Hands up if you’re not sleeping well? Yep, that’s pretty much all of us then. If you’re struggling to reach the land of the nod, we’ve got a few handy tips that might help you drift off into a deep sleep…
Have a warm bath before bed
An oldie but a classic. Warm baths are well-known to be super-relaxing (bonus points for scented candles, mood lighting and a relaxing playlist) but did you know that they really can help you to fall asleep? Experts have found that not only do your muscles relax when bathing, but the rise and fall of the heat from a bath (ideally 90 mins before bed) really can be the trick to getting 40 winks.
“Warm baths and showers stimulate the body’s thermoregulatory system, causing a marked increase in the circulation of blood from the internal core of the body to the peripheral sites of the hands and feet, resulting in efficient removal of body heat and decline in body temperature.
“Therefore, if baths are taken at the right biological time — 1-2 hours before bedtime — they will aid the natural circadian process and increase one’s chances of not only falling asleep quickly but also of experiencing better quality sleep.”
Source: UT Health Science Centre at Houston and the University of Southern California
Don’t look at your phone!
We also love a late night scroll on Instagram but most of us really are having disturbed sleep patterns thanks to the pesky blue light given off by our phones and other electronic devices. On average, we spend 2-3 hours per day on our phones, and when you add that to time on our laptops or at work… when aren’t we sat in front of a screen?
So what’s the deal with blue light then? Well, the most important thing blue light does it to mess with your body's ability to prepare for sleep as it blocks a hormone called melatonin, and it’s this hormone that makes you feel all fuzzy and sleepy.
If you need a way to unwind after a long day, try reading a book, listening to music or a podcast, or having a nice hot bath. Don’t say we didn’t tell you so ;-)
Chocolate biscuits are our lockdown snack of choice, but did you know your choice of snacks could have a huge impact on your sleep? While it’s an old myth that cheese gives you nightmares, there are certain swaps that you can do to ensure a night of blissful dreams.
If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth then try a handful of cherries in the evening, as these are one of the only natural food sources that contains high levels of the good stuff. Don’t eat too many though as the natural fruit sugars could have the opposite effect and leave you feeling alert! Don’t like cherries? Try a small banana instead or a handful of almonds, which contain magnesium and has a long link with helping to deal with insomnia.
If the answer to a good night’s sleep is snacking, then we’re totally sold.
What do you do to help drift off and have a lovely long snooze? Let us know in the comments here...