Unlocking the secrets to sweet dreams: A 10-point guide for improving your sleep.

Published on 18 November 2023 at 19:04

Welcome to a journey towards better sleep! We all know the value of a good night’s rest, yet so many of us struggle to achieve it consistently. In this blog, we will explore the fascinating world of sleep and provide you with 10 practical tips and insights to help you to improve your sleep quality. Whether you are battling with insomnia or looking to enhance your sleep routine, I have got you covered. So, lets embark on this sleep improvement adventure together and say goodbye to restless nights.

1. Bedtime routine

Optimise your sleep with a bedtime routine after a busy day to signal to your body that it is time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This conditioning makes falling asleep quicker and more predictable. Engaging in calming activities like reading, meditation, journalling or gentle stretches before bed can help to reduce stress and anxiety. This sets the stage for a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep.


2. Consistent bed time.

Consistently going to sleep at the same time every day will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Our bodies have an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which controls our sleep-wake cycle. A consistent bedtime routine helps align your sleep patterns with this natural rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the desired times. It can also improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders.


3. Epsom salt baths or foot soak

Having an Epsom salt bath before bed can help to reduce body temperature, reduce stress and set you up for better sleep. Epsom salts contain magnesium the relaxing mineral. We absorb the magnesium from the salts into our skin and it can help with muscle tension and promote relaxation.


4. Block out the blue light

Blue light affects our sleep- wake cycle because it mimics natural daylight, which plays a critical role in regulating our circadian rhythm, or internal body clock. Blue light exposure can suppress melatonin which is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. Melatonin levels typically rise in the evening, signalling to our body that its time to prepare for sleep. Blue light exposure can delay this process, making it harder to fall asleep. We can block out blue light by wearing blue light blocking glasses, not watching or looking at screens a few hours before bed, dimming lights to red/ orange light, or using candles or fire light and Himalayan rock lights.

5. Blackout your bedroom

To enhance your sleep quality and overall wellbeing, make sure your bedroom is completely blacked out. Use black out blinds as well as curtains, turn off landing lights and hide those LED lights from the alarm clock. Use an eye mask too.


6. Keep devices out of the bedroom

Say goodbye to your phone and leave it downstairs. Turn off electrical devices and move televisions into another room, opt for a fitness tracker that you can put in aeroplane mode like the Oura ring. Did you know that all these electricals can affect your sleep? Not only do these devices contain blue light but the EMFs produced by them can cause several sleep issues. Emfs can cause sleep disruptions, difficulty in falling asleep, restless sleep and cause changes in brain activity which can reduce the overall quality of sleep. Do not sleep in direct exposure to your WIFI router and if you can turn it off overnight, even if it is in another room

 7. Throw away the screaming alarm clock.

Being woken up by a screaming alarm clock is not a good start to the day as it could put you straight into a fight or flight response. This sudden jolt of adrenalin can lead to an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, heightened alertness, a negative mood and increased stress. Get a light clock that mimics the sunrise or choose soothing sounds to wake more naturally.


8. Do not eat 3-4 hours before going to sleep

Give your digestive system a rest and do not eat after your evening meal, preferably 3-4 hours before going to sleep. Digesting food is quite an energy intensive process and so we need time before going to bed for this process to complete otherwise we can suffer with adverse reactions like acid reflux, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, nighttime awakenings, weight gain and it can affect sleep quality. Drink a soothing herbal tea before bed instead such as lavender or chamomile.


9. Be strategic with your caffeine intake

There is caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate, cola and other drinks. Try to be strategic and aim for no caffeine at least 8 hours before bed and so it does not affect your sleep.


10. Note down your wake-up times

in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) it is believed that waking up during certain times can have a significance. The clock shows what organs are active at certain times. If you wake up between 1-3am for example, this is when the liver is most active. You may need to consider ways in which you can support your liver if it is an ongoing problem.

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