Easy changes to encourage sounder sleep
"The majority of people who struggle with their sleep are unconsciously doing something in their everyday life that is negatively impacting their ability to sleep at night."
Here are some easy changes to encourage sounder sleep from Hypnos and our sleep expert Natalie Pennicotte-Collier.
Set your bedtime routine
1) Adults benefit from a bed-time routine just as much as children. Challenge yourself to switch off all modern technology...tablets, phones and laptops.
2) Mental and emotional stimulation often keeps us awake and the blue-light that comes out of these devices can reduce levels of a hormone called melatonin, needed to help us drop into deep, relaxing sleep.
3) Deep sleep likes a much cooler room than you realise – ideally 18°. Take a relaxing bath, dim the lights or read a book – these will all help to get your body prepared to drift into relaxing and restorative sleep.
4) Listen to some relaxation. Try Hypnos’ sleep relaxation soundtrack – developed by Natalie Pennicotte Collier, a sleep and wellbeing expert – to help us all sleep better.
Great daily habits for better sleep
Get into the light
Natural Daylight sends a strong signal to your natural circadian rhythm, going outside in the morning and exposing yourself to natural light actually helps you sleep better in the evening. Daylight works by helping set your body’s daily circadian rhythm.
Caffeine free by 12noon.
For many of us, caffeine after 12 noon can negatively impact our sleep. There is considerable genetic variation in terms of how each of us metabolises caffeine. It can take several hours to fully process the caffeine so it is always worth giving this tip a try to see the impact on your sleep.
Food for thought
What you eat affects how you sleep so switch to a lighter meal in the evening to encourage deep sleep.
- A heavy meal activates digestion – which can lead to night time trips to the bathroom.
- Finish your meal 3 hours before you go to bed.
- Avoid sugar and alcohol – caffeine is present in some chocolate and processed meals.
- Reach for tryptophan-rich foods like warm milk and bananas. Tryptophan, is an essential amino acid which helps our bodies to create seratonin that promotes sleep. Other good sources include, dairy, lean poultry (turkey breast) nuts and seeds, honey, and eggs.
Skip the night cap! Alcohol is a sedative so it may help you fall asleep faster, but it is effectively ‘junk food’ sleep as it doesn’t allow your body to fall into a restorative deep sleep.