Sleep your Way to the Top! 5 Tips for a HEALTHY SLEEP HABIT
Morgane Soret @ 2022-02-22 14:14:04 +0000
There are many theories about success and enjoyment . Some believe it’s 90% hard work with 10% luck. Others have the approach it is easiest to sleep your way to the top … and I have to agree.
Sleep is universally considered to be the most pleasureable way to dramatically improve your life. A survey in 2017 found that sleeping between freshly washed linen was the most pleasureable experience of all.
Whilst we may not go to the extremes that cats do; with 2/3rd of their life spent cuddled up; the feeling of resting your body or brain from hard exercise or a great night out, in a comfortable bed, and just relaxing – well, there is not much that can beat that! The best part is not having to do a thing – and not feeling guilty about it! Possibly on a par is dreaming (if you are fortunate enough to remember your dreams). It is either so pleasant that when you awake you feel happy, or so inspiring it makes you want to rush out and create whatever you dreamt of… or it was so terrible you are simply relieved to be awake.
There are, of course, days in everyone’s life - perhaps weeks or months - when you wake up thinking “Is this real? – wish I was still asleep!”, but for those times you can to realign that thought with how great it is to have slept and had a break from things, so you can tackle the day ahead with positivity and vigour.
As humans we are very fortunate to require around a lovely 8 hours a night, with some, like Richard Branson, only needing 5 or 6 whilst others thrive on 10.
Richard Branson, who’s success some may argue lies in having a very regular evening and morning routine says, “Sleep improves memory and helps us make connections. Taking a 20-minute nap or simply going offline for a short period of time each day provides the brain with vital breathing space and time to reinterpret problems. Thinking too hard about a problem can make it harder to solve and it is often better to let the mind wander and allow the brain’s unconscious processors to take over.”
Why do we prioritise other needs over sleep?
We are the only animals that actively deprive ourselves of sleep. Whilst the longest someone has stayed awake is reported as 11 days, in most cases sleep deprivation would kill someone before starvation.
One of the most obvious reasons we choose to prioritise other needs over sleep is due to its invisibility and our 24 hour culture. You cannot see sleep deprivation in the same way you can see the immediate effects of heat or cold on the body. It is not as apparent as starvation. Whilst a lack of sleep can result in impaired judgment, heightened emotions and response to pain, and obviously lethargy, it is a passive need, unlike trying to warm, cool or feed yourself which are accompanied by direct actions. This way the need can be obscured.
In the short to mid term it is easier to hide sleep deprivation, yet prolonged exposure to poor sleeping habits has serious health consequences.
We also live in a global economy with very lively 24 hour culture. Increased air travel and connectivity online alongside the creation of mobile phone technology have meant we have more work life options, but also more opportunities to deny ourselves of basic neccessities in the drive to be competitive on a global scale. Things could always be more demanding of course. Imagine for instance what the workload expectation would be if you were a giraffe? They naturally stay awake for 22 hours a day.
Now the trend is for people to be more conscious of the importance of a good night’s rest. Below is a great clip on how your body’s natural cycle works, and how best to optimise your potential and remain healthy.
To help you on your way to Dreamland – 5 Tips for a Healthy Sleep Habit
Getting to sleep is sometimes the main culprit for lack of sleep, so below are 5 easy, practical sleep hacks:
1.)Lowering your body temperature.
Your body cools naturally before sleeping, so adjusting any aircon to a slightly lower setting can help. A warm bath or a shower aids the same physiological process. – It helps speed up the body’s temperature changes. As your body cools down after your bath, it sends a signal to your brain to go to sleep.
2.) Create a Quiet Environment or Listen to Soothing Music
Relaxing music can significantly improve quality of sleep. A study in young adults showed that deeper sleep occurred after listening to sedative music. ( The effects of music on the sleep quality of adults). So hook up to some relaxing music and try to keep out unwanted sounds which can hinder a great night’s sleep.
3.) Practice a regular evening routine.
Most people follow a pretty structured morning routine to start their day including brushing their teeth, (hopefully with Noice Dental Gel), washing, dressing and eating breakfast. Try to be as structured about your evening routine, alongside bathing and toothbrushing (again with Noice we hope), set aside time to allow your body and mind to unwind, away from electronic screens and work. By setting your circadian rhythms you will encourage sleep to happen naturally at a similar time each evening.
Have you ever been fortunate enough to enjoy an aromatherapy treatment or massage? Anyone who has, will agree it is a great way to unwind and relax before bed. Using aromatherapy heated oils, reed diffusers, skin oils (most often applied to your feet, ankles and wrists, in a dilution); or adding drops of essential oils to your pillow case are all ways to benefit. The most effective selection of essential aromatherapy oils for slumber being Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Bergamot, and Valerian.
5.) Regular exercise and Sunshine
Research indicates that an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better. Sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, (within reason) the better your chance of healthy sleep.
Alongside this most of us are familiar with the statement that a healthy a exercise routine helps you sleep. Reasons for this range from realigning your body’s circadian rhythms, relieving stress, anxiety and depression, to even altering your body’s core temperature, which explains why exercise in the afternoon is considered more beneficial. As you cool down after exercise, it mimics your body’s natural temperature change in the evening before you sleep and so helps to prepare your body for rest.
So whether you are hoping to achieve more from your day, or simply become healthier, a final thought is the famous line: “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains,” – or more simply put “Bed Vibes, are Good Vibes.”