December 02, 2021

We all know a good nights sleep is important for our health, but sometimes a solid 8 hours can be frustratingly elusive. Routine can be key and identifying something that helps calm you before bed, being a cup of tea, reading a book, gentle yoga or a relaxing bath, can greatly assist.  Below are a few recommendations that may assist in getting that quality sleep. 

Don’t eat too close to bedtime and avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few hours before you go to bed. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, colas, and chocolates. Caffeine has a half-life of 4-6 hours, meaning its stimulating properties can last longer than typically expected. If you are experiencing difficulty with getting to sleep, it could be worth limiting your caffeine intake, particularly later in the day.

We’ve all heard the story that drinking a glass of warm milk before bed can help you drift off to sleep. And as it turns out, it’s true. The calcium found in milk can help your body make use of the tryptophan found in dairy, which can trigger melatonin production to promote sleep. These brain chemicals combined make you drowsy and assist in helping you fall asleep easily.

Bedtime stories are usually reserved for kids but there is no reason why grownups can’t read something calming before bed to induce a good night’s sleep. It’s the routine of reading something relaxing before you turn off the light that will have you drifting off in no time.

It’s an old adage but seems there is some science behind it. It works with the body’s circadian rhythm of going to bed early and waking early which gets us into our optimal state of a good sleep and enjoying our peak energy in the morning. Getting a full eight hours can help your body repair and recharge itself. 

The darker your bedroom the better. Blue wavelengths from devices and fluorescent bulbs suppresses melatonin which is essential to falling asleep. Candles, as long as they are away from bed and curtains, can create a mellow atmosphere to help with falling asleep. Just ensure you blow the candle out before falling asleep!

Apartment living can be noisy or even living on a busy street can create background noise that your senses become alert to. White noise can help mask disrupting noises. Turning a fan on for instance can blur the background and foreground noises into one.

Regular exercise helps us sleep better, and it’s great for general physical and mental health.  However, make sure you are not exercising too late in the evening- any exercise less than 4 hours before bed is not recommended.

The longer we are awake, the more ‘sleep pressure’ we build up.  Napping can reduce sleep pressure, resulting in difficulty falling asleep at bedtime.  Whenever possible, it is best to avoid naps.  If naps are required (e.g., for safety), try to limit the nap to 30 minutes and keep to before 3 pm.
MEDITATION. Meditation and breathing can help if falling asleep or constant waking occurs. Slowing down your breathing and listening to your breathes can be calming and relaxing. Try it, in our experience it does actually work.

So drink a glass of warm milk, turn off your lights, and climb into bed at the same time each night. You’ll sleep better, and ultimately feel better, as a result.