correlation with life expectancy. Yes.
But lots of folks really struggle with floating off to dreamland. Although the reasons for shitty sleeps are multifactorial- I have put together a few basics to implement and give a go if you are not doing them already.
5. DITCH THE CAFFEINE
It actually pains me to say this but caffeine can screw up your sleep cycle. It does this by blocking the receptor for one of the the neurotransmitters which tells you that you are getting tired. So, it is awesome if you are feeling a bit tired and shady before work but not so great if you are wide awake at 1am watching reruns of Friends trying to fall asleep. I reckon keep it to one coffee a day before 10am if you think you are a little on the sensitive side, but ditch it all together if need be.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR ROOM IS DARK AT NIGHT & GET SOME MORNING LIGHT
I am so sure you have heard it before but ensuing your room is dark is important as the absence of light sends a signal to the body that it is time to rest. In fact if you find that you cant wind down, try dimming the lights after dinner ( easier in winter) to help with a calming action. Some sleep experts also say that if you are a night owl, try and get light on your eyes earlier in the day to spark your body clock and natural rhythm. Maybe go outside when you wake up with your cup of herbal tea and greet the day.
3. ALCOHOL DOESN'T HELP
Sorry! It might make you fall asleep drooling on the couch but it doesn't actually promote restorative sleep. In actuality, it messes severely with several neurotransmitters which encourage sleep while also playing havoc with blood sugar, kidney and bladder function( urrgh midnight toilet stagger) and most importantly it doesn't allow your brain to get into the right restorative rhythm which repairs the brain and body.
2. COOLER IS BETTER & GET RID OF THE ELECTRONICS
A bedroom that is on the cooler side is more conducive to getting to and staying asleep as it promotes the secretion of gently sleep inducing hormones. If you lay in bed flicking through Instagram before bed then maybe you should give that a miss as well as the blue light emitted from devices reduces the action of sleep supporting hormones.
1. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
You can totally deviate a little but make sure that in general, you hit the hay and then arise at a similar time every night. One sleep expert recommends setting an alarm for bedtime like you would to wake up! As part of this schedule, you could start a little self loving routine. Draw a bath or have a shower, think about your day and after your bath or your shower make a warm soothing drink - chamomile tea, MOON potion or an Ashwagandha Moon Mylk. Sit quietly and write down any concerns, fears or thoughts from the day and leave them behind before you go off to bed. Also- your dreams are a key to your subconscious so make sure you write them down.. they may offer some answers to tomorrows questions!?