Are you fed up with tossing and turning all night? Do you wake up feeling tired and irritated every day? 1 in 3 adults report that they’re not getting enough sleep and this lack of shut eye can have detrimental effects on your health. Sleep is becoming a luxury reserved only for a few lucky adults. It may seem like an impossible task in those moments when you’re wide awake at 2am., but you have much more control over the problem than you probably realize. Today we’re sharing our top 5 tips to help improve the quality of your sleep!
- Eat your way to sleep
Your eating habits have a huge impact on your ability to fall asleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can be as simple as making a few minor adjustments to your diet. Reducing your caffeine intake is one of the obvious first steps. Research has shown that even drinking caffeine in the morning can affect your sleep - sorry to our caffeine lovers! When it comes to food, try make dinner earlier in the evening and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. And one last note for our wine lovers - alcohol can also reduce nighttime melatonin production and disrupt your sleep patterns. If you’re really trying to improve your sleep, it might be worth cutting down on alcohol and upping your water intake instead.
- Move your body
We know, it can be hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go for a run or hit the gym, but studies have shown that exercising during the day helps you sleep more soundly at night. In fact, one study in particular showed that insomnia patients got more benefits from running than most drugs. Exercise reduced their time to fall asleep by 55% - what a massive improvement! The harder you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits, but even light exercise, like a short walk, can improve sleep quality.
- Get that golden sleep space
Changing up your sleep environment can have a huge impact, even if it seems like a small adjustment. The key elements to creating the perfect environment include keeping the noise down, maintaining a cool room, blocking out light and making sure your bed is comfortable. Make sure you’re also reserving your bed for sleep, not work! If you often find yourself powering away at your laptop in bed, your brain will begin to associate this place with having to be switched on and in “go mode”.
- Calm your mind
Stress and overthinking can be the biggest thing keeping us awake at night. Try developing a relaxing bedtime ritual to help you prepare your mind for sleep. This could be anything from meditation or listening to music to taking a warm bath or dimming the lights. Give your brain a consistent signal that bedtime is near! Deep breathing can also be helpful when you’re in bed and your mind won’t switch off. Try lying still and breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 2 and then out for 5. Repeat this process and whenever your mind wanders, just bring the focus back to your breathing.
- Try a weighted blanket
We've helped 100s of Kiwi's throughout New Zealand get a better night sleep and feel more relaxed with our weighted blankets. A 2015 study from the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found that a weighted blanket did, in fact, help those with insomnia sleep better. The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket helps CALM excess activity in the nervous system through stimulating the natural release of serotonin, a hormone which helps regulate our sleep wake cycles and internal clocks