One area of our lives that we can too easily under value is our need for a good quality night sleep. Having a lack of or poor quality sleep can negatively impact many areas of our lives. Most commonly our health, happiness, relationships and ability to function at work.
This issue is like a negative ball, it can build like a snowball rolling down a hill growing bigger as it falls. You can see this as there have been a strong links to sleep deprivation and weight gain, so along with being more susceptible to catching virus’s or colds due to a lowered immune system, if poor sleep becomes a habit this is how you can find your health or stress getting out of control and the lack of sleep impacting many areas of your life.
So there are some really simple things that you can do to make a big difference and depending on how severe or habitual your sleep patterns are, it may take longer for you to feel the impact. I have had great success in doing the following so I really wanted to share how you can improve the quality of your sleep which will improve your life and outlook.
Aim: to get a better quality of sleep – ok so this may seem like a no brainer, but it does not necessarily just mean clocking in the hours. For some it will do… if you are anything like me working full time and looking after a family, it can often mean going to bed after 12am and getting up at 6am so ultimately if this is the case its about priorities and habits. Of course there will be times in your life when you will need to put in more time to work or family but you should aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Try these simple steps to getting a better quality of sleep
1. Light – there has been a lot of research to show that we need total darkness to allow our body and mind to properly switch off. If you are struggling to get to sleep or awakening feeling tired, invest in black out curtains so that you can block all light from entering the room.
2. Unplug from all things electrical- iPhone / TV/ and electrical stimulation at least an hour before you want to sleep – this is probably the most difficult task that I have…. with a new job I have not been sticking to this and I will regularly be on my phone just before sleep. http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2015/03/smartphone_sleep_effects_on_body_and_brain_turn_your_phone_off_before_bed.htm However, when I implemented this for the first time it made an impact along with no.3
3. Remove iphone / ipad from your bedside due to the radiation and or temptation to use 🙂 Move them as far away from your bed as you can. This alone made a huge impact and I did not anticipate how valuable this was. Try it for one night and you will be sold!
4. Caffeine – personally I think caffeine is very personal. I like to switch to decaffeinated in the evening as I love my coffee and I’d easily drink an espresso fully caffeinated an hour before bed and still be able to sleep but from the research Ive done, I’d like to give my body the ability to switch off so I like to choose decaffeinated, if I choose to drink caffeine in the evening.
5. Routine: make your own sleep routine – Now this is my favourite. Its about having a routine that you stick to every night so you can start to unwind and your body can relax into autopilot allowing your mind to turn down and switch off. Your routine can be unique to you and go as far as opening your bed at the beginning of the hour run-down so that its ready to jump into. But personally I like to lower the bedroom lights, switch on an aromatherapy diffuser as I walk around sorting things out in the house and then getting ready for bed then I make a herbal tea and bring a large glass of water. I find that the soft lights, aromatherapy and water helps me to relax.
Let me know how you get on and if you try any of the steps it would be good to hear what results you see.
Have a great day or night and I look forward to seeing you soon!