5 Tips for Better Sleep

During adulthood we devote around seven to eight hours to sleep each night, during childhood it’s roughly ten to 12 hours. During our first 60 years of life, this roughly amounts to 200,000 hours.

Not getting the necessary hours of sleep can be detrimental to our brain and physical heath. That being said, we all accept getting to sleep can be tricky, so just how can we improve our chances of getting a good night’s rest?

1. Clear The Mind

Falling asleep can be a difficult task, especially when there is the annoyance of mental noise. Instead of counting sheep, we reflect on events of the day and those of old. Unfortunately, worry and anxiety can arise as a result of negative thoughts tending to surpass positive ones. Fortunately, there are strategies to override mental noise. These include listening to relaxing music, meditation, praying, or simply feeling at peace and content. Simply accepting the notion that everything can wait till the morning will significantly help.

2. Phase Out Bad Habits

Stimulants such as caffeinated beverages can prevent and disrupt sleep. Prolonged use of caffeine (two to three cups) throughout the day causes a gradual build-up of caffeine within the body. Evening disruption can vary depending on whether or not the person is a regular coffee drinker. To avoid caffeine disrupting your sleep, refrain from drinking caffeine for at least six hours before bedtime. Foods which contain high traces of the amino acid tryptophan, such as cherries, milk, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and yoghurt (consumed at any time daily) or foods with a high glycaemic index such as short-grain rice (consumed three to four hours before bedtime) can help induce sleep.Once elevated levels of tryptophan reach the brain, it is converted to melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone which is released at night time; it is also known as the “hormone of darkness”.

The release of melatonin is suppressed by light, therefore also suppressing sleep. It is strongly advised to avoid using electronic devices that emit bright light in the period leading up to bedtime. There are existing studies which suggest even bright room light can suppress melatonin levels.

3. Continue Sleeping

Some people face no difficulties falling asleep but face trouble sleeping through the night.It takes around 60 to 90 minutes for liquids to pass through the body and turn into urine, it is therefore advised that you stop drinking fluids two hours before bedtime. A full bladder will break your sleep cycle with a much-needed trip to the bathroom. Temperature can also disrupt your sleep cycle, ensure that you are not too hot or too cold by keeping your bedroom around 20-22 degrees Celsius. It is also recommended that you use the correct tog duvet for each season. Our Summer Cool 4.5 tog duvet is perfect for those warmer summer nights, whilst our Winter Warm 16.5 tog duvet is guaranteed to keep you toasty when the cold nights draw in.

4. Keep Routine

Maintaining a structured bedtime and rise time will establish your sleep cycle. Over time, your sleep cycle will descend into an automatic bedtime and you’ll also begin to rise more easily.

5. Change Your Sleep Perceptions

Worrying about not getting sufficient sleep might amplify your sleep problems. It can be difficult to alter bad habits however if you’re struggling, you can seek help from a clinical psychologist. They can assist you in altering your emotional and behavioural stance to promote healthy sleep. Sleeping well is about life-long bedtime and rise time habits. Establishing a routine is a guaranteed way of establishing a healthy sleep cycle.

To help you sleep, consider using the correct duvet tog for the seasons. You can read our guide on duvet togs here.

Written by: Downland Bedding Posted on: 11th April 2016