What can you do to improve your chances of an undisturbed night? From avoiding screens and dodging the evening’s nightcap:
Darkness It may be common sense but complete darkness in your bedroom will improve your sleep. We are dark deprived especially in urban areas, where there are street lights and vehicle headlights. We need darkness to encourage our bodies to release a hormone called ‘melatonin’, it helps you to create a healthy sleep cycle. Our bodies don’t often know its night time because we are bathed in artificial light. Dimming the lights in your home for an hour before bed, and reducing screen time can trigger melatonin production. So you feel sleepy before you even go off to bed.
Routine Waking up & going to bed the same time every day of the week, will adjust your bodies rhythms to a regular routine. Having a bedtime routine which starts about an hour before bedtime can help reset your body clock. Naps can make matters worse so keep them to a minimum.
17°c In order to sleep, our core temperature needs to drop. Keep temperatures in your bedroom cool at night, about 17°c is optimal.
Don’t Stay In Bed If you can’t sleep, don’t stay in bed. Lying awake in bed for longer than 1/2 hour will teach your brain that bed is about being awake. Get up & read under dim lights or maybe listen to a meditation video or recording. Go back to bed when you’re sleepy.
Caffeine & The Night Cap Stop drinking caffeine after noon and stop drinking alcoholic nightcaps. Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant. It can make it harder to fall asleep, prevents you from reaching deep sleep. Alcohol is a sedative but it can make you wake throughout the night & leave you unrestored. It also blocks REM Sleep which is critical for many brain & body functions.
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