Monday, 26 September 2016

The Holy Grail that is Sleep: How You Can Get More of it

Sleep can sometimes feel like the holy grail. We always seem to want a better quality sleep, but yet struggle to get it. We talk about it, think about it, dream about it. I suppose it goes with the territory of being busy and working hard. However, there are plenty of things we can do to improve our chances of getting a more rested and peaceful night’s sleep.

The one thing you have to remember is that change starts from within yourself. Like anything in life you need to commit. Hopefully, these tips and guidance will help you get a better quality of sleep and certainly more of it.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

It’s essential to ensure that you take care of yourself. It’s one of the ways you can drastically improve your lifestyle. Drinking water and staying hydrated is a great place to start. It’s true what they say if you are drinking a lot of water can help you get a much better night’s sleep. The problem with not drinking enough is that it can cause you long term health issues. Things like headaches can become a regular occurrence. Low energy and fatigue can strike us. It’s a vicious circle to be involved with. Most of these problems can be some of the reasons why you are not getting the sleep you should be. But my only advice would be not to drink too much in the evening unless you want to be woken up to visit the bathroom.

If you find you struggle to keep on top of your water intake, another essential tip would be to keep a water bottle close by. You can have it on your desks or even in your handbag. It will act as a reminder to keep sipping away. Before you realise it, drinking more water will have developed a habit, and you will begin to benefit in a whole host of ways.

Think about your mattress and bed

Let’s be honest here, getting a good night’s sleep has much to do with how comfortable you feel in your bed. No one wants to wake up with a backache. Or spend their whole night tossing and turning because the mattress needs replacing. So it’s important to make sure you invest in the right bed and mattress that is suitable for your needs. Doing your research is important here as mattresses can be an expensive purchase. You need to approach it as an investment. Like you would your sofa’s or any other big piece of furniture in your home. This is why it may be worth it to read these reviews to find out to find out more information on mattress types and what might work for you.

Less technology means more when it comes to your sleep

Life is all about a screen in many contexts. It can be your computer screen at work or night. Your smartphone or tablets where you scroll endlessly through social media platforms. It might even be your evening viewing on the TV. However, screen time and technology is no good when it comes to your sleep. While the world never stops, especially when it comes to Facebook and emails, it’s important for you to put away the technology in the evening. If you can giving yourself, at least, 30 minutes of screen-free time could have a massive positive effect. During this time perhaps make yourself a nice warm drink. Maybe a chamomile tea or some warm milk, and settle down to read a book. Or even just enjoy the quiet time before heading off to bed. It is a much more relaxed approach to bedtime, and could see you improving how quickly you drift off to sleep. As well as the quality of sleep you get throughout the night.

Regular exercise is important

It certainly isn’t easy to fit in regular exercise, but this can be an essential factor to gaining a better night’s sleep. Exercise is proven to help you tire the mind and body, which will help you when it comes to bedtime. Having a buildup of excess energy won’t allow you to relax and unwind in the evening. Your mind will still be running over time. There are many studies to support how exercise can have a positive effect on your sleep and your health. So now is the time to start a new regime, if you haven't already. If you are one of those people who thinks you don’t have the time, then think again. Running in a morning before work can be a fantastic way of setting yourself up in a positive and active way for the day ahead. If you are working from home, or something similar, then making use of DVD workouts or even videos online on platforms like YouTube. It is an excellent way to add in some exercise. You don’t need to be heading to the gym constantly; you need just to be more active in general. Walking and monitoring the number of steps you take each day is a solid way of increasing your activity. Thankfully, there are plenty of devices you can buy to keep track of those steps.

Avoiding that glass of wine or cup of coffee

It may be tempting to put the kettle on at night and make a steaming coffee. Or even reach out to your fridge and pour a cold glass of white wine. Whatever your tipple may be, whether containing caffeine or alcohol try and reduce it or stop drinking altogether. While these kind of things, especially alcohol, are great treats, they can hinder the quality of sleep you get. Try and limit the intake if you can and witness the difference it can make.

Don’t overindulge when it comes to your evening meal

I appreciate that with busy lives and hectic schedules, it might mean that you eat late or at strange times of the day. While it’s hard to make those changes, if you can, try and avoid eating a heavy meal too late at night. If you have no choice, opt for something lighter. This is because heavily laden meals full of carbohydrates need time to digest. Eating late and then lying down means they sit in your stomach. Often causing you a stomach ache or even things like trapped wind. Some of which can be painful and will undoubtedly disrupt your sleep. Make sensible choices when it comes to your food and meals.

I hope these tips and advice help you get more sleep. Why not start making those changes this evening?

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