Ahhh sleep... We all desire it but most of us don't get enough of it. Luckily, there are a number of ways to increase your chances of getting a full 7+ hours in with no disruptions. Here are our favourite ways to wind down!
Figure out a sleep schedule that works for you
The vast majority of people don't have a sleep schedule, and it's become so normalised that people don't even see it as a big deal anymore. However, having somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep every day can do wonders for your physical and mental health!
There are two important rules to follow:
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Go to sleep only when you become sleepy-tired
If you go to bed and you find yourself struggling to get to sleep for more than 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing in a dimly lit room. By the time you're back in your bed, you’ll likely find it’ll be easier to drift off!
You can also try jounaling to offload some of those anxious thoughts that may be keeping you awake.
Increase light exposure when awake
Your body is controlled by essentially a natural time-keeping clock. It tells you when to sleep and when to wake along with other brain functions. Natural sunlight during the day can keep your circadian rhythm in check, along with improving your daytime energy and sleep quality.
Getting some light in the morning can be more powerful than that “essential” cup of coffee!
According to a 2003 study, two hours of bright light exposure during the day increased sleep by two hours and sleep efficiency by 80%.
Decrease blue light exposure before bed
On the other hand, it's important not to consume too much artificial light before you sleep. If you do, you will trick your brain into thinking it's still daytime and will reduce hormones like melatonin which help you sleep.
If it’s not avoidable, try some blue light glasses to reduce that highly stimulating blue light given off by screens.
Invest in sleep aids
If you're struggling to get to sleep at night, there are so many accessories and tech that can help. We know a little something about this!
Consider the following:
An eye mask or sleep mask will block light from disturbing your sleep. These are especially helpful for those who work night shifts, travelers, or those who are unable to purchase blackout curtains. The Echor Total Blackout Eye Mask comes with eye indentations to ensure no pressure on your eyelids and lashes, and ergonomic wings on either side of your nose to prevent light from entering your eyeballs!
A pillow mist is one of those sleeping aids that people just assume is a placebo. While that might be true for some, certain essential oils have been studied and proven to be helpful when trying to get some shut eye!
Aromatherapy for sleep has been used for centuries, gaining popularity again through body oils, moisturisers, diffusers, candles, and sprays.
The Echor End of Day Pillow Spray uses a gorgeous blend of 100% pure essential oils including lavender, geranium, eucalyptus and sweet orange.
Keep your bedroom for sex and sleep only
For a lot of us our bedrooms end up doubling as work rooms, TV rooms, and an environment for other activities. However, experts say to keep your bedroom for sex and sleep only.
Your bedroom should be somewhere your body recognises where you sleep. If you're doing high stimulating activities like binge-watching episodes of The Crown or scrolling through Instagram then you're not going to want to sleep any time soon!
Since the pandemic, many have turned their bedrooms into places they work. If you have the choice, work anywhere else but your bed otherwise your brain might put you in work mode rather than sleep mode at night.
Declutter your bedroom
Following on from the above tip, making sure your bedroom is clean and tidy can do wonders for your sleep schedule too. A study from 2015 suggests that those surrounded by mess were more likely to have a sleep disorder!
De-clutter your space, to de-clutter your mind.
We all know that exercising improves your health - but did you know it helps you sleep better? It can reduce symptoms of insomnia along with enhancing all other aspects of sleep.
Daily exercise is great for a long, deep night of sleep, however, make sure you don't work out too late in the day as this can have the opposite effect.
SLEEP IS RESTORATION. If you don’t give yourself something to restore from, your sleep is likely to suffer.