Do you remember how it felt to sleep when you were a child... 8 glorious hours of oblivion then waking to feel refreshed and eager to see what each new day would bring?
For most of us, the abiity to sleep like a baby diminishes with age and for some people this can become a real problem. Our fast paced, highly pressured modern lifestyle, often leaves us overstimulated, with our brains whirring away when we know we should be sleeping. Left unchecked a disturbed sleep pattern can become a habit that's difficult to break, leaving us sleep deprived and impacting on our ability to function properly. We all know that tiredness makes us feel muddled and foggy but did you know that it's associated with Heart disease and diabetes? It affects our memory and impairs our judgement; and surprisingly can also make us fat!
Clearly then having a good nights sleep is essential to our health and well being so here are our top tips to help you drift off and stay in the land of nod for a full 8 hours.
Sleep should be a priority. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day– even on the weekends.
Maintain a relaxing sleep routine, read a book, listen to soothing music or soak in a hot bath.
Create a sleep sanctuary, a haven that you're happy to retire to. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, comfortable and cool, all of which are conditions needed for the best sleep possible.
Consider a bedroom makeover...Your mattress and pillow should be comfortable and give good support. So if your mattress is seven years old (or older), it may be time to consider buying a new one. Pillows should also be replaced regularly.
Bedding should not be overlooked as maintaining the correct temperature is very important, so make sure that you use a duvet that's the right weight for the season; or simply use a top sheet and bedspread in very hot weather. For ultimate comfort, invest in high quality, Egyptian Cotton bedding which is silky soft against the skin. If you tend to be too warm, opt for Egyptian Cotton Percale which is both silky, cool and crisp.
Limit the use of technology before going to sleep, TV's, smartphones, tablets, and laptops should be kept out of the bedroom. The intense blue backlighting of electronic devices, triggers chemicals in the brain that tell your body it’s time to be awake.
It's good to take exercise in the early evening, even a brisk walk can increase blood flow and improve your sleep.
Regulate your caffeine intake. Caffeine can stay in your system much longer than you might realise. Drink water instead of coffee, or tea in the afternoon.
Spray your pillow with Lavender water which will help you relax and unwind.
Finally count your blessings! Remembering to be mindful and thankful for all the good things in your life just before you go to sleep, is a great way to develop a positive mindset and alleviate any stress.