Sleep: those hours in your daily cycle that you spend lost in your subconscious in a state so very individual to you.
Sleep is a complicated process and much research has been done on how and why we sleep and mechanisms to improve our slumber. Many hormones and chemicals are involved in the complex mechanics of sleep. In simple terms, during the day sunlight prevents your brain from producing the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Adenosine is another sleep causing chemical which accumulates in the brain when we are awake. As it gets dark melatonin levels increase and enough adenosine has built up in the brain to make you feel sleepy. Our genetics, environment and lifestyle may influence these chemicals and hormones and how we sleep.
Fact – we all sleep differently. Not one person will have the same routine as another, or sleep in the same positions, or breathe in the same pattern – that’s what makes us each so unique. It is important however for both our mental and physical health to get regular, quality sleep.
Here are some top tips that may help you to get a bit more slumber, let us know if any work for you or if you have any of your own to share:
Environment: The soothing pitter patter of rain falling on the sky light – calming or distracting for you?! It can be difficult drifting off in the perfect setting. Some people welcome a bit of background noise and others don’t even like to hear a pin drop. If you’re looking to mix up your partnering sounds to your snoozing then we recommend ‘Sleepcasts’ on HeadSpace: explore, trial, and see if someone reading you a bedtime story is still as good as when you were three!
Turn off the light show: Studies show that each time our phones light up at night within our peripheral we start to rise from our slumber. With separate alarm clocks almost a thing of the past we appreciate that your phone is something that needs to remain close by. We therefore recommend switching on your ‘night mode’ setting. Usually represented by a small half-moon icon, this button will gift you an undisturbed nights rest from your phone notifications but will still allow your alarm to go off when requested – genius.
Night light: Lights on or off? Curtains open or closed? There is no right or wrong with this, it simply depends on what works best for you. If you’re finding that you’re getting up earlier than your alarm then it may be because of the amount of light you’re letting in through your window; try getting black out curtains or shutting your blinds a little tighter. It is great however to gradually wake up in line with natural daylight and there are some fantastic night lights that can help with this. Check out the natural light alarm clocks from Lumie if you need help resetting your body clock.
Sweet scents: If you haven’t tested the calming scent of lavender in your bedroom you may be missing out on a natural lullaby. Research has found that lavender increases slow-wave sleep; instrumental for slowing your heart rate and relaxing your muscles. If you’re feeling particularly wired, anxious, or just needing a helping hand to drift off we’d suggest investing in a pillow spray or a diffusing oil that contains Lavender. If anything, it will make your room smell sweeter!
This year why not set yourself a target of levelling out your hours of sleep you allow yourself. Try and aim for at least 8 hours a night, 7 days a week. Sufficient and quality sleep is essential for your health and just as important as the food you put into your mouth.
Remember however, that having problems with your sleep is very normal, so if you need help please do speak to a member of the Versa team who will happily help you make the steps to more and better sleep!