Sleep is a key element of your overall health and wellbeing. When you sleep, your body heals and repairs itself. Sleep strengthens your immune system, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and lowers your risk for serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The quality of your sleep impacts upon your mood and your memory. While you sleep, your brain forms new pathways to help you remember information, supporting better comprehension and problem-solving skills. Research also shows that a good night’s sleep can help you feel less anxious and calmer which is key for so many of us right now.
It is safe to say that sleep is too important to shortchange.
Improve your sleep with some positive lifestyle changes and consistent sleep habits.
Regular Sleep Schedule – Try to maintain a consistent sleep pattern 7 days a week. Getting up at the same time every day can help.
Relaxing bedtime routine – Spend time before bed relaxing. Read a book, meditate, do yoga or have a bath with your favourite bath salts. Spritzing your pillow with a sleep spray, lighting a candle or using a sleep mask may set the right routine for you also. Avoid difficult conversations, activity or work.
Make time for exercise – Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. Exercise may also bolster sleep in other ways, because it reduces stress and tires you out. Even 20 minutes of gentle exercise a day will make a difference to your sleep that night.
Avoid stimulants – Don’t drink caffeine, sugary or energy drinks in the evening. Avoid nicotine in the evening. Only drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Try a herbal tea as an alternative such as valerian or chamomile or if you are not a fan of herbal teas you could try a herbal sleep aid in a tablet form like the Melissa Dream. Avoid eating too late in the evening. It can take your stomach 3 to 4 hours after eating to empty its contents, so eating too close to bedtime can result in an uncomfortably full feeling or indigestion.
Good sleep environment – Keep your bedroom clean, tidy and comfortable. Use a quality mattress and bedding. Keep the bedroom window slightly open to allow air to circulate.
Block out noise and light – Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet, complete darkness can help the body transition into deep sleep. An eye mask or ear plugs may be helpful.
Leave your devices outside the bedroom – Leave your phone in another room in the house to avoid blue light stimulus. Our phones are a source of constant distraction, never more so than in the current climate of Covid19 crisis.