8 Sleep Hacks from an Architect of Sleep
Sound slumber results in increased energy and productivity, improved health, a better mood, even a longer life. Not to mention the difference in how you feel after a satisfying 8 hours of quality rest. So how do we get to this magical land of rest and REM? Do these 8 things, and I can confidently say your counted sheep will soon be out of a job.
INVEST IN A GOOD MATTRESS- In order to enjoy the best mattress for back pain and restful sleep, make sure you have a great mattress that’s the right mix of comfort and support. The top layer of the mattress must be comfortable as this will help you get to sleep initially and the core layer must be supportive to maintain a good level posture throughout the night. If you sleep with a partner it’s crucial to have a mattress that provides no partner disturbance as many people are sleepers and any movement by the person next to them will wake them up. Look for a mattress that is temperature neutral as the human body releases a lot of heat at night, which can become an issue if body heat is transferred to the mattress and builds up over the course of the night.
KEEP IT COOL- Make your bedroom into a cave – think ‘cool, quiet and dark’. Temperature is a key factor in getting a good night’s sleep, and studies have found the optimal temperature of a bedroom to be between 18 to 23 degrees.
NO DEVICES- Limit or remove technology in the bedroom, especially devices that have a bright screen. TV screens and ‘Blue-Light Emitting’ screens found on smart phones, tablets or laptops are proven to be melatonin depleting. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain that tells the body it’s night and time for bed. By depleting this, the brain starts sending the wrong messages to the body, which can cause trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep during the night.
READ- Read a book (yes an actual book) before bed. Reading is one of the best and most simple ways to relax and clock off from the world. It allows your mind to separate from hustle and bustle of daily life and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
EXERCISE- Maintaining a good exercise regime is crucial to a happy and health life, but try to finish at least 3 hours before bed, this will give your body the chance to cool down. Body temperatures rise during exercise and after strenuous exercise can take as long as 6 hours to begin to drop. Because cooler body temperatures are associated with sleep onset, it’s important to allow the body time to cool off before sleep.
KEEP A ROUTINE- Try to stick to the same bed time routine as much as possible. I know we all live very busy lives, but aim to complete the same routine and get to bed at the same time at least five nights times a week. By doing this you will help your body clock set to when you want it to go to bed, and you will find getting to sleep much easier. It will also allow you to better manage getting the correct number of hours of sleep, which is between 6 to 8 hours a night.
NO BOOZE- Don’t drink Alcohol before bed. You may fall asleep faster after having a few drinks but as the alcohol in your system starts to wear off, you will wake up because your body becomes dehydrated. Alcohol is also a diuretic so it will make you get up and go to the bathroom during the night which disrupts your overall sleep.
LINENS AND THINGS- Use sheets and quilts that are made from natural materials. Natural materials are better for you and more breathable then synthetic materials.
EAT WELL- Dont eat fatty, high carb or sugary food before bed. These foods can be delicious but are not good for you especially if eating them before bed when your body has not had the chance to work them off. These foods will cause your body to work in overdrive to try to digest them, spiking your blood sugar levels and disrupting your sleep. They will also make you sluggish when you wake up.