Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? Waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the day is a great feeling. Still, data suggests that approximately 50% of us don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep and that 36% of adults struggle to fall asleep at least once a week.
Sleep is critical to your health as it allows your brain and body to recover from the day. A good night’s rest can improve your memory, learning, decision-making, and creativity. On the other hand, a lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
With sleep being so important, we looked at what you can do to help you drift off to the land of nod.
The blue light from our screens has been found to restrict the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm. Melatonin helps you sleep and wake up. Try avoiding screens for half an hour before bed. Try reading a book or having a bath instead, and you may drift off more quickly.
Hopefully, you’ve put the phone down, but do you have a light on somewhere? Perhaps in your bathroom or on the landing? If you do, it might be disrupting your sleep. So instead, try to make your room as dark as possible to let your body know it’s nighttime and time for rest.
When you sleep, your body’s temperature cools down. If your room is too warm, it might make it harder to fall asleep. Try having your room about 16-19 degrees Celsius. Just don’t go too cold, or that might wake you up too. A warm bath or shower before bed can also help your body cool down and signal that it’s time for bed.
Magnesium helps the body maintain the health of the nervous system. This system is involved in our sleep, so ensuring you have enough may help you nod off more quickly.
Your circadian rhythm is your inner sleep schedule. If you have a routine of waking up and falling asleep, your body adjusts to this and becomes familiar with the pattern making it easier to stay on schedule. While it’s not always possible, trying to have a set schedule could positively impact your sleep and ensure you get the all-important 7-9 hours each night.