Hey! Mr Sandman, bring me a dream…
Hey! Mr Sandman, bring me a dream…
We all love to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed, so there are the obvious things such as avoiding scary movies, making sure your bedroom is dark and the room temperature is right, or cutting exercise just before bedtime. But what do you do if you’re still tossing and turning? In that case Mr Sandman may need to work a little bit harder, but beware! There may be certain habits, that you’re unconsciously repeating which could be damaging your sleep and sleep quality.
So the helmii team have pulled together our top sleep tips, which have also been recommended by The Sleep Council.
- Ban caffeine
Caffeine is a strong stimulant that will keep you awake and its effect can last for hours. Just one cup of coffee even a few hours before bedtime can be the cause of your sleeplessness or you not getting a deep quality sleep. However there is caffeine in many other drinks and foods, not just in your coffee or your favourite cup of tea. Try to avoid taking in caffeine after 4pm and monitor yourself over a period of 2 weeks. It’s also adviseable to stay away from caffeine after lunch!
- Eat right!
Eating big, heavy meals right before bedtime is best avoided as your overfilled stomach will disturb your sleep and it may also increase your body temperature, which will in turn, affect your sleep quality. But beware, don’t eat too little either, as your body needs the nutrients in order to repair its cells, and hunger may also keep you awake or wake you up during the night. Snacks such as bananas are perfect if you feel hungry right before bedtime, a little known fact is that bananas contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that your body uses to make the calming hormone serotonin. Bananas also contain magnesium, which is known to be “nature’s tranquiliser” as it helps your body to calm the mind and relax your muscles.
- Chill Out!
Many experts say that a chilled bedroom makes for the best sleep, with research and tests reinforcing this statement. During the night, your body is regulating its temperature within your sleep cycles. If it is too hot in your room, and you are also covered by a blanket, your body temperature may rise more than you need it to and this could cause sweating and discomfort. So, to be completely comfortable keep your room chilled and cool. The ideal temperature is 18.5 degree Celsius (as recommended by The Sleep Foundation).
- Switch it off!
If you really need to send out that last email, or update everyone in your social media, then make sure it happens before 8pm. Any interaction with mobile devices afterwards may get your mind working overtime, making it harder for you to actually fall asleep. It is also highly recommended that you switch to silent or even turn off your phone completely, so there is no noise or vibration disturbing you as you sleep. Finally get yourself a real alarm clock & get ready to wake up feeling fresh and happy!
- Tune in!
Try listening to soothing and calming meditation music right just before bedtime, as this will get you in the right frame of mind for sleep, it will also allow you to calm your mind and body; removing any stress elements that you went through during the day so you can unwind in a harmonious frame of mind. There is lots of evidence that relaxing music or music that you enjoy reduces anxiety and lowers your blood pressure.
- Pillow picker!
Often underestimated, but proven to be an essential part of your quality sleep is the right pillow. The perfect pillow must provide adequate support for the neck and head in order to keep your spine in line with your neck. The Sleep Council advises you to use a soft, fairly flat pillow in order to achieve the spine alignment. If you sleep on your stomach or you are a side sleeper, you should use a medium soft pillow. But if you do sleep on your back be sure to use a firmer feeling pillow.
- Make sure you are tired
Adapting your own sleep routine is important and you should try to sleep at similar times, to regulate your sleep pattern. But don’t force yourself if you are not tired enough to sleep. If you are awake for longer than 20 minutes and you still can’t fall asleep, then don’t. Take this number as your sleep time rule, if you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, then it’s better to wait until you are tired and you’re not tossing and turning and worrying about your lack of sleep.
- Before or past Midnight?
Have you heard the old wives’ tale of “sleeping an hour before midnight is worth two after”, which relates to the first third of the night’s sleep, that is the deep & restorative part of your sleep. This saying is about the quality of sleep in the first part of the night and not necessarily the actual timing of sleep.
We hope you have enjoyed this and taken on board our tips and advice. You can also try our mattress which we think you’ll find the comfiest mattress there is.
Good Night and sleep tight!!!