Six Top Tips to Help Improve Your Sleeping Habits
We all know how important it is for us to get a good night's sleep, helping you to improve your health, boosting your mood and your brain function, keeping your heart healthy, reducing your stress levels and even helping to maintain a healthy weight.
If you can get a good night's sleep, you will have a win/win situation.
But so many will suffer from insomnia, finding it hard to go to sleep or waking up several times during the night. Others will lie awake for hours or wake up too early unable to get back to sleep again.
How can you improve your sleeping habits so that your quality of life is restored once more?
We share six tips for better sleep...
1. Slowing your breath
If you can take, slow, deep breaths it will work to tap into a cluster of cells deep in the brain (the locus coeruleus). If sleep isn't coming, and your mind is racing, it's the locus coeruleus that's active, spraying a hormone called noradrenaline (the wake-up chemical) all around the brain. Prof Ian Robertson from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and his team discovered that you can slow the locus coeruleus just by slowing your breath.
This method can lower your heart rate and promote deep relaxation.
The recommendation is to breath in through your nose for four seconds, hold for two seconds and breathe out for four seconds - or even a bit longer if you can. Breathe out through wherever you find most comfortable.
Another method is belly breathing where you put one hand on your chest and the other just below the rib cage. Breathing in, you should feel the hand on the belly rise, while the hand on your chest remains relatively still. This method can be very helpful if you are finding it difficult to get to sleep or you wake up with your mind working overtime in the middle of the night.
2. Making use of that morning light
You can achieve this by getting up at the same time each day, and going outside into the morning light. The circadian rhythm is a natural internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every twenty four hours, helping to work out when your body wants to naturally fall asleep. Studies have found that the time you get up in the morning has a greater influence on our body clock than the time we go to bed.
We can reset our body clock every day by exposure to daylight, using the receptors at the back of our eye which are not used for seeing. A burst of morning light halts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, signalling to the body that the day has begun. That same morning signal will kick-start a series of events so that some twelve hours later, melatonin starts to rise again, preparing your body for a deep rest that night.
3. Enjoying your bed
We are often told that if we cannot sleep, then we should get up. Although it may seem strange, it is all about making our bed a place of solace. We need to avoid our brain making an association of our bed being that place where sleep does not happen. If we get up when we cannot fall asleep and then go to bed again when we feel sleepy, the negative association can be broken.
Follow these steps:
- Stay up until you feel sleepy.
- If you go to bed and you can't get to sleep, or you wake up in the middle of the night and you can't get to sleep, get out of bed.
- Avoid napping during the day to build up your sleep pressure.
- Get up at the same time every day.
- Save the bed for sleep.
4. Warming up to cool down
A warm bath or hot shower before bed can help too with studies finding that those who had a hot bath before bed fell asleep 36% quicker, had a better quality of sleep and felt more rested the next day.
Anna Wirz-Justice a professor at the University of Basel says that the key is in warming up your hands and feet, so even if you don't have a warm bath, a hot water bottle or bed socks may be able to do the trick for you. She also advises that your bedroom should be cool.
5. Listening to your body
Although we know that the average person will function best on eight hours of sleep per night, we are all different and some of us will need less sleep than we think. If you are waking up during the night regularly, resist the urge to look at the clock and worrying about how much sleep you're getting. Your body will tell you if you are getting enough.
If you are concerned that you are not getting enough sleep, watch out for signs of sleep deprivation during the day. The key is not to worry about hitting the eight hours of sleep - in fact, the anxiety it causes could even contribute to the insomnia.
Add a few drops of our own H-Sleep Aid Formula either to your warm and soothing bedtime bath or to the back of the neck before settling down. This is a natural sleep remedy for mild to chronic sleeplessness.
The ingredients in the Formula are soothing and will relax you and aid in sleeping.
It's a perfect way to enjoy a good night's rest safely and naturally. The Formula will provide help in your sleeping regime from the first time it is used, progressively continue to improve with ongoing use.
WomensHealth.gov. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.html. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).
http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Sleep-Disorders. (Accessed, Feb 11, 2021).