Looking for a peaceful nights sleep? In an ideal world, we’d all sleep eight hours a night. However most of us are quite busy, and when it comes to rest, we just can’t seem to unwind. This more than often results in a restless night’s sleep. Is there anything worse than trying to get through the day tired and disorientated? Here are 17 simple solutions that take minimal effort but will help prepare your body and mind for a restful night’s sleep (and stay asleep!) Thanks to Natalija Bouropoulos, designer of new Australian sleepwear label, NATALIJA.
Stick to routine – it is important to set a reasonable bedtime for yourself and make sleep a priority. Try to be in bed at the same time every night, this will reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep better.
Avoid caffeine – caffeine is a stimulant and may stay in your system between 4 to 6 hours. Try to avoid having a coffee, tea or cola drinks in the late afternoon or before bed, because such beverages will either prevent your brain from entering deep sleep or stop you from falling asleep altogether.
Note down your thoughts – are your thoughts of tomorrow edging into tonight? You can help put your mind at ease by writing your thoughts down. These thoughts will turn over to your subconscious mind while you’re sleeping, and when you wake up, you may more than likely have an idea on how to get them done more efficiently.
Keep a sleep diary –understand how your sleep habits are affecting your rest by tracking your slumber every day for at least 2 weeks using the Sleep Cycle app. Not only does it analyse and graph your sleep quality, it also lets you add sleep notes, and wakes you up at your lightest sleep using soothing tones.
Exercise regularly to improve sleep – according to the Sleep Health Foundation Australia, exercise can help improve the quality of your sleep. Research shows that daytime physical activity may stimulate longer periods of slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative stages of sleep.
Wind down before bed – spend about an hour unwinding with some relaxing activities at the end of your day. This could include reading a book, listening to soothing music, soaking in a warm bath or taking a shower.
Stay calm with lavender – the scent of lavender has a relaxing and calming effect that naturally aids in sleep. You can buy a spray bottle and sprinkle your pillow each night. Or (my personal favourite), rub a little lavender essential oil on your feet or palms to help you’re your mind ready for sleep.
Avoid that glass of alcohol – while drinking alcohol might help you feel tired and fall asleep quicker, it won’t actually improve the quality of your sleep or help you wake up feeling refreshed. Instead, enjoy a cup of your favourite caffeine-free tea as it’ll help to calm and relax you.
Sip a cup of Sleep Tea – Chamomile is a small white petal flower, reminiscent of a daisy. Commonly known as the sleep tea, it is usually dried and steeped into tea to help soothe and relax the body, and help to promote a healthy sleep cycle and overall wellbeing.
Drink a glass of milk – having a glass of warm milk before bed is a familiar sleep remedy; the calcium helps you to relax and the tryptophan helps you fall asleep. You can also add a little honey as it’s known to have a sedative effect and naturally aid in sleep.
Eat well to sleep well –Improving Lives Through Better Sleep, recommends dinner should be consumed at least 2 hours before bed and eat foods like bananas, spinach, cherries, fish and almonds, which contain magnesium, a natural sedative; melatonin, a sleep regulator; or serotonin; helps to induce sleep.
Create a sleep sanctuary – adjust the lighting, temperature and ensure your phone is on silent or flipped upside down to avoid those twinkling lights. Even a tiny amount of light can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt your sleep.
Wear suitable sleepwear – choosing what to wear to bed can directly affect the quality of your sleep. I created my sleepwear range, NATALIJA, so women can feel beautiful, even when they’re dreaming. All garments are made from 100% silk, which is considered to be one of the best fabrics to sleep in. It is comfortable, soft to touch, naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and makes you feel beautiful. Silk is also capable of keeping you warm during winter, and cool in the hot summer months – the perfect fabric for my nighties and robes!
Say NO to fur – try not to let those puppy dog eyes sway you! Studies show that some people who sleep with their pets may have disrupted sleep. Cats can be active in the late-night and early morning hours, and dogs may scratch, sniff, and snore you awake. But if your furry friend is a sound sleeper and cuddling with them is comforting, than it’s more than fine to let them stay the night!
Breathe deeply – Inhale for 6 seconds… pause for 3… then exhale to a count of 6… Start with 6 to 8 repetitions, and gradually increase to 15. This technique is quite meditating, and helps reduce you heart rate, blood pressure, release endorphins, and relaxes your body for sleep.
Stop snoozing – the snooze button can be your best friend, but more than often your worst enemy! It will actually make you feel more tired when you finally decide to get out of bed. Want to break this bad habit? Try placing your alarm out of arm’s length so it forces you to wake up and get out of bed.
Soak up the sun – natural daylight may enhance melatonin production come nightfall; a key contributor to a good night’s sleep. For some, especially those who have a desk job, it is hard to boost your daytime light exposure. Try to peel yourself away from that desk and go for a short stroll during your break, or even have your lunch in a nearby park.