Sleep sounder, sleep better? Yes, Please.
Sleep is essential; it helps us function, allows us to perform our best and aids us in our day-to-day lives.
When sleep is lacking in quality, or we’re not getting enough of it, it’ll start to show. There are numerous factors which will affect our slumber. Technology, stress, work and the inability to draw the day to a close.
According to Matthew Walker, the New York Times bestselling author, “two-thirds of adults fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep” meaning sleep ‘problems’ are more common than we may think.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of unwanted health concerns. Most notably, an increased risk of high blood pressure and a hindered immune system. But it also has a huge effect on our skin. A lack of sleep will increase our inflammatory response causing a loss of hyaluronic acid and collagen, the things we need to keep our complexions dewy, fresh and our skin looking plump.
How do we get those z’s back on track?
Caffeine should be totally avoided after midday. Some days we may feel the need for the afternoon coffee fix, but caffeine has a clever way of staying in the system for up to 14 hours in some cases after drinking.
Sleep will be harder to achieve, and it’ll also cause us to wake up continuously throughout the night – a result of mini withdrawals.
Try non-caffeinated herbal teas as a delicious alternative. Chamomile is especially wonderful in the evenings.
Our environment will have a huge effect on our chances of getting sleep. A messy, cluttered space will cause our minds to stir and worry, making it extremely difficult to relax.
Spend some time tidying the surroundings, ensuring things are put in their place to keep the mind clear and the environment tidy.
Bedding can also impact our sleep quality. Heavy materials that aren’t breathable will increase chances of waking up throughout the night and make it difficult for our bodies to retain a constant temperature.
Choose crisp, cotton or linen sheets to allow the skin to breathe and keep the bedroom at a cool temperature.
It’s not anything new that our screen time can affect our sleep quality. Too much and the hormones we have to encourage the body to relax and fall asleep will be stunted. As a result, we will most likely find ourselves staring at the ceiling a little too long for our liking.
Avoid screens of any sort for at least an hour before bed-time. This includes phones, tablets and television.
A consistent bed-routine is the ultimate way to improve sleep. Getting our kip around the same time every day will drastically improve our routines. It will also encourage the mind to feel sleepy at the same time each evening making the push we need to hit the pillow a little easier to come by.
Avoid sleeping in for too long on days off. If extra time is wanted, try to keep it less than an hour and a half.
Our night time attire will also have a notable effect on our sleep quality. Breathable fabrics are best and like our bed sheets, will ensure our temperature is consistent and comfortable.
Choose the style which will work best with individual needs and weather requirements.
Inputting at least one of these tips will dramatically improve not only our hours of sleep but also the quality.
Sleep should be a priority and with the help of this checklist, “goodnight” will be our new favourite word.
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image, mikael jansson, vogue, july 2016