Sleep is an essential part of our lives, it aids a healthy existence and improves the quality of life we have.
Whilst you are asleep your body repairs itself, your sugar levels are controlled which leads to a healthy weight control and balanced hormones.
In short you don’t function well as a human being without enough sleep.
Everyone is different and needs a different amount of sleep this especially changes throughout our lives as we need a different amount of sleep when we are babies, teenagers to adults.
How much sleep do we need?
This is all relative to how old you are, your sex and your health. According to The Sleep Council we spend around a third of our time asleep. As a general guide this is how much time we need each evening.
There are various areas we can look at to help improve our quality of sleep
- Sleep Environment
- In order for a restful nights sleep we need the right room setting, this is a clean, welcoming and peaceful space we can relax and re-charge our batteries.
- Make the room completely dark using a combination of blinds, blackout curtains or eye masks, when its dark our bodies release melatonin that relaxes the body to aid sleep.
- Control the temperature, its recommended to be between 16-18 deg c.
- Make sure the room is tidy & clear of clutter – tidy room = tidy mind.
- No technology in the bedroom – this is a really hard one to do these days.
- Don’t watch TV or eat in your room.
- Add special touches to create a relaxed atmosphere in the room, such as scented candles, smells such as Lavender can be naturally calming.
- Choose the colours of your bedroom carefully, go for calm soft muted tones that help create calm.
- You are worth it boost your well being by making your bedroom sleep friendly.
- Food & drink
- Limit the amount of caffeine & nicotine your body takes during the day.
- If you have a drink of tea/coffee at 12 noon, 12 hours later at midnight a quarter of that caffeine will still be in your system, therefore the less caffeine including chocolate you have in the afternoon you need to be aware that this will still be in your body at bedtime.
- Do not eat big meals late in the evening as the body cannot digest it before you go to bed.
- Avoid alcohol as this has an impact on the quality of your sleep, Alcohol sedates you it doesn’t allow you to reach the deep levels of sleep you really need to nourish your body.
- Limit the liquids that you drink in the evening to avoid broken sleep due to having to get up to go to the toilet.
- People who exercise regularly sleep better at night, 20-30 minutes walking outside in the morning is the best way to set you up for the day.
- On a sunny day your body will take on 30,000 units of light if you are outside, on a cloudy day you will take on 10,000 units of light but if you are stuck in a bright office you will only take on 500 units, so getting outside in the morning is crucial.
- Exercising speeds up metabolism, elevates the bodies temperature and stimulates hormones.
- This is a good thing but to help you sleep you mustn’t work out vigorously for at least 3 hours before bedtime.
- If you have to do some exercise then try yoga or stretching.
- Relaxation techniques & therapies
- The more stimulated the brain is during the day especially the evening the harder it can be to slow down and unwind.
- Practice techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and visualisation of restful places.
- Evening routines
- It is important to relax the body & the brain and you have to almost train it as you do with babies to recongnise the signs of bedime.
- Meditate for 10 minutes
- Have a relaxing hot bath
- Have a cup of hot milk
- Dim the lights & light a few candles instead
- Switch all technology off at least 1 hour before bedtime
- Turn off the TV
- Read a chapter of a good book
- Write a gratitude diary for the day.
- As a parent we know how important it is for children to have a bedtime routine, relaxing bath, warm drink, calm time with a story and a dark room. So why do you think that we are any different once we are adults.
- Downtime from ALL Electronic Devises
- It is recommended the you have 60-90minutes of time without all electrical devises, ipads, phones, laptops etc. before bedtime. This helps to reduce all the emotional noise to the brain. All these electronic advises emit Blue Light which supresses melatonin which helps you to sleep.
I hope you have found these tips useful, please keep in touch on our social media platforms and newsletters throughout March as we celebrate National Bed Month with our Sleep Awareness Month here at Your Cosy Home.
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Thank-you for reading