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How To Get A Good Nights Sleep
You’ve heard it all before. Sleep is essential for your wellbeing, your health and even your waistline. But you’re busy, manic, in fact you’re amazed that you squeeze sleep into your schedule at all – even more during the Festive Season! When was the last time you enjoyed a deep restful slumber each night? It’s clear, all too many of us could do with a helping hand in falling into a sound sleep each night. So let’s get to it…
You’re sleep deprived and here’s how I know…
It’s been reported that nearly a third of us suffer from insomnia. However you needn’t fall into this extreme category in order to be sleep deprived. In fact, you’re almost certainly sleep deprived if you:
- Always need an alarm clock to wake up
- Constantly hit the snooze button
- Struggle to get out of bed in the morning
- Feel sluggish in the afternoon
- Get sleepy during meetings
- Fall asleep while watching TV in the evenings
- Feel the need to sleep-in later at weekends
The impact of sleep deprivation
Way too many of us simply accept too little sleep as a part of life. You shouldn’t. If you’re feeling any of these side effects, it’s time to take action:
- Fatigue, lethargy and lack of motivation
- Moodiness and irritability
- Reduced creativity and problem solving skills
- Inability to cope with stress
- Reduced immunity, frequent colds and infections etc.
- Concentration and memory issues
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more
A firm foundation of sleeping hours…
Before we jump into my fast-fire tips for sound slumber let’s cover the basics of sleep – First, the optimum amount of sleep you ought to be getting is between 7½ to 9 hours of sleep every single night.
Second, your body follows a sleep/wake cycle as according to day and night, known as the circadian rhythm.
Third, and beyond, you first enter a light sleep, followed by back and forth ‘deep restorative sleep’ known as REM – this is when your eyes flicker and you experience dreams. This cycle runs for about 90 minutes, and will be repeated 4 to 6 times throughout the night. This explains why you might wake up feeling bright, breezy and ready to go at 5AM, only to fall back to sleep and wake feeling groggy and fuzzy come 6AM.
You can avoid this by setting your alarm so your sleep fits in 90 minute multiples – for example, if you go to bed at 11pm set your alarm for 6.30am (7 ½ hours of sleep – 5 sequences of 90 minutes) rather than at 7am (8 hours sleep).
12 quick tips for super deep, rejuvenating sleep
- Get rid of any tech at least an hour before bedtime – mobile and computer screens emit body-tricking blue light, the same type of light as we see in the morning. You can see the problem here!
- Indulge in consistency – sleep for the same hours each day (as far as possible).
- Create a super dark space (hello blackout curtains!) – This is essential for melatonin production.
- Keep the tablets, laptops and phones out the bedroom (it’s tough, I know, but the difference it makes can be pretty amazing).
- Keep the room temperature cool to warm, not hot – your body temperature falls during sleep, and it’s best for your slumber if the room and your body are in sync.
- Avoid shocking yourself silly with an alarm clock that blasts you out of bed – ideally use a natural sunrise alarm that gradually awakens you.
- Ban work and TV watching from your bedroom space – re-imagine this area as somewhere for R and R only.
- Put a halt to caffeine intake from the afternoon onwards.
- Get into a healthy routine of exercise – just be sure that it’s not too close to bedtime, as your heart rate needs some time to slow down.
- Limit your alcohol intake – even a drop can stop your body from entering the deep sleep ‘REM’ stage.
- Create the ultimate wind down routine for depressurising – this could involve reading, writing a journal, meditating or listening to music.
- Try a little lavender essential oil spritzed on your pillows – it’s been shown to calm the nervous system and aid sleep.
And finally – if you’re struggling with a busy mind, try this once lying down… Focus on your feet, relaxing them completely. Move your focus up your calves and thighs, to your back, arms, fingers, neck, head, face and jaw… all the while relaxing each area completely. Take your time and focus on this and this alone. Repeat if necessary (although I’ve a feeling you’ll be fast asleep before getting so much as half way through!).
The Night Time Formula
If you’re lacking some of the many minerals that assist sound sleep then all the sleep-savvy tips in the world may not create a healthy sleep routine. Night Time Formula contains calcium, magnesium and zinc – three critical minerals necessary for a body that welcomes sleep. You’ll also benefit from the bone boosting qualities of calcium, the heart-loving mineral that is magnesium and the immune-bolstering advantages of zinc.