Whilst many of us know that sleep is essential for good health and happiness, it can be a struggle to make sure we are getting our eight hours of good quality sleep every night. Self-confessed sleep deprived Sadie Reid talks discusses sleep tips with the experts about how we can all be ensuring a better night’s sleep.
Do you Overheat? It could be your mattress…
Memory foam mattresses are amazing at moulding to your body shape and supporting you in all the right places. Yet, quality mattress company, Casper found that the number one complaint from people who own a memory foam mattress is that it can cause their bodies to overheat. Ironically, it is the properties that make memory foam so comfortable that cause the overheating. So Casper set about to change this and make the best foam mattress in the business. “We added a top layer that separates you from the sometimes “clingy” memory foam below. For this, we chose a material that was open-cell allowing air to circulate.” Find out more about Casper’s Memory Foam Mattresses here.
Are you working out too much or not enough?
The National Sleep Foundation found that in general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult. Personal Trainer, Laura Lucas, recommends doing exercise before it gets to the evening as exercise can produce cortisol, which may interfere with your sleep. Sleep.org also reports that athletes may improve their performance by sleeping up to 10 hours per night, because all of that physical activity means that their bodies require more sleep to repair muscles and restore energy.
How much daylight do you get?
Our sleep / wake cycle is largely down to something called a circadian rythym; a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. But in order for your natural sleep cycles to work you need to expose your body to daylight during the day. As, Nutritionist, Madeleine Shaw recently commented on social media – you can have the best wind down routine in the world but if your body has not been exposed to natural daylight during the day it is going to be difficult for it to produce the chemicals it needs to get sleepy.
A nightcap that actually helps…
Having alcohol just before you sleep is never a good idea and will likely interfere with good quality sleep. However, reach for a herbal tea instead and you could find that it has a great effect on your sleep quality. Medical herbalist and Ayurvedic practitioner at Pukka, Jo Webber, says “If you find yourself not sleeping well at night due to your mind being overly active with work worries, or feelings of anxiety and you are often come home feeling agitated by stress, your relationship, commuting,; to help you get into a relax more easily so you can ensure by the time you get to bed, your able to drift off with ease and stay asleep, it’s helpful to start introducing calming and adrenal nourishing herbs like hemp, chamomile, ashwagandha and lavender to reduce muscle tension, soothe nervous system and slow down an active mind. Having a herbal tea when you arrive home or after dinner, and again a couple of hours before you head to bed will help you nod off with ease and stay asleep through the night” Our favourite is Pukka’s organic Night Time latte that contains a soothing blend of organic herbs traditionally used to support relaxation and sleep. These include lavender, which has gentle sedative and tension-releasing properties, and ashwagandha, which has anti-anxiety and sleep-supporting benefits (as indicated by its Latin name Withania somnifera). Also nutmeg, which is a warming spice traditionally used to aid sleep.
It’s not you, it’s me…
Sometimes poor quality sleep isn’t your fault, but is down to your bed-fellow’s habits! Love Coach, Persia Lawson, recommends putting lavender essence oil on your pillows and pulse points before hitting the hay. Persia also suggests never to fall asleep on an argument as it can cause our minds to whirl and result in an interrupted and broken nights sleep. Instead she says always share a kiss before bed!
words by Sadie Reid