Prioritizing a good night’s sleep won’t just make you feel better in the morning; getting enough good-quality sleep has been shown to improve your overall health.
From boosting your immune system, to improving executive brain function, and even helping you maintain a healthy weight - quality sleep really is the magic elixir you need.
Chances are, you probably already know that. Chances are, achieving it is something else. The best way to reap the rewards of deep sleep is by making sleep a priority. Try adopting these tiny habits, and start getting that rest you need.
Science says turn your phone off, or keep it in another room at night
Lying in bed scrolling through Instagram, shockingly, isn’t going to help you get a good night rest. It’s not only the sleep time you’ve wasted, but the blue light the phone emits affects your circadian rhythm, and tells your body to stay awake longer. Just put the phone down.
While taking a high impact class in the hour before bed isn’t recommended, getting more exercise during the day will improve your overall sleep quality. You could also try a calmer form of movement in the evening, such as yoga, to get you ready for a good night sleep.
The ritual of a nightly cup of tea
While you should avoid anything with caffeine late at night, certain herbal teas can help improve your sleep. Herbal teas that include ingredients such as camomile can tell your body it is time to wind down. Bel Charlesworth is a Senior Herbal Advisor for Twinings and said that Twinings® Superblends™ Sleep+ tea has been created to help promote relaxation. “It contains calming herbs such as camomile, herbalists’ favourite herb for easing away worries, and we’ve even added Sarsaparilla root, a traditional herbal tonic for times of stress. It also blends beautifully with warming, aromatic cinnamon which can be great for releasing tension and smells wonderfully comforting. Sleep+ also contains Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone found in the body that is important in regulating sleep patterns, all in all making this a perfect part of your bedtime wind-down routine.”
Check the temperature
Most people will sleep best in a cool, dark room. While individual preferences vary, research has shown an ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep is a room around 65 degrees, with the right bedding for the season. In summer use a lightweight blanket in a breathable fabric to avoid overheating, and either switch to a thicker duvet or add an extra layer of warmth with another blanket in colder months.
Go to bed
How many times have you been too tired to leave the couch, and decide to watch just one more episode of that crime show you’re binging? Researchers in the Netherlands have labelled your actions bedtime procrastination - and it’s more common that you think, with up to fifty per cent of us regularly going to bed later than we wanted to. Breaking the procrastination inclination could be one of the biggest changes in the quality of your sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Having a quick 20 minute doze if you’re really unable to keep your eyes open is a good idea (especially if you need to concentrate on driving), but letting yourself have hours of deep sleep during the day is a guaranteed way of ensuring you’ll have less sleep at night. It’s also important to try and go to bed at the same time each night, and yes, wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.