We all experience difficulties sleeping at some stage in our lives. Poor sleep quality can be the cause of stress, anxiety, irritability, lack of concentration, low energy, mood swings and might eventually lead to burnout. Considered that a restful night plays a massive role in regulating our physical and mental health, getting the right amount of shut-eye is important.

If you’ve been having difficulty sleeping for a couple of months, it’s time to take some action. We’ve compiled a list of simple tips to improve the quality of your sleep in order to boost your health and wellbeing

TIPS TO SLEEP BETTER

Exercise

Don’t exercise late at night (but DO exercise) – evening workouts make it harder for your body to unwind as endorphins are released. Try to do your last workout around 7pm.

Caffeine

Limit your intake of caffeine to mornings only. Remember most teas also contain caffeine. Stick to the ones that specifically say ‘decaffeinated’. Chamomile tea is regarded as a great sleep-inducer. Have a cup 30mins before you go to bed.

Digital Detox

We keep coming back to this one, and for good reason. Besides creating general restlessness and telling your brain to ‘stay awake’, the blue wavelengths from the screens of your gadgets can mess with your melatonin production (the sleep hormone) which results in less shut-eye. Bedrooms should have a strict ‘no-phones’ policy. Use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone, and avoid screen time after 7pm.

 


Bedroom rules

Don’t work in your bedroom, and especially not in bed. Relax before bed – either with a warm bath/shower, a good book or by meditating. Doing a ‘body scan’ is an excellent way to relax your muscles. You can find guided body scan meditations on the Insight Timer app.

Consistency

Wake up every morning at the same time to create a consistent sleeping pattern. If you’re travelling, read our tips on managing jet lag to get you quickly into the swing of your new time zone.

Don’t worry

If you can’t sleep, don’t look at the clock or ‘worry’ about not being able to sleep. It will only cause anxiety. Instead, get up and read a book or listen to some calming music with a warm cup of decaffeinated herbal tea until you feel sleepy. Some gentle stretches or lying over a yoga bolster will also do wonders.

Light

Make sure you get plenty of daylight throughout your day as this helps with the production of melatonin at night. After dinner, dim the lights in your living room or bedroom to let your body adjust to night-time. When sleep calls, turn off ALL lights in your house and make sure your curtains or blinds block out any street or moon light. Even the smallest hint of light can mess with your melatonin release.

Sab is the founder of Retreat Here – she organises luxury group retreats and helps wellness professionals plan their own retreats.

 

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