Sleep impacts every aspect of our lives. A lack of sleep, whether it’s from a bad night or staying up too late, can have detrimental effects in our everyday lives. Not only can it cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, clumsiness, weight gain or loss, it can also impact our cognitive function. Your bedtime habits can even impact your mood and energy levels the next day. While most of us wish we had a magic wand to wave for a rested self, the reality is just as simple. With a few simple steps, we can get a better night’s sleep and a more productive life.
Put down your devices - Do it!
We know you’ve heard this before, but, put down your devices. Seriously, at least an hour before bed, power down all of your electronics. The circadian rhythm is the 24-hour body clock, which tells the body when to perform functions such as eating or sleeping. It is easily affected by lights and temperature, so the body can think it's daytime when you’ve got devices shining in your face. Blue spectrum lights are emitted from electronic devices which are particularly dangerous because they suppress melatonin release from your brain. The night-shift light, while better than nothing, does not stop this suppression from happening. So, please, put your devices away and get yourself ready for bed.
Keep a journal
While in that device-free hour before bed, it can be beneficial to keep a journal. In a notebook, write down three achievements from your day. By reminding yourself of the progress you’ve made toward your goals and being mindful of the things you’re accomplishing, it can improve your overall mood. At the same time, try making a quick to-do list for the following day, which can help prevent them from keeping you awake. It allows you to put your worries aside for the day and allow yourself to get to a restful sleep, which is crucial in decreasing anxiety episodes. Take yourself out of your head and settle into a good book or a magazine. Our body is enriched with nerves and connections, which make some parts of our bodies more sensitive than others. Using relaxation techniques such as meditation can stimulate our nerves and help us experience a calming effect that extends the whole body. Before you pick up that book to read, take a few minutes to breathe and relax, focusing on your breath and clear your mind.
Alternatively, try having a hot bath or shower before bed and apply some of our Recovery + Sleep Oil to your skin. Create a bedtime routine that signals your body that it’s time for bed.
Turn down the lights
Lights can be your biggest enemy when it comes to winding down at night. Turning down the lights ahead of your bedtime helps your body to produce melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulation of your body’s clock, so you can have a restful sleep. Not only will it signal your body that it’s time to get to bed, it’s cosy and relaxing. However, be wary of a warm temperature in the room. While it can be cosy at first, if it’s over 20C, it can take too long to fall asleep and lead to the room being uncomfortably warm.
Gut health is also important for good sleep
Surprisingly, your gut health is important for good sleep. As stated, melatonin is the hormone responsible for your body clock, which is produced by the pineal gland in the centre of your brain. When the pineal gland isn’t functioning well, the auxiliary choice is your gut. So, taking care of the microbiome in your gut is vital for a good night of sleep. There are a number of ways to support your gut such as, eating fermented foods, foods high in fibre, or taking a probiotic supplement. Supplementing probiotics can support the immune system and intestinal health, elevating the mood, reducing stress, and reducing anxiety.
Sometimes though, the best thing you can do for your sleep is to go take a break. Get out of your daily life, take a retreat, go to the countryside, the coast, just take the time to leave and get some relaxation. Allocate time to rejuvenate and rest, then return with full energy for the week ahead. By taking a break from the stress of everyday life, it can reduce your anxiety and prepare you for a restful night of sleep.
Ensuring you get a restful night of sleep is vital to your health. By taking steps to create a routine and signal your body that it is time for bed, it can improve your life drastically, giving you energy and protecting you against chronic health conditions.