Getting a good night sleep doesn’t just happen on its own. The perfect set up starts way before you even don your PJs. Preparation is key to sleeping well and it can start as early as walking through your front door from work. You’ve got to lay the groundwork and foundations to be able to slip in to a deep slumber so below we’ve shared some lifestyle hacks that you can incorporate into your evening routine that will give you a deeper more restorative night’s sleep.
Avoid caffeine after 2pm
We lied… getting a good night’s sleep starts during the day, not just when you walk through your front door! Caffeine is a huge stimulant that has a sole purpose of giving you more energy (or making you FEEL like you have more energy). Put simply, caffeine blocks your sleepy receptors; masking any tiredness you are experiencing. This can be helpful in getting you through a long meeting or a sweaty gym sesh but too much caffeine can cause huge problems for your sleep. The ideal scenario would be to cut out caffeine full stop… there’s just no reason why we need it in our diets. If, however, you just can’t live without it, then we highly recommend sipping your last cup no later than 2pm. This will give your body enough time to process the caffeine for it not to affect your sleep.
There are many reasons why one might have trouble falling asleep but not getting enough exercise could be a major component in your struggles to slipping into a deep slumber. Exercise is not only a fundamental part of living a healthy lifestyle and a way of keeping our bodies in check… it’s also crucial for helping us sleep. The amount of people who spend their days at a desk has increased dramatically over the decades and when you live a pretty much sedentary life, you need to balance it out with some form of movement. How can you possibly feel tired after a day at your desk where you’ve hardly moved? Our bodies were not designed for desk life so making time to work up a sweat is essential in releasing energy. Some people suit evening workouts, as they tend to feel more tired afterwards, whereas others prefer morning sessions so trial out both and see what works better for your body.
Get some air
When you get home from work, head straight to your bedroom and open a window. Circulating your sleeping space with fresh air is so important and can really help your bid to getting a better night’s sleep. If you can, we’d recommend sleeping with the window open all night but if for noise, weather or safety reasons you can’t, getting at least a few hours of air circulation in the evening will be hugely beneficial. No one wants to breathe in stale air!
Set a technology curfew
Yea, we know you’ve probably heard this before but we’re going to say it anyway… set a technology curfew! If you’re a serial Instagram checker or email responder, this one particularly applies to you! Harmful blue light from devices such as phones, laptops TV’s etc suppress the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, so getting in to the habit of a tech curfew will stand you in good stead. We suggest aiming for calling it quits on the tech one hour before you plan on hitting the pillow. Our advice? Work yourself up to an hour slowly, starting with 20 minutes and gradually increasing the time. You’ll be far less susceptible to getting separation anxiety from your beloved electricals!
Create an electronic-free zone
Staying on the same vein as above, make your bedroom an electronic-free zone, if you haven’t already. Your sleeping area should be a relaxing haven where you can feel calm and peaceful. Don’t get us wrong, we love a Netflix series just as much as you, but keep that to the living room area! We also recommend not using your phone as your alarm as you’ll be tempted to keep it close to hand. Instead use a traditional alarm clock or even a Lumie Light which wakes you up with an increasing light (mimicking a sunrise effect).
Get familiar with magnesium flakes
Make your evening bubble bath go one step further with magnesium flakes! Readily available at most health food stores, these little flakes can really help relax your mind and body. When bathed in, magnesium flakes are absorbed into the skin, helping to top up our magnesium levels, which in tern, can help us, drift off quicker and more easily. This is a habit our Retail Editor, Louise, swears by! We love these BetterYou Magnesium Flakes!
Your mattress matters
With everything we’ve mentioned above, let’s not forget your bed itself! Your sleeping area (your mattress specifically) is essential for a great night’s sleep and something you shouldn’t overlook. There are so many different considerations you need to take into account when choosing your mattress… the size of your bed, your natural sleeping position, whether you have a partner sleeping in bed with you, the list goes on. They say you should switch up your mattress every 8 years (sometimes it can be less… you be the judge) so if you’re in the market for a new one, Mattress Man is definitely the best place to shop for variety and British-made products. Whether you love nothing more than to sink into a soft mattress or you like your bed firm and supportive, their free next day delivery will mean you can be sleeping soundly in no time.
The final thing you should tick off your best night sleep check-list is stretching. Sometimes, even built up tension from a heavy workout can affect your sleep so using up those last few minutes before the lights go out to ease your muscles is something we’d highly recommend. We love a good foam rolling session before bed too, to release muscular tension in our upper bodies, especially after a warming bath. It also opens up the opportunity to get in some deep breathing, which will work wonders in making you feel relaxed and ready to get some shut-eye.