We’ve all been there, trying your hardest to fall asleep, but somehow feeling more awake then ever. Checking the time countless times and working out how little hours you have until your alarm inevitably wakes you up.
Whether it’s a recurring issue or an intermittent problem – struggling to sleep peacefully can be frustrating to live with. It can also be damaging to your health and overall wellbeing. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help get a peaceful and blissful nights sleep.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best tips (that actually work) to help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Switch off ‘Devices’ an hour before bedtime
Whilst it can be tempting to watch the tv or have a sneaky scroll through Facebook before bed. Using screens that emit blue light at night time can seriously disrupt you sleep cycle. Blue light immediately shuts down the production of melatonin, a hormone your body produces to promote sleep.
Sources of blue light include: televisions, computers, tablets, phones.
Eat sleep-promoting foods
Food that are high in tryptophan – an essential amino acid that acts like a natural mood regulator – such as nuts, seeds, grains and plainer cheeses, can encourage the onset of sleep. These foods help release insulin which promotes the movement of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin and melatonin, which are sleep-promoting neurotransmitters.
Try to avoid eating large meals before bed however, these foods should be implemented into your diet throughout the day.
Avoid mature cheeses and cured meats before bed
Mature cheeses and cured meats contain another essential amino acid called tyramine. This amino acid promotes the release of a hormone called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a wake-promoting hormone, which triggers part of the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system. As you can imagine, this hormone creates the exact opposite reaction to what your body needs to fall asleep.
Avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol consumption
Both caffeine and alcohol are stimulants, which can impair our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Caffeine can take up to six hours to metabolize, meaning it is best to lay off energy drinks and coffee in the afternoons.
Initially, alcohol can actually induce sleep, however as it leaves the body it causes increased body temperature and triggers the sympathetic nervous system. As a result, it hinders your ability to stay asleep, causing a restlessness and disrupted sleep.
We are all well aware of the benefits exercise can bring to your life and health, and that’s no exception with sleep. Study after study has shown that those who exercise regularly fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly than their sedentary friends. Just ten minutes of brisk walking counts as exercise, so it is not all that difficult to incorporate some form of exercise into your routine.
Sleep in a bed you love
It’s not rocket science, if you love the bed you sleep in, then you are more likely to get to bed at a sensible time and wind down correctly. Many people complain about their old mattress, or their pillow being too lumpy but do nothing about it. Invest some time in creating the perfect bed for you!
If you have a tired or old mattress, then consider buying a mattress topper to revitalise it. This is an inexpensive way of transforming your bed into a cosy paradise.
If you dislike your pillow, then consider doing some research into pillows based on your sleeping position.