8 quick sleep-hacks for better zzz (even in a city)
(3 min read)
81% of Londoners now prefer sleep to sex - we're in 2019. This is partly down to the intense focus around sleep over the past few years, and the clear links that a lack of sleep can have on overall health. To get better ZZZ, having good sleep hygiene is key. Sleep hygiene is the kind of routine you perform before you head to sleep. Good sleep hygiene is a head start to better quality shut-eye - here's a few tips to get going.
1.) Go to sleep at the same time
When you get into a routine of going to sleep near enough the same time each night, your body gets into a rhythm that helps regulate your sleep cycle. The body will then start to produce things like melatonin (a hormone that prepares your body for sleep) to help your drift off without interruption at the right time.
2.) Cool + Dark
The cooler the room, the better quality sleep. We’re not talking polar, but keeping your room hot can disrupt your bodies ability to sleep. Likewise with light, the darker the room the more the body can shut off without worry. If you live in a city where there is a lot of light pollution you’re subconsciously telling your body that it isn’t night time yet - so your body clock can become a little muddled.
3.) Prepare your body for rest
There is a plethora of chemical reactions that happen in the body when you’re about to sleep. These chemicals and hormones help with sleep quality, regulating your body clock, and switching off your mind. There are a number of “home remedies” to help prepare your body for your best sleep, such as functional ingredients like L'theanine, Magnesium and Valerian root.
4.) Switch off (the tech)
The blue light from phones and laptops is constantly pumping a message to your brain that it’s not nighttime yet, which essentially halts all sleep routine. Switch off all tech at least an hour before bed. We’ve found keeping your phone downstairs and buying a cheap alarm clock can help with the temptation to check Instagram a fourth time.
5.) Routine routine routine
You know you’ve got to get to sleep at the same time each night, but the hour that proceeds your sleep is pretty key too. If you follow the same actions each night before hitting the hay, by the time you get into bed your body is already half way there. Simple things like taking a shower, stretching, reading or meditation are all great as part of an evening routine.
6.) Get your HR up
Physically tiring your body through exercise can help you drift off quicker. Not only will you get to sleep quicker, but many studies show that overall health is closely linked to sleep quality. However, avoid intense exercise a few hours before bed, the release of adrenaline and increased heart rate isn’t really that conducive to shutting off.
7.) Drinking vs sleep
Alcohol and caffeine can really f*ck things up for your sleep patterns. Although alcohol can make your drowsy, it prevents you from getting good quality deep REM sleep. Caffeine on the other hand amps everything up, essentially tricking your central nervous system into thinking it’s time to wake up rather than shut off.
8.) Naps aren’t your friend
Sometimes power naps to help with energy and productivity are great, but they can also disrupt your sleep longer term. A 30 minute nap every so often isn’t likely to do any damage to your sleep pattern, but anything longer than that you’ll start to enter deep sleep. This will leave you waking up feeling more tired (and groggier) than before and you'll likely find it tougher to get to sleep that evening.
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