We all know that sleep is the best medicine, but with the responsibilities of our lives and the additional stresses of the Covid-19 crisis, it can be difficult to prioritise a quality sleep routine.
However, studies show that the amount (and type) of sleep we get has a direct impact on our waking hours, and poor sleep quality can lead to all kinds of mental and physical health problems.
To combat this, we have put together 5 top tips to improve your sleep quality, so you’ll wake to feel well-rested and ready to take on the world.
1) SET A BEDTIME – AND STICK TO IT
Unsurprisingly, the foundation of a good night’s sleep is establishing a consistent nighttime routine. While you may have a consistent wakeup time during the workweek, many of us are less strict about our bedtimes on the weekends.
But research shows that dramatic or abrupt changes in your sleep cycle can easily throw off your circadian rhythm, which is responsible for regulating internal processes like metabolism and hormone production. Set yourself (and stick to!) realistic bedtime goals and you’ll find marked improvements in your mood, energy and stress levels.
2) SWITCH OFF THE SCREENS
In addition to providing an endless supply of distractions, TV and phone screens give off blue light, which is proven to have a negative effect on your circadian rhythm. Turning your screens off an hour before you go to bed will help prepare your body for sleep and will increase the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep. Instead of scrolling your newsfeed, try reading a book or having a warm bath prior to bedtime and you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed.
3) CUT OUT THE CAFFEINE
It may seem like an impossible feat but avoiding caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee after 2 pm will have a huge impact on your sleep quality. Studies have shown that it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated from the body. Make the switch to decaf in the afternoons and evenings and you’ll find you’re so well-rested, you won’t find yourself missing that afternoon boost!
4) TAKE UP MEDITATION
Even with a consistent bedtime, many people find it difficult to fall sleep with the worries of the day racing through their minds. Practising meditation and mindfulness before bedtime can relax your mind and your body, prepping both to fall into a deeper sleep. Meditation also has a number of proven benefits to overall mental health and well-being, meaning less stress and better sleep.
5) INVEST IN A QUALITY MATTRESS
On average, we spend one-third of our lives in bed – so why settle for anything less than the best-quality mattress? Old mattresses are havens for allergens, sweat and dust that can trigger allergies and lead to congestion and snoring, which in turn lead to poor sleep. Mattresses should be replaced every 6-8 years – is it time to retire yours?
When shopping for a new mattress, remember that one size does not fit all. Take time to consider whether the mattress is the right size for your needs, provides the right support for your body, and meets your individual health requirements. For instance, if you suffer from allergies, asthma or skin conditions, a hypoallergenic mattress might be the right choice for you – or maybe you need a mattress with extra lower-back support to help ease your sciatica. It’s important to discuss these types of needs with an expert in order to find the mattress that works best for you.
With over 30 years providing expert sleeping solutions for customers across the country, The Natural Sleep Company have a mattress to suit your needs. You’ll find a host of advice on quality mattresses on our main blog and you can contact your nearest retailer to purchase our mattresses and beds.