When did you last enjoy a solid, restorative night of sleep? If you can’t remember, you’re not alone; around one-third of adults in the UK are thought to struggle with a sleep disorder of some kind, such as insomnia.
Sleep deprivation can have a serious impact on your mental wellbeing, with extreme tiredness affecting people’s ability to concentrate, communicate and function at their best; in some cases, this can prove dangerous.
But what can be done if you simply can’t seem to get to sleep? There are steps that you can take to relax your mind before you go to bed to improve your chances of a good night’s sleep to leave you feeling rested and ready to take on the day ahead.
Why A Good Night’s Sleep is So Important
Our bodies may feel rested after sleep, but they’re actually hard at work while we’re dreaming away. This is the time when cells are restored and hormones are synthesised, while the rest that we get puts our brains and bodies in a better place to deal with vital functional processes the following day.
In contrast, sleep deprivation can impact the immune system, potentially making you more vulnerable to colds and viruses, affecting recovery time too. A sleep-deprived body is also hindered in its ability to regulate blood pressure effectively, which could lead to other health issues over the long term.
What’s more, a lack of sleep can impact the metabolism, leading to the increased production of ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone’, and lower levels of leptin, a hormone associated with satiety.
Quick Fixes for Better Sleep: The Verdict
The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night, although everyone’s sleep needs will differ slightly. Many people try to make up for the fact that they don’t get quite enough sleep by drinking too much caffeine or even taking short power naps throughout the day, which can ultimately impact their ability to sleep at night.
Napping can be detrimental to a healthy sleeping pattern, impacting your wellbeing as a result. The onset of exhaustion can be physically and emotionally draining, affecting memory, learning and concentration, as well as low mood and stress levels.
How to Sleep Better
Instead of reaching for another coffee, try one of these other tactics for improving your sleeping habits:
As we said earlier, we recommend avoiding naps, as tempting as they might be. If you’re feeling overtired, it would be better to stay awake for a little longer, then go to bed early and enjoy a proper night’s sleep.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine can help you to get into the habit of winding down your mind and body at the end of each day. Our night-time routine tips include:
- Avoid screens in the hour before you want to go to sleep – this includes your phone, TV and computer. Instead, read, meditate or even practise some calming yoga
- Have a bath to relax your muscles and take some time away from the stresses of your day
- Drink a warm, milky drink or a beverage known for its relaxing properties, such as a chamomile tea
- Keep a notepad by your bed where you can write down any worries that are on your mind to offload them, leaving them ready to be dealt with the next day. Some people also like to practise gratitude before they go to bed, writing down a few moments from their day that they’re thankful for, ending the day in a more positive mindset
- Spritz a sleep spray around your bedroom before getting into bed, such as our mykind Organics Herbal Liquid Spray, which features extracts of chamomile, passionflower, valerian, green tea and lemon balm to promote rest during your sleep cycle