Our Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Our Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is far from a passive downtime; it's a crucial contributor to overall well-being. Traditionally seen as a mere switch-off, modern research highlights its dynamic role. For instance, during sleep, the glymphatic system clears brain waste, vital for preventing conditions like Alzheimer's. In deep sleep, a surge of human growth hormone supports tissue health, injury repair, muscle strength, and immune defense. Beyond physical benefits, sleep significantly influences learning, emotional processing, immune function and guards against diabetes and depression. Understanding sleep's intricate role is key to unlocking its potential for a healthier, thriving life.

So, why is sleep so vital?

Sleep allows the mind and body to repair, regenerate, and recover, ensuring we wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. A good night's rest not only adds a positive spring to our step but also offers various other benefits.

Essential for brain function, sleep impacts cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Sleep deprivation negatively affects decision-making, problem-solving skills, focus, memory, and day-to-day motivation.

And on the physical side?

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy, and a lack of it can result in you struggling to fight off common infections. Sleep also supports the healing of your heart and blood vessels, the repairing of cells and tissues, whilst maintaining a healthy balance of hormones.

We know that sleep helps the body in many ways and is critical for our overall health. And we also know the damage that sleep deficiency can have on our health and wellbeing instantly and over time.

As individuals, we all have a unique pattern and requirements when it comes to sleep. And it's all about finding what works for you! But the general recommendation for adults is between 7-9 hours a day.

Here are our 5 top tips for a better night's sleep

1. Reduce Screen Time Before Sleep:

Keep your phone away before bedtime. The blue light from screens tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime, reducing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bed. Use this time to relax, read, or treat yourself to some self-care.

Be mindful of your surroundings in the evening. Bright lights and screens disrupt melatonin secretion, crucial for a good night's sleep. Dim overhead lights, use lamps or candlelight (around 3 lux). TVs, phones, and laptops emit sleep-disturbing blue light. Consider adjusting screen colours with apps like f-lux or using devices that turn screens red. Blue light blocking glasses can also help, but remember, lower overall light for better sleep.

2. Temperature Control

Temperature plays a big role in how well we sleep. Our bodies are designed to wake up when it's warm and sleep when it's cool. Research suggests that the ideal bedroom temperature for a good night's sleep is around 18.3 degrees Celsius, though it can vary based on personal preference.

During sleep, our body temperature naturally goes down, and keeping your bedroom cool supports this process. Studies show that higher core body temperature is linked to less restorative slow-wave sleep, and having the wrong body temperature can even lead to insomnia.

Here's how you can use temperature to improve your sleep:

  • Keep Your Bedroom Cool: Make sure your bedroom is cool at night. You can open a window, use a fan, or set your air conditioning to a sleep-friendly 18.3C. This helps your body maintain the right temperature for a good night's sleep.
  • Choose the Right Bedding: The type of bedding you use matters. Natural fibers like wool are breathable, while materials like nylon and polyester trap heat and may cause sweating. Some experts even recommend investing in bedding that adjusts temperature throughout the night. 
  • Avoid intense exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime: Instead of a cold shower, go for a warm bath. When you step out of the bath, your brain's hypothalamus signals your body to cool down quickly. This cooling down process prompts the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

3. Incorporating Adaptogens

The Herbtender's Doze & Dream (The Sleep Mix), is our tranquil adaptogen blend that promotes uninterrupted rest when you need to switch off and recharge. Designed to gently ease you into sleep, our bedtime supplement sees Ashwagandha, one of the few non-stimulating adaptogens, join forces with calming Reishi, as well as Lavender and Chamomile. Better nights lead to better days!

Buy here.

What are adaptogens? Read more here.

4. Good Nutrition

The time we eat in the morning affects our body clock. Eating within an hour of waking can help reset your circadian rhythms and boost metabolism. A breakfast high in protein and low in carbs, like eggs with avocado or Greek yogurt with nut butter, supports the body's natural cortisol peak in the morning and keeps blood sugar levels steady.

In the evening, having carbohydrates with your meal can improve sleep. Carbs stimulate the release of tryptophan in the brain, converting it into serotonin, which relaxes the body for sleep. Balanced whole-food carbs, like potato, sweet potato, rice, sourdough, and fruits like baked apples, maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent nighttime waking. Aim to eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bed, but don't go to bed hungry. If needed, a balanced snack like fruit with cottage cheese, a banana with almond butter, or berries with magnesium-rich dark chocolate can be beneficial before bedtime.

5. Taking Magnesium Bisglycinate

Among the different types of magnesium, bisglycinate stands out for its ability to aid sleep onset. It helps relax the body and brain, preventing muscle cramps that can disrupt sleep. Research indicates it may also help with insomnia, making it a safe choice for long-term deficiency or for those with intense training schedules. Since many people are deficient in magnesium, adding magnesium bisglycinate to your bedtime supplement routine can improve your sleep.

Has all this talk of sleep made you feel sleepy?

We hope so!

A great night's sleep is not only essential but beneficial to our health and happiness. We hope that our tips above support you in getting that vital rest your mind and body needs - without the need for counting sheep.

(NOTE: If you've been struggling with getting enough sleep for a while, we recommend speaking to a health professional to help rule out any sleep disorders.)

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