When it comes to sleep, we know it's important - we've been told since we were little that 8 hours is a must to function properly; but what happens if you struggle to actually fall asleep ?
In today's post I'm covering my top 5 sleep hygiene practices, that will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and also wake feeling refreshed.
Before we dive in, here's a little reminder of just how important it is to get a good nights sleep. While we are sleeping, our brains are processing a lot of the information we learnt or experienced during the day; new connections are being formed within the neurons, and this relates to how well we are able to learn and remember information. Getting enough sleep will aid you in decision making, creativity and help you pay attention.
When deficient in sleep, these things become a problem.
As a naturopathy student the connection between our minds and bodies is something we think about often - so when you're sleep deficient the effects play out in your physical health as well. Long periods of sleep deficiency have been linked to obesity, and therefore higher risks of diabetes, stroke, kidney disease and more.
Now for my sleep hygiene practices - to prevent any of these things from occurring, and allowing you the sleep you deserve.
1. No phone / screens in the bedroom - the artificial light from these reduces your production of melatonin ( the hormone controlling you wake / sleep cycle ) ; because of this, if you have trouble falling asleep at night you might want to try having an hour of no screens before even getting in to bed.
2. Reduce Caffeine intake - the amount of caffeine tolerated is different in every person, but if you find yourself lying awake staring at the ceiling, consider lowering the amount you have / and or stop consuming your caffeinated beverages a little earlier. Caffeine has a half life of 5 - 6 hours; this is how long it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug. Again, everyone is different - some people will be fine having a coffee right before bed.
3. Have your last meal at least 2 hours before bed - this just allows some digestion to take place before you lie down. Getting into bed with a full, heavy stomach may be the reason you cant get to sleep. This tip relates more to waking during the night, and waking up feeling like you are refreshed ! If your body is digesting a large meal all through the night, it can't focus as much on healing and restoring the body for the next day ( ie. your heart and blood vessels ).
4. Have a night time routine - if you've followed us for a while, you know that routines are a staple for us at Lavender & Co. What you include in this is up to you, but it should include things that help you switch from awake, to feeling ready to doze off. Some of our favourite things to include: self care skincare, aromatherapy, gentle yoga flows, reading a chapter, taking a bath, and making an herbal tea ( Calm works wonders for promoting sleep, as the herbs aid in melatonin production )
5. Set the mood in your boudoir - make sure your room is dark, has had fresh air during the day, and is clean and tidy. A cluttered bedroom can make you feel anxious, restless and not in the mood for dozing off. Leave your work outside of the bedroom, and make this a space for intimacy and sleeping only. If the energy in your room doesn't feel calm, quiet and peaceful - consider giving it a good cleanse.
That's it for my top 5 sleep hygiene tips - I hope you found this blog post of use, and if you struggle with sleep; leave a comment down below.