How many times have you heard the saying it’s quality, not quantity that counts? You might not believe it, but it’s true even when it comes to sleep.
So, you’re lying tossing and turning, and it’s nearly 4 am. You can’t seem to drop off, no matter what you do. The alarm is due to go off in two hours, and you just know it’s going to be a long and tiring day.
Too many of us don’t get enough of it. But sleep is vital for your health and wellbeing. Not only does sleep help our bodies repair and grow, but it also has a whole host of other benefits, too. Getting regular, good quality sleep could make you live longer. It improves your cardiovascular health and boosts your immune system. You’re far more likely to be in a better state of mind, too. Let’s face, no one is in the best of moods after a bad night’s sleep!
Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman
Did you know that women don’t tend to get as good quality shut-eye than their male counterparts? Women are traditionally most likely to get up and see to the children through the night, but that’s not the only reason. Even women without kids will suffer, and it’s all due to hormones. Levels of Oestrogen – the hormone that helps promote sleep- plummet during “that time of the month.” There’s no relief once a woman hits the menopause, in fact, it gets worse. Oestrogen production slows up after the change of life. Hormone levels can be balanced naturally in some cases by making sure you have enough omega oils in your diet. Supplements like Vitabiotics Wellwoman Plus Omega 369 Tablets from Holland And Barrett can help. But do check with your doctor first.
Your Bed is Only for Sleeping…. or Sex!
Your bed should only be for sleeping in, or having sex. Of course, you can do both in other places, but you shouldn’t be doing other things in your bed. Making sure your bed is kept for sleep helps your brain give your body strong signals that it’s time to get some shut-eye.
If your bed isn’t very comfortable, then that’s not going to help you sleep either. Make sure your bed base is built properly and secure. Bust slats and an uneven base are not conducive to a relaxing rest. If your mattress has seen better days, then a replacement could secure you some satisfying slumber. Go for the best you can afford, like the luxury king size mattresses from John Ryan by Design. A good night’s sleep is priceless!
Put the Technology Away!
Blue light is one of the reasons so many of us struggle to sleep. The light emitted from the screen of your phone, tablet, laptop or iPad is detrimental to getting some big zeds. Studies have shown that at night, bright light messes with your body’s ability to produce the hormone Melatonin. Melatonin is essential for sleep. And the worst culprit? Yes, it’s blue light. And the biggest source of these? Screens. So, the best solution is not to use them after sundown. But let’s be honest – that’s unlikely to work for many people. Maybe you’re working in the evenings, or you’re just flicking through your newsfeed on Facebook. Either way, the result is the same. There’s an app called f.lux that reduces blue light emissions from your devices. It’s worth a look.
The Science Part
A study from PNAS studied a group of iPad users and their bedtime habits. The results showed that people who used their devices at night produced 55% less melatonin. Once they switched their iPad off they took ten minutes longer to fall asleep than those who didn’t use their devices in the evening. Once they did eventually drop off, the quality was less as they had little REM sleep. Symptoms the next day include tiredness and fatigue. When it was time to go to sleep the following evening, the news wasn’t good. The iPad users took ninety minutes longer to each slumber than the other subjects of the research. These other participants read books instead. The effects of reading and no bright lights showed none of the detrimental effects displayed by the users of the iPads.
Making your bedroom a nicer place to sleep will help you feel more relaxed if you’re having trouble with sleeping. Decluttering and making the room a serene haven rather than a storage space will always be of great benefit. Make the aim to relax, not sleep and you might find yourself in the land of nod without even realising!