Tips for Sleeping Like a Baby12/05/2016
We’ve all heard how important a good night’s sleep is. Sleep helps repair and detoxify the body. If you’ve been hitting the gym regularly, a full night’s rest is especially important for maintaining all of your hard work. Your body produces growth hormone while you’re sleeping which you need for building and maintaining muscle.
Lack of sleep also plays a toll on your immune system as there is reduced white blood cell activity, which is necessary to keep you from getting sick.
If you’ve been studying hard for an exam, one of the best things you can do to keep all of that knowledge front of mind is hit the hay for a solid 8-9 hours of sleep each night. That’s because our brain is working away while we sleep, repairing the connections between our brain cells that are crucial for memory, cognitive functioning and attention span.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of reasons why we need to get a good night’s sleep. So how can you ensure you’re getting a solid rest? Here are some tips below:
Avoid caffeine past 2pm – This is probably one of the most important tips to follow, especially if you’re very sensitive to caffeine, in which case you may even need to aim for no caffeine past 12pm if you can muster the courage!
Create a sleep schedule and stick to it – Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day (even on weekends!) helps regulate your body’s clock and may help you fall asleep faster and avoid waking up throughout the night.
Create a relaxing bedtime ritual – This might be taking a warm bath, followed by dimming the lights and reading a few pages of a book in bed before you feel sleepy. Whatever you do try and avoid activities that can cause you to get excited (try and forget about that upcoming trip!), stress (make a to do list before you get into bed) or anxiety, all of which can make it tough to fall asleep.
Try a natural remedy – Essential Oils Guide creates a product called Sweet Dreams – Sleep Blend oil that we just love. Infused with Peppermint, Ginger, Rosemary and Coconut Oil, we dab a little on our pillow and are snoring away in no time. Magnesium and Calcium are also natural sleep boosters and can be purchased as vitamins at your local chemist or health food store.
Avoid fluids past 7pm – Wonder why you fall asleep so easily but are suddenly tossing and turning in bed at 3am all the time? It could be because you have the urge to pee but because you’re in a relaxed state you might not recognize it as urgently as you would during the day. Try and avoid drinking anything a few hours before bedtime.
Exercise on the daily – We’ve all heard we should aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day. For a lot of people, exercising too late at night makes falling asleep difficult so if you can, set your alarm an hour earlier and get your sweat on before you go about the rest of your day.
Try some gentle yoga poses – We love the power of restorative inversions before bed. Set your pillow up against the wall or headboard at the top of your bed and lay on top of the pillow with your sit bones at the headboard or wall. Extend your legs up towards the ceiling, keeping the heels stacked over the hips, and rest your head and shoulders against the mattress. The arms can extend by your side, palms facing up to receive the restorative energy that flows into your body with the breath. Here are some more poses you can try.
No electronic devices before bed – starting 30 minutes before you’re ready to hit the hay. ‘Nuff said.
Create a sleeping oasis – Your bedroom shouldn’t be too hot or too cold – aim for between 15 and 19 celsius. Invest in some black out shades to keep light out and maybe even an eye mask. If you live on a busy street, try wearing earplugs or block out sound by creating white noise with a fan.
Comfortable mattress and bedding – Choose a supportive mattress and don’t feel guilty investing in a good quality one because it can last you around 10 years! Organic cotton sheets and pillows may also help if you have sensitive skin, which may keep you up and itching in the middle of the night with other fabrics.
If you struggle falling asleep, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
Your bed is only for sleeping – and sex. No work!