We all love sleep. It’s a basic human need, giving us comfort, relaxation, and a time to recharge after the challenges of the day. But, let’s face it, most of the time we don’t wake up refreshed or raring to go. We groan, roll over and grumpily hit the snooze button. The truth is, we’re probably not sleeping long enough or well enough.
The key to wellness during our waking hours is making sure we get enough, good-quality sleep. Sleep is a time for our bodies and our minds to repair.
As well as feeling more refreshed and alert, sleeping well will:
Boost the immune system
During sleep your body produces cells that target infection and inflammation, reducing the risk of getting sick from viruses like the common cold, and supporting your body to recover more quickly if you do get ill.
Help control weight
While you’re asleep your body produces hormones that regulate appetite. If you haven’t had enough sleep, these hormones will be imbalanced, and you’ll wake up hungry, more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack to curb the craving.
Improve heart health
In deep sleep, your blood pressure lowers significantly, giving your heart and blood vessels some down-time, and reducing the risk of health issues resulting from high blood pressure, like heart disease and stroke.
Reduce anxiety and enhance mood
When we dream, our brains are working hard to process and reorganise thoughts and emotions, helping us cope better with challenges from the day. If we don’t get enough deep sleep, emotions can go unprocessed, leading to anxiety and low mood.
It’s clear sleep is vital for our wellness, so making sure we do it well should be top of everyone’s list of self-care goals. Here’s how to get started:
7 tips for sleeping well
- Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Having a routine – even at weekends – will allow your body to get into a rhythm and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so if you’re getting less than that, try and adjust your routine to bump up your sleep hours.
- Avoid heavy foods before bed.
A full tummy can make it tricky to get comfortable, and your body will be busy digesting instead of resting.
- Banish technology.
Blue light emitted from screens affects your circadian rhythm and blocks melatonin - the hormone that makes you sleepy.
- Create the perfect sleeping environment.
Your room should be quiet, cool and dark. Simple things like opening a window can help, but you might want to invest in black-out blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs.
- Spend an hour before bed relaxing.
Do whatever makes you feel calm – read, meditate, try some breathing exercises, have a bath or indulge in some beauty routines. Dim the lights and put on some gentle music.
- Give yourself permission to sleep.
Once your head hits the pillow, embrace this as your time for sleep, and try not to think about anything else. Still your mind and simply enjoy the sensation of falling asleep.
Our September sleep-themed Natural Wellness Box is packed full of dreamy products to help you on your way to a good night’s sleep, perfect for that relaxing hour before bedtime!