We all know that sleep is important. It’s when we get the chance to rest and recover from the day and prepare for the next one. Despite its importance, many of us don’t get as much as we need - in fact some people only sleep for five hours a night! The less sleep you have, the more likely you are to be overweight or obese, which can lead to serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer down the line. A lack of sleep also makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, putting you at risk of developing a cold or flu virus.
It takes about 6-8 hours for most people to experience the full health benefits of sleep. By sleeping less, you are putting your physical and mental health at risk. The good news is that there are ways to improve your sleep hygiene naturally and help swing the odds in your favour of getting some good quality shut eye! Here are some great ways for improving your sleep quality...
1. Have a solid bedtime routine
Establishing a set bedtime routine is important. A bedtime routine helps us wind down and relax in order to drift off and sleep more soundly throughout the night. Try taking a hot bath, reading, stretching or meditating - whatever relaxes you the most at night. This will help you transition from being awake to falling asleep.
2. Establish a sleep schedule (and stick to it religiously)
You may have heard that it’s important to have a sleep schedule, well it is! Going to sleep at different times on different days stresses your body out and can make it hard to get into a pattern of regular shut eye. The idea of having an actual bed time allows your body to feel tired at the same time every night. Your sleep schedule should involve getting up at the same time every morning too. You should aim for 8 hours of sleep every night, but if you only get 6-7 hours on some nights it’s not the end of the world. Everyone is different and only you can know what your body needs!
3. Keep your room dark
Dim the lights in your room an hour before bed so that your body thinks it is sleep time. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle (known as your circadian rhythm) and it’s affected by light. This hormone tells your body that it’s time for bed. Having too much light in the room, especially before bed, can cause melatonin levels to drop - this means you won’t feel tired! Use black-out curtains or an eye mask to block out any sunlight or street lights and create a dark sleep environment.
This also means avoiding the use of your phone or any other tech at least an hour before bed - screens emit blue light which tricks our bodies into thinking it’s daylight, making us less sleepy. There are special glasses you can wear which block out blue light, if needed.
4. Keep the room cool
Having a cooler room (around 16-20 Celsius) can help you feel more tired at bedtime. This is because our body's sleep thermostat is set to ‘around’ this temperature and cool temperatures tell our bodies it's bedtime. So, try to make your bedroom around this temperature if it isn't already.
5. Keep your bedroom quiet
Research found that people slept better in bedrooms with no noise or at least 25 decibels of background sound. This makes complete sense as you want the only sounds in your room to be coming from your breathing and your snoring! Use earplugs to try and block out the noise.
6. Cut down on caffeine
Cutting out caffeine is especially important later in the day as it takes around 6 hours for half of the caffeine in our bodies to be metabolised. Try not to have any caffeine after 2pm so that it won’t affect you in the evening when you’re trying to wind down for bed!
7. Get some exercise, but not too close to bedtime!
We all know that exercise is good for us - it boosts our mood and can help us sleep better. However, the timing is important too! You don’t want it to be right before bed as this can make you feel more awake and your body won’t want to go to sleep. Aim for exercising between 3-5pm at the latest if insomnia issues are what brought you here.
Getting enough sleep is really important for our health and well-being. Not getting enough makes us grouchy, unfocused, and unhealthy - we all know how hard it is to drag ourselves through the day when we don't get enough sleep! Luckily, you can start improving your quality of sleep with the changes above.
If you've been making these changes for a couple weeks and haven’t noticed an improvement, why not try the all natural sleep aid, Rejuvenate - Night Time Blend. Made with a calming blend of 5 immune-boosting mushrooms and Shoden Ashwagandha, Rejuvenate helps you fall into a deeper, more restful sleep, allowing your mind and body to unwind and recover from the day’s stressors. Rejuvenate is for you if you want to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed.
*Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely intended as a sharing of knowledge and ideas based on research conducted by our team. It is not intended as medical advice nor as a substitute for consulting with your doctor or health care provider. All readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or any outcomes related to the use of this information. As always, consult with your health care provider before taking supplements of any kind.