“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” - Thomas Dekker
A third of a person’s life is spent sleeping, and yet one in three British people suffer from poor sleep. Sleep is as critical to our wellbeing as food, water and shelter, which is why we often hear about the importance of a healthy sleep routine and the risks of missing out on a good night’s sleep. Rather than discussing the detrimental downsides if we are missing out, we are taking this opportunity to suggest practical changes to your nightly routine.
When we have a lot on our mind a solid night’s sleep can be easier said than done. However, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference.
Just eight hours of healthy sleep improves our cognitive performance. It not only helps us preserve memories made during the day, our attention and concentration will also feel the benefits when we wake up, as they are sharper. Waking up after a replenishing rest can actually leave us feeling energised for the day ahead, which can contribute just as much to general mental feelings of positivity as well as its physical benefits.
Proper sleep helps us maintain a healthy weight. We frequently invest in ensuring we exercise regularly and eat healthy but getting a good night’s sleep is just as essential a part of looking after your health. So, how can we ensure we optimise our chances of a night routine that is not just healthy, but restorative?
Fuel Up, to Wind Down
It is true that we should avoid eating large meals, or drinking caffeine before we are about to go to sleep, but what about adding things to our diet that may help us drift off?
As we want to wind down from the chaos of the day, Blockhead Calm Mints help to block out all distractions and focus our minds on rest. Their natural ingredients help us switch off, relax and sleep. A key ingredient, Niacin, contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. After we have had a Calm Mint, and just before we are about to go to bed, why not try the ultimate bed drink: Snoooze? Snoooze is an all-natural herbal drink, that promotes sleep onset and supports our natural sleep cycle. Using a carefully selected combination of Valerian, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, Lime Blossom, Hops & Peppermint and Californian Poppy, Snoooze ensures we benefit from the vital sleep hours at the end of every day, to begin the next day even better. What’s more, we can choose between Snoooze Regular, and Snoooze Strong, for those nights where we need a little more help.
Getting in the Zone
Healthy sleep is just as much about the quality of rest than the quantity of hours. This is why sleep meditation can help create the inner conditions needed for a high quality night of rest. By settling the mind, we rest our bodies, and it is that restfulness that makes it so much easier to wind down. We use the app Headspace, which is not just promoting meditative mindfulness, but is also leading the research behind advancing meditation practices. Using their Meditation for Sleep helps to lower our heart rate and encourage slower breathing, thereby increasing the prospect of a quality night’s sleep.
One big problem area for a lot of people is artificial light, which mimics natural light and in turn keeps us from naturally drifting off. The best thing for sleep is to eliminate all light possible. This can be done by avoiding screens. However, many of us like to check our phones in bed, and our Night Time Sleep Hacking Glasses by TrueDark now allow us to prepare our body for that great night of sleep, while filtering out 98% of the harmful light that keeps us awake.. We can still see to read, watch television, or go on our phones, but the glasses trigger our sleep hormones to shift to night mode. When our heads hit the pillow, we will fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling energised from our night of sleep.
Creating the Perfect Environment
A variety of external and internal factors can dramatically alter our sleep quality. Even slight changes can leave us feeling more energised, excited for the day, and relaxed about returning to bed without fear of losing sleep. Because of this, our bedrooms should be a sanctuary from the strains of the day. Therefore, creating the perfect nighttime environment can be really beneficial for our quality of sleep. Our LectroFan Micro Wireless Speaker by Sound of Sleep does just that. As we bed down, we can simply switch it on and drift to sleep with the comforting sleep sounds which are designed to relax our minds. It’s transportable size means we never have to go without it, even when travelling, to ensure consistency in our healthy and energising sleep routine.
Relaxation at bedtime and in bed is crucial, as sleep is not something best forced. Our advice therefore targets both the mental and physical state before bed, and the hours where we are resting. No matter how tricky the transition is from restless nights to restful sleep, it is always worth focusing on sleep as an area that can boost our physical and mental wellness.