September 27, 2019 5 min read
If you have been following us in our regime to better-quality sleep, our previous blog Feel Rest Assured, Part One covers how our current technology-driven lifestyle and lack of quality sleep results in not only unavoidable daily consequences, but also concerning long-term ones as well. Most sleep professionals agree that the optimal amount of time for adolescents-to-adults should ideally aim for between 7-9 hours of sleep. The quality of sleep is also just as important as the length we slumber in bed. Naturally, humans have different stages of sleep in our sleeping-cycle. Being interrupted during this period, especially whilst REM sleep can have adversely affects on how you feel the next morning.
There are a myriad benefits to our wellbeing when you acquire the necessary amount of quality sleep, which include the following:
Through a series of trials and errors, you'll come to find that some routines will work for you and some that just won't fit into your lifestyle. Becoming well aware in the topic and having useful information in the back of your pocket is already a forward step to optimal health. Part two of our blog will go over our other regimes to try and naturally improve quality sleep for you or any loved ones that may be of use to them.
Our eyes have a natural tendency to take in all sorts of information through our strong peripheral vision, whether we do it consciously or not. We are fully aware of what's around our desk at work without even having to look away from the screen, like a white stack of papers that always seem to stare at you. The same principles should be applied to our bedrooms.
Too much clutter and distractions like a pile of clothes or the television can cause unnecessary brain functions. For a better nights sleep, try minimizing to neutral colours that encourage relaxation such as cream, soft-grey, and white. Having white noise; a form of constant noise that can mask sounds that would easily interrupt you from sleep, in the bedroom can increase your sleep quality such as a fan or have rain sounds playing lightly in the background.
Tidy-up, reduce distractions, and leave the bedroom as a tranquil haven for sleeping. Your body will begin to recognize it as such and will become familiar with the routine.
Throughout history, humans have always turned to natural scents for a plethora of medicinal purposes, including methods to help relax and achieve better-quality sleep, which is commonly known today as aromatherapy. Scents in itself is a very powerful and natural method to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. The mere scent of a romantic partner has been known to significantly reduce stress in an individual, a study summarized by Time magazine.
Being able to reduce stress and tension throughout the day or week contributes to our overall health. One of the most popular and well-researched natural scents that help induce relaxation is lavender. People used to stuff their pillows with these light-purple petals to help fall asleep and get better-quality snooze.
The wonderful joys and benefits of baths are somewhat of a friendly but passionate argument to some. Do you prefer showers or baths? Morning or the evening? Hot or cold? In terms of sleep related benefits, baths are proven to be more effective than showers.
Our body has natural cues to prompt certain actions, this includes our the regulation of our internal temperature. A drop in our bodies temperature is normal and signals us that it's bedtime. Taking a warm bath might sound counterintuitive, but if taken 1-2 hours prior to sleep, our body can naturally regulate itself, by rising our blood flow near our skin in an attempt to cool us down and drop in temperature, thus signals for bedtime. Why not just skip the warm bath and go straight to cold? For one, cold baths are not everyones favourite joy and might have reverse effects.
Cold baths are stimulating to us (as you could probably imagine) and may make you more alert. Keep the baths before bed and in certain cases, warm or cold for a better nights sleep.
We can all attest that exercise is a necessary activity to include into our daily or weekly routine for optimal health. Aside from regulating your breathing pattern, improving your mood, and increasing endurance & energy, exercise (particularly in the morning) can emphasize better-quality sleep.
Heart racing exercises in the morning will naturally wake up your body quickly. And as you go on throughout the day accomplishing tasks, you may find winding down in the evening will be a lot easier after being exhausted from the day. It's acknowledged by many professionals that working out late in the evening will have reverse outcomes when it comes to sleep quality.
The good news is your morning exercises can consist from any aerobic movements or strenuous physical activity like lifting weights, an average length between 30-45 minutes will suffice. It also doesn't take long to see the results for better sleep and you might begin seeing improvements that same day.
Napping is a culturally renowned practice everywhere with the Spanish word 'siesta' instantly coming to mind. As described in this article by SleepFoundation, napping has both positive & negative affects to our nighttime sleep quality. Sometimes coming home from a tiresome task and feeling fatigue is something that is inevitable. Having a midday nap is a great way to get a quick boost of energy to keep you going throughout the rest of the day.
You may have accidentally napped well past 30 minutes and discovered that after awakening, you've felt much sleepier than before. This is commonly known as sleep inertia, which ultimately has the reverse effects of what you want from your midday nap by feeling incredible-grogginess, hindered motor skills, and disorientation. If you find that napping is a consistent part of your routine, this could be a sign that you are not getting enough sleep or quality-sleep at night. If this works with your routine, try and keep the naps before 3pm. In doing so further ensures that you are not hurting your nighttime quality sleep. Keep these naps short by setting a timer or alarm clock to ensure your nap is a maximum of 10-20 minutes.
The lack of sleep in our society today has always been something that has and continues to stick in many people's lives, often brushing it off as a common normality. Being adequately informed in the manner is a step forward to a way of life focused on your wellbeing. The next steps is using this knowledge and implementing a routine that works for you & your lifestyle. Let us know what you think about our routine, and which pre-sleep regimes has or hasn't worked for you.