Here are my tips to have a really, really, really great nights sleep, and the benefits of doing so.
How much sleep do you need?
Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly. This varies for each individual and depends on what is happening in your life, so find out how much you need and try to achieve it.
Why is good-quality sleep so important?
It’s important for your health and wellbeing, helping you to de-stress, concentrate during the day and learn new things. Sleep helps to boost energy, memory and creativity. It’s also fantastic for your immune system, helping your body recover from illnesses.
How do sleep and mood affect each other?
Sleep allows your mind to unwind and de-stress, helping your mental and emotional wellbeing to be restored. You get more emotional stability with good sleep, which can help prevent depression, anxiety and stress.
How do you get great sleep?
Having a relaxing bedtime ritual where you wind down helps you get great sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. These are my tips to help you get the rest you crave:
In the afternoon…
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol too close to bedtime as they can keep you awake.
- Energetic exercise helps sleep, but not if it’s done too late in the day. So try to do your intense workout by 4pm.
- Take control of your worries. The NHS has some excellent ways to help you deal with everyday stresses.
Three hours before bed…
- Create a relaxing environment by dimming your home’s lights.
- De-clutter your bedroom to subconsciously de-clutter your brain.
- For your evening meal, choose sleep superfoods containing tryptophan (an amino acid that converts to sleep-promoting serotonin in the body). Bananas, walnuts, turkey, sunflower seeds, milk, eggs, cheese, brown rice, chicken and fish are all snooze-friendly.
One hour before bed…
- Have a digital detox. Phone down, TV off, laptop closed. Keep away from the blue light which prevents the sleep hormone from working as effectively.
- Relax with a herbal tea.
- Indulge in a warm (not hot) bath before bed with a calming scented bubble bath, lavender is a good choice. Enhance your bath with these great tips.
Just before getting into bed…
- Keep your phone in a different room, or at least not on your bedside table. Invest in an alarm clock to prevent you scrolling on your mobile during the night.
- Try a few simple, relaxing yoga stretches.
- Have a sleep inducing scent which you associate with bedtime to encourage your body to go into sleep mode. Try Neom’s Scent to Sleep range.
Written by Flora Firth