As our world becomes more digitised and distraction-based - with blue light from our screens and stress being common issues - getting good quality sleep is hard to come by, even if we really try to seek it.
We therefore should train ourselves to get good at sleeping and this comes in the form of creating good sleep habits. These habits can be life-changing. They are very effective at reducing anxiety and they give us the much needed energy and focus we need to take on our day, however challenging it might be.
Here are some of our favourite ways to get better, deeper sleep:
1. Take regular exercise
Exercise naturally de-stresses us and makes us feel great afterwards. It can also wear us out so when it comes to bedtime, we drift off easily.
2. Reduce and manage caffeine
Research shows that the half-life of coffee is around 5 hours meaning that after 5 hours half of the caffeine remains in our bloodstream which can affect our ability to go to and stay asleep. Having coffee early on in our day will help prevent this interference. We use a before midday rule for our coffee intake.
3. Meditate regularly
Meditation is a great way to calm our minds just before bed and get us away from our screens. Just a few minutes will stop our minds racing and prepare us for a good sleep.
4. Always have a cool bedroom
A bad night’s sleep when room or external temperatures are high, is a common problem. A cool bedroom is optimal for good sleep - around 15-22 degrees Celsius or 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit is best for adults but you should adjust to your preference.
5. Avoid alcohol or reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol is terrible for sleep quality and its diuretic properties can keep us up all night. Either avoid it altogether or don’t drink close to your bedtime.
6. Have a regular sleep schedule
This is one of the most overlooked habits but is one of the most powerful. Having a set bedtime and wake up time every day (not just weekdays) allows our bodies to adjust and get used to a habitual sleep schedule.
7. Reduce light and noise
An obvious and easily-achieved habit. Using Night Visor® will prevent light disturbances and help you achieve optimal sleep quality by allowing melatonin (our sleep hormone) to be produced naturally and without interruption.
8. No screens before bedtime
Putting in place a rule of no screens 1-2 hours before sleeping will significantly help regulate sleep patterns. Screens emit blue light which inhibits melatonin production. Furthermore, looking at the content on screens increases our anxiety and therefore our cortisol levels as our brains try to process the myriad of information coming from them. You should try reading a book before bed instead!
9. Get some daylight exposure
Ensuring we get enough vitamin D from sunlight is key to our general health but also proven to help us sleep deeper and longer.
Having some or ideally all of these habits incorporated into our daily routines will make a huge difference to sleep quality and therefore life quality. The power of good sleep really cannot be overstated - it is the best medicine on earth - and it’s totally free.