How to get a good night’s sleep is perhaps the question that is most vital to your health and well-being. A good sleep is essential for your health and well-being and for boosting your natural healing process. It is nature’s best medicine and provides us with replenishment and rejuvenation. Sleep is one of the most vital components in everybody’s life.
Sleep repairs and heals. If you don’t get enough sleep, it’s difficult to live a healthy, functional lifestyle. Lack of sleep affects our mood, our short-term memory and our concentration levels. It can quickly unravel our good temper and make our problems appear insurmountable.
Here are 6 excellent TIPS to change your daily routine to help you get more quality sleep.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
“We are such stuff as dreams are made of and our little life is rounded in a sleep.”William Shakespeare
Our world is full of rhythms that regulate us, like the seasons, the tides, and the rising and setting of the sun. Internally we follow a rhythmic pattern also – and our sleeping and waking is regulated by our circadian rhythm or clock, which regulates our sleep-wake cycles each day.
Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. It is very helpful to make a habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Your body will respond with a need to sleep. It is also good to try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour so that your natural sleep pattern is not disturbed much.
2 Create a wind-down routine
It is very helpful to have a wind down routine before bedtime to separate the busyness of your day from a restful night. Unplug from your phone and computer.
“Some people can’t sleep because of insomnia. I can’t sleep because I have internet.”
Creating a little night time ritual to separate day and night can have a powerful effect. Taking time for yourself is the ultimate in self-care.
Before you go to bed read something worthwhile. As the Dutch philosopher Erasmus says:
“Before you sleep, read something that is exquisite and worth remembering.”
Pamper yourself with little luxuries. Soaking in a bath with lavender oil and candles creates a lovely wind-down time. This can can be a great help in cooling your body temperature and relaxing you to promote better sleep. Play with the cat. Then pick up your beautiful silk eye mask as you head off to the bedroom for a great night’s sleep.
3. Create a restful environment
Create a bedroom that is ideal for sleeping. This means dark and quiet. Light is the most powerful regulator of our sleeping waking rhythms. In the presence of light, our brain reduces the production of melatonin and we become more alert and wakeful.
All artificial light emitted from T.V. screens, computer screens, tablets and smartphones, which is rich in blue light, can suppress the production of melatonin. Try to avoid exposure of this kind before bedtime to induce an atmosphere of calm.
Our brain secretes the sleep hormone melatonin when we experience darkness. Scientists have discovered that dark sleeping conditions lead to increased time in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and decreased wakefulness.
Exposure to all sources of light leaking into your bedroom can make it more challenging to fall asleep. Recent studies have linked even tiny amounts of light in the bedroom to depressive symptoms in adults.Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep disorder specialist at the Mayo Clinic, says that a good night’s sleep starts with developing good habits.
If you’re often woken by light, noises and disturbances around you – a silk sleep mask can really help. This is because when your brain senses complete darkness it causes the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone – and will increase the amount of REM sleep.
Try one of our silk eye masks. It will feel cool and comforting on your eyes and encourage deep relaxation. It’s generous fit will provide a complete blackout.
4. Create a cool sleeping environment
Our body temperature fluctuates throughout the day and night. The decline in body temperature that occurs during the night is essential for a deep sleep to occur. However, if we become overheated, this can disturb the cycle of deep sleep and cause us to be restless and wakeful.
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase can be very helpful. Silk Gifts has a collection of pillowcases in100% silk which is a breathable fabric that maintains your body temperature at a steady level as you sleep. It is thermo-regulatory, which means it adjusts to your body heat to ensure a deeper night’s sleep.
Taking a bath before bed can also be a great help in cooling your body temperature and relaxing you to promote better sleep.
5. Include physical activity in your daily routine
We’re all familiar with the afternoon slump, a sleepiness that can descend after lunchtime – Our circadian clock which regulates our sleep patterns has a natural dip 6 or 7 hours after we wake in the morning so it’s natural to feel a bit sleepy. Make time to step outside for some fresh air. Spending time in nature every day is very helpful. It sets you up for a good night’s sleep.
While it is well documented that regular physical activity during your day can promote better sleep, it is advised to avoid vigorous exercise close to bed time.
However, simple stretches and meditative movements before bed can greatly improve your sleep experience. They release tensions built up in your body during the day, especially if you have spent a lot of time on a computer. They release calming hormones and quiet down the nervous system
The Irish Times recommends a short routine of stretches that can be a calming transition before bedtime.
6. Manage your worries and stress
The reason that we find falling asleep and staying asleep difficult is because we bring anxiety and worries to bed with us.
We often bring anxiety to bed with us and this can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks.
Meditation is a powerful tool to ease anxiety.It can create an instant sense of calm and creates a barrier to remove you from the stresses of life.
In conjunction with this, a lovely silk eye mask is invaluable to block out stimuli and create an instant darkness to soothe you and help you sleep.
Listen to soothing music, which is a great healer. You might like to listen to Max Richter’s Sleep album. This powerful music conjures up a deep state of calm and is a meditative respite from the chaos of modern living.