Healthy Sleep – What’s Destroying It and How To Get More Of It
Would you believe us if we told you that there’s one simple way of living longer, reducing anxiety, enhancing memory and becoming happier, healthier, and even slimmer. Can you guess? It all comes down to getting a good night’s rest.
But not all sleep is created equal. While we often hear about how many Z’s you should be getting, a neglected, but important factor is the quality of those Z’s. Getting less than six hours of good quality sleep a night can not only increase your chances of developing cancer, it’s also the biggest factor in determining if you will develop Alzheimer’s.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some simple tips and tricks you can put in place to make sure you get a great night’s sleep.
Sleeping away from home
There are two types of sleep – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. Non-REM sleep is where a lot of our body’s restoration takes place, however, when we fall asleep in an unfamiliar environment, one half of our brain seems to stay alert, preventing our body from fully experiencing non-REM sleep. That means, when you sleep in unfamiliar environments, only half of your brain is getting proper rest.
This may be why we feel tired after a night at a hotel. Our brains are essentially “on-guard” in new places. When you know you’ll stay overnight somewhere, take extra care relaxing before bed and familiarising yourself with the new surroundings.
Pass on the night cap
Turning to alcohol as a sleep aid? It’s doing more damage than good.
Depressants such as alcohol might put us to sleep quicker but the quality of this sleep isn’t great. Alcohol reduces our ability to cycle into non-REM sleep, decreasing our restoration processes and causing you to feel drowsy the next day.
If you’re used to reaching for an extra glass of red wine in the evening, invest in a natural sleep aid. Bioplus Sedaleep tablets contain Passiflora incarnata, traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to promote relaxation, and Hops which is known to improve your quality of sleep – an all-round winner in our books.
Sedasleep contains a herbal combination of Passion flower and Hops. Passion flower is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to relieve sleeplessness and reduce disturbed or restless sleep.
Turn out the lights
We live in a dark-deprived society. Artificial lights, phones and computer screens suppress the natural release of melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy. Just one hour of phone use at night will delay melatonin production by 3 hours.
Try implementing a bedroom device ban at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed, pick up that book you meant to read last year and never got around to.
Control your temperature
The temperature of your room can have a major impact on the quality of sleep you are getting. When our bodies are preparing for sleep, we see a dip in core body temperature meaning warm rooms, heated blankets, and radiators can disrupt this natural dip, leading to a night of restless sleep.
Before turning out the light, check the temperature of your bedroom and if you can, set it between 16-20 degrees. Another idea is to have a warm bath right before bedtime as this will actually cool your body temperature once you get out. Extra points for adding lavender oil to your bathtub for blissful relaxation.