Five sleep hacks you need to know about
The human need for sleep is so basic that it should be the easiest and of the most natural thing for us.
However, according to a 2004 study conducted by John A. Groeger, a professor of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, showed that sleep quality and quantity for UK citizens have been declining in the last decades.
In fact, Prof. Vicki Culpin writes in her 2018 book The Business of Sleep: How Sleeping Better Can Transform Your Career, that we’ve never had such a high number of people in the UK being so sleep deprived. In an interview with The Guardian, prof Vicki Culpin goes on to explain how insufficient or poor quality sleep adversely affects a person’s health, longevity and hinders their daily function.
Health risks of inadequate sleep include; diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and many more. Tired and sleep deprived employees are also less productive, more susceptible to injuries and generally more absent from work. But people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of sleep. Aviva’s data reveals that the biggest health ambition for a quarter of UK adults is to meet their sleep requirements. If you are looking to get better sleep at night, the following sleep hacks will help you;
Use a pillow spray
High-stress levels, anxiety, and depression are common causes of many sleep disorders. Fortunately, pillow sprays are highly effective in relieving stress. They use aromatherapy to create a calming environment that helps you relax, reduces stress, anxiety, and agitation.
Research shows pillow sprays with lavender fragrance have particularly significant relaxing effects on the brain. Inhaled lavender has the power to slow down your nervous system by helping it to release feel-good, relaxing chemicals. This foster’s your body’s relaxation and helps you settle into a deep sleep.
Get a mattress topper
Sleep comfort is a key factor in getting better sleep. We feel good and sleep for longer hours when our beds are comfortable.
Lack of proper posture and uneven distribution of body pressure can cause (or worsen) pain on your back, neck, shoulders, and joints. In addition, pain and discomfort are some of the most common causes of poor sleep patterns.
A mattress topper is extremely beneficial in giving you the much needed extra layer of comfort. It provides an excellent and affordable way to improve the feel of your mattress and sleep more comfortably.
What’s more, mattress toppers come with temperature controls which disseminate your body heat equally and reduce sweating. The right mattress topper responds to your sleeping position and contours your body while you sleep. It supports your body and relieves pressure on the parts of the body being laid on.
The best mattress toppers are usually filled with memory foam, polyester or wool which soften up your mattress. This helps them absorb your body’s movement while you sleep and prevents any rigidness or pain when you wake up. Although its primary effort is to enhance comfort, a mattress topper also protects your mattress and extends your mattress’ life.
Take a bath before bed
Your sleep cycle begins with a cooling phase of your body temperature. This lowers your heart rate and aids your body to shut down.
A warm bath before bed will raise your body temperature and subsequently trick your body into cooling down. When your body starts to cool down, it signals your brain to go into nighttime relaxation mode.
Be sure to take a warm bath 1-2 hours before bed. You can also soak your feet in warm water also have the same effect. Similarly, the temperature of your bedroom can also impact how well you sleep. If you sleep in a hot or cold room, you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. According to the Sleep Council, the ideal temperature for adults should be 16–18 C while the elderly and young children may require slightly warmer temperatures.
Make sure your room is dark
Creating the right sleeping environment is essential for a good night’s rest. Our bodies are affected by temperature, light, and noise. During the day, our brains repress the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) keeping you awake. Bright environments signal to our brains that it’s time to wake up while dark environments signal that it’s time to rest.
Unfortunately, our brains are unable to differentiate between natural light and unnatural light sources such as bulbs. If possible, reduce as much exposure to light as possible to help you fall asleep fast. Loud or sudden noises can also affect the quality of sleep we get at night. Our ears are able to pick up even the slightest of noises such as TV or laptop humming. Consequently, try to lower any irritating sounds that may distract you from your sleep.
Play white noise on your phone
While sudden or loud noises may keep you awake at night, soothing ambient sounds such as white noise promotes deeper, longer sleep. Several studies show scientifically generated white noise enhances the brain activity associated with deep sleep.
The best thing about this sleep hack is that you can easily access white noise from your phone. You can also use soothing white noise to drown loud or distracting noises which may be interrupting your sleep.
We all deserve to get the kind of sleep we desire. The above approaches are efficient and science-backed sleeping hacks that will help anyone struggling to get a good night’s sleep.
The editorial unit