How did you sleep last night? If you’re so tired you’re having to read that question again, you’re not alone. Social pressures are forcing people to cut back on their sleep, contributing to what some scientists believe is a "global sleep crisis." But there are simple tweaks you can make to wake up feeling more refreshed after a good night's sleep.
Add a Soothing Scent - Candles, Aromatherapy oils, Diffuser Sticks and Lavendar Pouches all can help slow your heart rate down and help you relax.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool - The ideal room temperature for sleep is around 18 degrees celcius but if you feel the cold a fan may be a better answer than cranking up the air conditioning and some people find the sound of a fan whiring or the hum of the air conditioner quite calming.
Change Your Bedding - Ensure you have a supportive pillow so you don't get neck and back pain. It's also worth paying for quality breathable sheets that are 100% cotton so your body heat can dissipate. You should also aim to change your sheets every 3-4 days not only for sweat and germs but you can't beat the pure joy of that fresh-sheet feeling when you hop into bed. Getting a good sleep will also rely on your mattress so if you can't remember how old your mattress is, it's probably time to buy a new one. Most good mattresses have a 10 year life of the springs - no longer before you get a sag in the bed in the spot you always sleep in which is problematic for neck and back pain and postural issues.
Use Relaxation Strategies - Start winding down 90 minutes before you go to bed by finding an activity that helps you start relaxing. It could be a warm bath, reading or meditating, all of which will help signal the brain that it's time to switch off. Breathing Exercises can also help in getting you off to sleep. I use a couple of relaxation strategies with my clients at the end of our workouts to really give them 'time out' to switch off and relax. 1. Try visualising yourself in a beautiful place in nature that is relaxing to you and just breathe and picture being there, the sights, sounds, smells until you feel relaxed and are ready to sleep. 2. Another exercise I like to do focuses purely on breath. Breathe in for 4, hold your breath for 7 and breathe out deeply for 8 making a 'woosh' sound. Repeat 3-5 times until relaxed.
Go From Light To Dark - Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin so ensure you have blinds, shutters and curtains with triple pass to block out 100% of light. But it’s also important to get plenty of natural light during the daytime, as this also helps regulate your body-clock.
Avoid Screens - Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the blue light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep.
Empty your bladder and don’t eat or drink alcohol in the hour before bed. Goodnight!
Suzanne The Lifestylist