Easy Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep!
Getting enough sleep is becoming a hot topic lately! There are so many of us that are becoming sleep deprived due to a variety of reasons. Here at Bowerland we pride ourselves on the peacefulness and serenity of the countryside. No street lamps, no noisy cars or late party dwellers! Just the sound of nature as you drift off into slumberland, in the darkest of dark nights! But elsewhere around the country, it may be a different matter altogether.
Figures show that perhaps one in three people living in the UK aren’t sleeping well most nights of the week. What are the reasons we ask ourselves? Let’s take a look at the different phases of sleep that we go through in any one night.
Phases of Sleep
- Level 1 – This is the very early stages of sleep, where you can be woken up quite easily. This is called your light sleep phase.
- Level 2 – This is your true and deep sleep, where your heart beat slows down, and your breathing rate and body temperature drops.
- Level 3 – The most restorative stage of your sleep happens in phase 3 where your body recovers, your cells re-energise and your body starts to repair itself.
- Level 4 – REM (Rapid Eye Movement), the phase we associate with dreams where your brain is more active.
Studies show that if you are over 18 years old it would be beneficial for you to get at least between 6 – 9 hours sleep a night. But we are all genetically different and we all have different body clocks, and routines.
Take a look at my suggestions to bring your sleep up to its optimum level
- Avoid coffee and caffeine products in the afternoon and evening. It is a well known fact that drinking coffee later on in the day hinders sleep. Latest studies also show that if you drink coffee on a regular basis, it could lead to the shrinking of the gland in the brain that produces melatonin. Try to limit yourself to one caffeinated cup daily – then switch to decaffeinated for the rest of the day.
- Cherries contain melatonin which is the sleep hormone. If you eat cherries, or drink real cherry juice (not just cherry flavoured) you will find that this could help cure insomnia.
- Lavender can help you to get to sleep by reducing anxiety and calming you down. There are lots of ways to incorporate lavender into your evening routine. You could use a diffuser (there are numerous ones on the market). I have just purchased the Victsing Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser which seems to do the trick. Simply fill the tank with water, drop in the lavender essential oils (I tend to go for Neals Yard), and off you go!
- Take a cup of chamomile before bedtime. Chamomile can produce a mild sedative effect which helps to reduce anxiety. Or what about a milky drink? There is a new Pukka Night Time Organic Latte available as a powder to mix with milk – definitely worth a try!
- Try listening to one of the new sleep apps that are on the market. I use Calm, both for meditation, and also for sleep stories and sleep music.
Listen to your Body
The most important way to gauge whether or not you are having enough sleep is to listen to your body. Are you bright eyed and bushy tailed when you wake up in the morning? Do you feel fresh and alert, ready to start the new day? Or is it the opposite – do you feel sluggish, find it hard to wake up, and want to get back into that bed! Do you find yourself nodding off mid-afternoon? It could be time for you to think about incorporating some of the different ideas and options listed above into your daily routine. Refresh your sleep preparation, and hopefully your sleep will greatly improve!
Read more of my Monday Motivation blogs HERE.