Coast’s Guide on Sleeping Better
W.C. Fields said it best when he jested, “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep”. A funny anecdote to some, but to others an unattainable goal. Sleep problems, like insomnia, negatively impacts the health of up to 45% of the world’s population. More so, 35% of people around the world don’t get enough sleep, which affects both physical and mental health. The Margaret Thatcher’s of the world who can function on 4 hours of sleep are few in between, 1% of the population in fact. Chances are you’re not part of that 1%. An average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Whether you’re pushing yourself to get more done and losing sleep or simply can’t get the proper shut-eye, getting proper sleep is essential for optimal health. The elements of good quality sleep are broken down into three categories:
Duration: You need to sleep a duration of 7 to 9 hours
Continuity: You need non-fragmented sleep at night without waking up
Depth: You need to enter a deep sleep to fully restore your mind and body.
Why Sleep Is Important
Decades of research has proven sleep plays an extremely important part in human physiology. It helps build muscle, regulates your metabolism, and helps you stay focused. It’s no wonder we spend a third of our lives doing it. When you don’t sleep enough during the night your cognitive functions, such as memory, mood, and learning are compromised. You aren’t alert, you can’t focus, and you’re just plain grumpy. Lack of sleep for an extended period of time can increase your chances of the following:
- Cancer (Such as breast, lung, and prostate)
- Premature Aging
- Weight Gain
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- High blood pressure
Tips on How to Improve Your Sleep
So, you’re one of those people who stay up late and in bed well before midnight rings, but you just can’t seem to get those 7 to 9 hours. Here are some tips to really work on your “Z”s.
Watch Out for These Drinks
You should drink your last cup of joe by 2:00 pm if you want better sleep. Caffeine, obviously, is renowned to keep you up past your bedtime. Watch out for teas and sodas too as they have caffeine as well.
That nightcap before bed is also affecting your sleep quality. Alcohol is often the culprit for a fragmented night’s sleep. You’ll sleep faster with a glass of wine, but you eventually wake up as alcohol disrupts your breathing and REM sleep. No booze before you snooze.
Water is great for your system, but a drink of water too close to bedtime and you’ll be up at night with the tinkles. That visit to the water closet disrupts your sleep cycles and makes it harder to get back to sleep.
Soak in a Hot Tub
Research has proven soaking in a hot tub can help you sleep sounder and longer. The hot water raises your body temperature which helps you relax. After getting out of the tub your body’s temperature naturally lowers signaling your body is ready for sleep. Want a quality hot tub to help with your sleep? Try our no commitment Spa Builder app to build your dream hot tub.
Sleep in a Cool Room
Ensure your bedroom is set to a cooler temperature as this aids your body to shut down and relax. Sleep occurs when body temperature is dropping so getting out of a hot tub and moving to a colder bedroom helps mimic your body’s natural process.
Avoid Eating Late
This is a topic of some contention. It all depends on how you feel after eating and what you eat. Try cutting out snacks before bed and see what happens.
Keep a Clean Bedroom
Make sure you clean your sheets weekly, dust, and vacuum your bedroom. If you have a dust mite allergy, your symptoms could be interrupting your sleep by coughing or sneezing.
30 minutes of mindful meditation and breathing exercises help you wind down for sleep.
Get Sunlight During the Day and Keep Light Out at Night
Ensure you get enough daylight during the day to activate your sleep cycles properly. The pineal gland, located near the center of the brain, produces melatonin by having the body exposed to bright sunlight in the day compared to complete darkness at night. Melatonin is a serotonin derived hormone that controls sleep and wakefulness. This day-night cycle is important for human circadian rhythms responsible for regulating your sleep patterns.
In contrast, don’t expose yourself to blue light before you go to bed, such as cell phones, laptops, etc. Your bedroom should have no artificial light source when you sleep so the day-night cycle can be followed through, ensuring your melatonin levels are regulated. If you really need to peak at your phone or laptop before bed, use blue blocking glasses to minimize exposure.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Radiation
EMF radiation emitted by electronic devices can disrupt the pineal gland and hinder melatonin production. Ensure your bedroom doesn’t have any cell phones, electronic devices, and your Wifi is turned off before you go to bed. If you really want to nerd out, buy a Gauss Meter and find out how much EMF radiation you’re being exposed to in your bedroom.
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Keeping a regular sleep schedule gets you in tune with your body’s circadian rhythms and promotes sleep quicker. Go to bed before 11:00 p.m as cortisol, the stress hormone, surges after 11 p.m. to keep you awake.
Take some Magnesium daily, an anti-stress mineral, which helps you relax. It’s very common for the average person to be magnesium deficient.
If you are looking for a natural alternative, include the following magnesium-rich foods in your diet:
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Black Beans
Set up your Sleep Fortress
Make your bedroom a sleep fortress and try out the following:
- Invest in a quality bed and pillows
- Get heavy covers to help relax
- Paint your walls a darker colour
- Use a fan to create white noise
- Put up blackout curtains on your windows to keep out street lights
Leave Your Worries Outside the Bedroom
Let’s face it, stress and circular thoughts are often to blame for wakeful nights. Try to write down all your worries and leave them out of the bedroom.
If nothing seems to work and you still can’t sleep, you could have a sleep disorder. Consult your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- Sleep apnea syndrome
- Periodic limb movements
- Restless legs syndrome
- REM behavior disorder
At the End of The Day – Wind down, relax, step back and take it all in.
Visit our Spa Builder today and create a spa that’s right for you. No pressure and no commitment.