31 Jan How to improve the quality of your sleep
Written by Sabijn Linssen ・
We all experience difficulties sleeping at some stage in our lives. Poor sleep quality can be the cause of stress, anxiety, irritability, lack of concentration, low energy, mood swings and might eventually lead to burnout. Considered that a restful night plays a massive role in regulating our physical and mental health, getting the right amount of shut-eye is important.
If you’ve been having difficulty sleeping for a couple of months, it’s time to take some action. We’ve compiled a list of simple tips to improve the quality of your sleep in order to boost your health and wellbeing.
7 tips to a better sleep
Don’t exercise late at night (but DO exercise) – evening workouts make it harder for your body to unwind as endorphins are released. Try to do your last workout around 7pm.
Limit your intake of caffeine to mornings only. Remember most teas also contain caffeine. Stick to the ones that specifically say ‘decaffeinated’. Chamomile tea is regarded as a great sleep-inducer. Have a cup 30mins before you go to bed.
We keep coming back to this one, and for good reason. Besides creating general restlessness and telling your brain to ‘stay awake’, the blue wavelengths from the screens of your gadgets can mess with your melatonin production (the sleep hormone) which results in less shut-eye. Bedrooms should have a strict ‘no-phones’ policy. Use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone, and avoid screen time after 7pm.
Don’t work in your bedroom, and especially not in bed. Relax before bed – either with a warm bath/shower, a good book or by meditating. Doing a ‘body scan’ is an excellent way to relax your muscles. You can find guided body scan meditations on the Insight Timer app.
Wake up every morning at the same time to create a consistent sleeping pattern. If you’re travelling, read our tips on managing jet lag to get you quickly into the swing of your new time zone.
If you can’t sleep, don’t look at the clock or ‘worry’ about not being able to sleep. It will only cause anxiety. Instead, get up and read a book or listen to some calming music with a warm cup of decaffeinated herbal tea until you feel sleepy. Some gentle stretches or lying over a yoga bolster will also do wonders.
Make sure you get plenty of daylight throughout your day as this helps with the production of melatonin at night. After dinner, dim the lights in your living room or bedroom to let your body adjust to night-time. When sleep calls, turn off ALL lights in your house and make sure your curtains or blinds block out any street or moon light. Even the smallest hint of light can mess with your melatonin release.
This article has been re-published from Retreat Here.
Sabijn Linssen is the Director of Retreat Here, a retreat planning company in Melbourne. Born and raised in The Netherlands, Sab worked and lived in the South of France and London, before finally settling in Australia with her husband. She has more than 15 years of experience in the travel and event industry.
Yoga can also help your quality of sleep, try out one of our classes at Power Living today.