Did you know that almost three-quarters of the British population sleep less than seven hours per night? And, most nights, the main reason for poor sleep is stress and worry. At Tower Health, we value your sleep, so we’ve compiled five tips that can help you get your fabled ‘eight hours’.
Trust your body’s natural ability
How often do you lay in bed wondering why you’re not able to fall asleep? But this struggle with your sleep can harm your body’s natural ability to get to sleep, which is why you should set some time aside to wind down. For many of us this isn’t as simple as it sounds but making sure you have a sleeping schedule can make a tremendous difference. Practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual can ensure your body falls asleep more easily.
Anxiety and insomnia often get in the way of that ‘winding down’ process, but fortunately experts have found solutions that are proven to be helpful for many. Our Alpha Stim Aid for example, is a clinically proven medical device that relieves anxiety, depression, insomnia and pain using a method called cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). You can use the device in the comfort of your own home, and it helps induce a relaxed feeling of well-being that can make sure you sleep soundlessly throughout the night. Additionally, our Nutriderma Pillow Spray is an organic spray which creates a fresh atmosphere helping you to drift into a deep and peaceful sleep.
Disconnect from your electronic devices
Your smartphone or tablet is probably the first thing your check in the morning and the last thing you look at before going to sleep. However, the exposure to the blue-and-white light of your devices prevent our brains from releasing melatonin — which is the hormone that tells our bodies it’s time for sleep. Most of us are used to having our smartphone handy at all times, which is why it might be a challenge to avoid staring at your screen for too long before going to bed. It has been scientifically proven that reducing screen time can improve your quality of sleep, hence why it’s more reasonable to read a paperback that has been on your to-read list for a long time as opposed to scrolling mindlessly through Facebook. To cut down your screen time you can start by putting your electronic devices in a room other than your bedroom. If that proves to be successful, you can shut off your devices an hour before you go to bed so your eyes can naturally adjust to the dark.
Optimise your sleeping space
The environment you sleep in is very important for ensuring you sleep well through the night. Firstly, you must make sure your bedroom is not too cold, but also not too warm. It’s suggested that the bedroom temperature should be between 15 and 20 °C for optimal sleep. If your room is cool though, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night.
Secondly, your long-term health can be affected when external noise causes poor sleep. Wearing earplugs can be a solution for blocking out those noises. Your partner could also be a main cause of a broken slumber, but fortunately there is plenty you can do to get his/her night-time grunting and snoring under control.
Our mouthguard, TheraSnore is a small and simple to fit device, which is very comfortable to wear. Unlike other snoring devices, TheraSnore allows freedom of movement of the lower jaw so you can breathe more easily and normally. Clinical trials have proven that TheraSnore is up to 93% effective at treating mild to moderate sleep apnoea and loud snoring.
Mind your diet: say no to coffee
Another key factor to improve your quality of sleep is keeping a close eye on what you eat throughout the day. While coffee can give you your much-needed boost to get out of your afternoon dip, consuming caffeine late in the day may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. Besides limiting your caffeine intake, saying no to alcohol can also not only get you to sleep better but also makes waking up in the morning easier. While some say they drop-off to sleep more quickly after a glass of wine, drinking alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle significantly. If you want to drink something that is more beneficial to your sleep, honey and milk might be the best solution for you. These two products have been traditionally used as remedies for insomnia and sleeplessness, and they can do wonders when taken together.
Besides looking at what and when you drink daily, there are also numerous foods that could aid a long and peaceful slumber. Foods that are high in tryptophan and vitamin B6 for example, will help your body produce melatonin. In particular, turkey and chicken contain high levels of tryptophan. Additionally, bananas and leafy vegetables — which are high in potassium and magnesium — help to relax the muscles.
Many researches have shown that getting as little as 10 minutes of exercise can already dramatically improve the quality of your night-time sleep. If you’re able to exercise outdoors, it’s definitely a great opportunity to let your body get its vitamin D levels up by absorbing natural sunlight during daytime hours. Getting the timing right for your workout is different for each individual, so if you’re not a morning person you’re probably better off working out in the late afternoon. Avoid strenuous workouts in the evening, though, as the boost in body temperature that comes with cardio workouts might interfere with falling asleep. However, attending a relaxing yoga class can be the perfect occasion for you to wind down after a long day’s work.
So, thankfully there are plenty of solutions out there that can make sure you get a good night’s sleep. How about sharing your tips for sleeping?