Most of us often overlook the importance of sleep. We’d all like to sleep more, but our busy schedules tend to get in the way of that. Whether we’re out all night partying, reaching a work deadline or spending too long in front of the television, these can all have a huge impact on our sleep and ultimately our health. Just as we prioritise things to complete during our days, sleep should also be a non-negotiable priority for us at night.
Sleep is the time when our bodies can recover and refuel from the day. Getting proper rest gives our mind time to unwind, so we can wake up feeling fresh and sharp the following day. Sleep is the time when our body can digest food from the day and heal without any other distractions getting in the way.
Not only is the amount of sleep per night important (recommended 7-8 hours per night), but also the timings of our sleep. As humans, it is in our nature to sleep at sunset and wake at sunrise. Although this may not fit in with our modern Western lifestyle, getting enough shut up earlier in the night can actually help you to fall into a deeper state of sleep.
However it can be difficult for a lot of us to even fall asleep in the first place. So we have put together some of our favourite tips on how to sleep like a baby, without the artificial help of sleep pills…
Less light: Avoiding artificial lights and screens at least 1 hour before bed can have a huge impact on the amount we sleep. Instead of watching hours of television, catching up on emails or mindlessly scrolling through your phone, try to set some boundaries between you and your electricals before bedtime. This also includes indoor bright white lights too. A couple of hours before bed, try to dim the lights in your room to help your body prepare for sleep. Try soft lighting, even coloured lamps, to create the perfect night time mood.
Bedtime rituals: Start practicing some positive nighttime rituals. You can try taking an epsom salt bath with lavender essential oils, try a body check meditation, read a book, drink camomile tea or even have a relaxing oil massage. All these rituals help you get into a relaxed mindset to be perfectly prepped for sleep.
Timing is everything: Prioritising timing into your routine can also be beneficial. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps to set your body clock into a natural rhythm… so, your alarm clock will soon become redundant!
Sunlight: Exposing yourself to enough sunlight during the day actually to encourages deep sleep during the night. Natural sunlight helps to increase your sleep hormone melatonin. So when it becomes time for sleep at night, your body will be well prepared for a long nights sleep ahead.
Setting these kind of boundaries, adding in these nighttime rituals and getting into a set routine will not only help you fall asleep more easily, but will also help you stay asleep throughout the night.