Due to our current climate (COVID-19) and uncertainties in regard to good health and career stability, most people are finding it increasingly difficult to fall or stay asleep. Most common causes usually include stress, anxiety and some medical conditions, and unfortunately this affects sleep duration and quality.
It is extremely crucial to work on getting a good night’s sleep, as sleep is important for good health. Lack of sleep can be linked to various health conditions, ie: diabetes, hypertension, mood disorders (1). Your sleep time is not only responsible for your good mood the next day but this is when your body works through a few processes, such as memory consolidation and restoration of your nervous, immune, muscular and skeletal systems (2). Meaning if you do not get a good nights sleep or you have interrupted sleeping patterns, your body does not get a chance to repair itself from a hard days work.
Below are a few evidence-based tips to help you toward improving the quality and length of your sleep:
Run yourself a nice warm bath before you hit the hay.
A systemic review conducted by the University of Texas has shown that bathing 1-2 hours before your bedtime in water that is 40-42 degrees Celsius can improve your sleep and even shorten the duration of which you fall asleep by 10 minutes (1).
Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Exercise isn’t the first thing that people think about when they think sleep improvement – the available research that we have on sleep disturbance and quality suggests that people participating in exercise is a great therapy for those experiencing poor sleep.
A meta-analysis of six studies displayed that exercise resulted in improvements for adults with sleep problems (2).
So, put on those running shoes and get that exercise train moving! Even starting off with 10 minutes of exercise daily is a great starting point.
Stay off your digital devices one hour prior to bedtime.
Do I really have to give up my Big Bang Theory re-runs? The reason why I say to limit your usage of technology before bed is because your devices emit a blue light. This has been found to delay your body’s internal body clock and suppresses the release of your body’s sleep hormone, Melatonin (3). So try and get yourself into a nightly routine, maybe read a book or practice some meditation or even listen to some soft music before your bedtime, this will help send your body into a more restful state.
Eat for your health.
- Magnesium can be helpful for some individuals as this is a nutrient found to be a natural relaxant and increases your body’s GABA production which encourages relaxation as well as sleep.
Products include: Cabot Health Magnesium, Herbs of Gold Magnesium Night Plus, Fusion Magnesium Advanced.
Food include: nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews), dark leafy greens (kale, spinach), beans and legumes (black beans).
- Reduce caffeine consumption, this can get even the best of us! Due to the increase of hustle and bustle trying to balance work, family and their social lives, more people turn to caffeine to get them through their busy days. And depending on how caffeine sensitive you are, this can have a huge impact on your sleep quality. Everyone’s cut off time for caffeine is different but unfortunately for myself, I cannot have any coffee after 2pm, this will keep me stimulated up until bedtime and in turn, I cannot sleep. Great substitutes for coffee include dandelion tea, kombucha (still contains black tea and may contain a little bit of caffeine), herbal teas, matcha tea, rooibos tea.
Reduce your stress, as stress and anxiety can cause your body to stay in a prolonged fight or flight mode, meaning your body is always in a heightened state. Taking part in meditation, belly breathing techniques and sleep-friendly activities before bedtime can help reduce your stress levels.
If you have any other queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9318 3455 or come visit us in store.
- Division of Sleep Harvard Medical School 2007, “Sleep and disease risk”, accessed on 25th July from <http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk>
- Kline, C.E. 2014, “The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement”, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 8, no. 6, accessed on 25th July 2020 from <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341978/>
- Sleep Foundation 2020, “Why electronics may stimulate you before bed”, accessed on 25th July 2020 from <https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed#:~:text=Here’s%what%20happens