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Wednesday 10 August 2022

The secrets of sleep you need to know

 How the secrets of sleep can help you get a full nights rest

Sleep is a complete enigma, it's something we all do every single night and yet so many of us struggle to get a good nights sleep, for something we spend around a third of our life doing you'd think we'd have the secrets of sleep locked down. But don't fear! If you've hit this page on a 4am sleep spiral hopefully these sleep secrets can help you for your future rest nights.

Secrets of Sleep

As a mum to a baby, sleep is always on my mind. From making sure Max has enough sleep and naps to get into a good routine, to attempting to get him to sleep through the night. Then onto my sleep it's making sure I maximise my sleep opportunities when he sleeps. This has meant a lot of sleep research, lots of sleep talk with others until I learnt enough to make sure that I can drop off to sleep fairly swiftly. Here's the secrets to sleep I've discovered:

Keeping your bed for its purpose

The irony or writing this post on my bed isn't lost on me, but as Max is asleep here I guess one of us is paying attention. The importance of beds* is to make it the safe space for sleep. So when you lay down your brain understands the process and knows that now is a time for sleep. By reserving it for sleep only it will create triggers for sleeping within your brain to hopefully make it easier

Develop a sleep routine

Possibly one of the most important sleep secrets I've discovered is the importance of a routine. This is the most blatant secret but one as adults we seem to forget. Do you remember being a child? Chances are you had a sleep routine. Probably something simple like having a bath, brushing your teeth, reading and then going to bed. Somewhere along the way to adulthood we forget about a sleep routine. We decide we need to watch the next episode of a programme, or spend hours laid in bed doom scrolling and a routine goes out of the window. It doesn't need to be complicated just the same actions, in the same order ideally at a similar time. For example mine is to make sure everything is set for the next day in terms of clothes, bags so that's not on my mind. I then go upstairs and complete my night time skin routine and brush my teeth. I get into bed and usually read for ten minutes and then head to sleep.

Make your environment comfortable

If your environment is a mess then your head will be a mess as you try and think about the things that need doing. Try and make your bedroom a zen comfortable environment, this is one of the secrets of sleep hotels try to tap in to which is why they're often very minimalistic. From the comfiest mattresses* and dressing your bed like a hotel feeling comfortable will help promote sleep from the beginning. This also applies to temperature and colours. A cool dark environment is optimum to helping keep your circadian rhythm correct. I'd recommend blackout curtains where possible and to check out a good mattress comfort scale to understand what you need.

Physical Movement to encourage sleep

I'm not saying you need to start running marathons, but a restless mind will struggle to sleep. There's a reason you sleep better when you've been busy because you've physically tired yourself out. Being physically active for at least half an hour a day will help boost sleep hormones such as melotonin to produce. Make sure you do it earlier in the day to get the full benefit 

Utilise technology effectively

Lets face it, how many of us ignore a phone notification when we're in bed? Compared to how many go reaching for their phone straight away. One sleep secret I've found effective is using my phone and other technology to encourage my sleep habits. Apple for example have a sleep mode whereby you can schedule your ideal sleep times. It sends you a reminder to get ready to go to bed and you can set it to do not disturb overnight. This reduces the likelihood of you reaching for your phone if a notification comes through, everything will be there for you to check in the morning. 

Another piece of technology I couldn't be without is my Lumie alarm clock* This allows me to programme sleep and wake times and the light simulates sunrise and sunset. It starts slowly filling the room with light which usually means a more natural wake-up. 

By following these simple secrets of sleep you should be able to increase your rest hours and also generally improve your health so what's stopping you?

What's your top sleep secret?

Secrets of Sleep

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