Sleep is probably the most important aspect in maintaining a healthy immune system, a healthy mind and a healthy body. Most studies suggest to try and get 8-9 hours of sleep per night, but how much do we really get? Especially at the moment, many of your sleeping schedules might be out of whack… mine definitely is that’s for sure.
So we have compiled a list of ‘sleep hacks’ to help you achieve a decent night's sleep, even just a few small changes can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep.
Avoid Drinking or Eating Just Before Bed
Eating a heavy meal just before bed can be harmful to your body and can affect your sleep quality. By eating a meal prior to bed your body will attempt to digest, impacting your ability to fall asleep and can leave you staring at your ceiling at all hours of the night. Hitting the sack right after enjoying a tasty meal can often lead to heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux according to Mayo Clinic. Lying down straight after consumption loses the effect gravity has on your body during digestion and can cause the gastrointestinal juices within to travel back up the esophagus. 🤢🔥
Create a Sleep Routine
Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. This shocks your body into a routine and also helps avoid those sluggish mornings where you just want to hit snooze on your alarm ten times over. Creating a sleep cycle helps maintain your body's internal clock allowing you to fall asleep and wake up easier.
Lavender essential oils are just one natural sleep aid that can help shake up your evening routine and improve the quality of your sleep. Studies show that lavender has a variety of therapeutic properties that help calm and relax the body and it is also a known anxiolytic (anxiety reliever). Diffusing or rubbing lavender oil on your pillow at night can help you wind down before bed and induce relaxation, this allows the scent to linger whilst you sleep.
Power Down Before Bed
Winding down before bed can sometimes become quite difficult as you are caught up watching the latest Netflix series or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. By reducing screen time by at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime can greatly improve your sleep. Your laptops, TVs and mobile phones emit blue light which has been shown to impact the quality of your sleep and can leave you feeling groggy in the morning. By switching off from your electronic devices and meditating before bed can help you calm the mind, body and reduce insomnia promoting overall relaxation. Meditation can trigger many psychological benefits which can initiate sleep by influencing many of your body's natural processes such as an increase in melatonin. Did you know that the blue light your screens emit can actually interfere with your body's melatonin production?
Vitamin D - Get some sun during the day
Studies have linked Vitamin D to improved sleep quality and sleep quantity, researchers have also identified Vitamin D receptors on the brain that are linked to sleep control. So by enjoying some time out in the sun each day and getting the sunshine vitamin can greatly improve your sleep cycle. Low levels of Vitamin D within the blood can lead to poor sleep quality, reduced sleep time and a higher risk of sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
By just adopting a couple of new bedtime routines can greatly improve the quality of your overall sleep as well as your immunity, health and wellbeing.