This article in 2 sentences:
In this article, we’ll look at five top tips to maximise restful sleep. They’re all about creating a We’ll look at getting your bedroom right for your sleep as well as some emotional factors that could help or hinder restful sleep.
Optimising Your Sleep
The effects of low quality or lack of sleep permeate all aspects of our lives. It can inhibit the effectiveness of your memory, your immune system, your libido and more. Often, in cases of depression, the first advice given by healthcare professionals relates to sleeping habits. Brain fog and irritability are two of the most common, less extreme effects of low quality sleep or a lack of it. In extreme cases where people are just not sleeping enough, they face increased risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Needless to say, whether you’re worried about serious risks to your health or you just want to optimise your day to day, restful sleep is integral for your well-being.
The Right Way to optimise sleep
When most of us talk about sleeping well, we think of when we go to sleep and how many hours we are getting. While duration is a key part of fulfilling and restful sleep, it is only one part of a larger question regarding recuperation and well-being during the night. Only focusing on sleep duration is to overlook the multitude of factors that can impair good quality sleep.
Below, we look at 5 ways you can maximise restful sleep.
5 tips to maximise restful sleep
1) Get your pillows right
If you’re waking up with a sore neck or back or with a headache, it’s possible you’re sleeping with too many or too few pillows. There’s also a lot to be said about how much easier falling asleep is when you’re at your most comfortable. Various sleep experts recommend two pillows for side-sleepers and one pillow for stomach-sleepers and back-sleepers. The thickness and give of the pillow will vary from pillow to pillow, so be sure to get the right one for your body size and shape.
As a general rule, a soft pillow is best for stomach-sleepers while a medium give is better for mixed or back-sleepers. If you prefer to sleep on your side, you’ll need a firmer pillow to support your neck.
2) Get your temperature right
Over the generations, a warm bed has become synonymous with a comfortable bed to many of us. But what many people don’t realise is that as the human body prepares for sleep, it cools down. And your best rest is had when the ambient temperature in your room is lower than 20 degrees Celsius – to anywhere around 15 degrees Celsius. Wearing thinner pyjamas or no pyjamas at all will help your body to let off its heat more quickly and have you drifting off to sleep sooner.
3) Get your light right
Artificial light has come into human life relatively recently. Until recently the only sources of light were the sun and fire. Sources of light tell the brain to slow the production of melatonin (a hormone that encourages your body to fall asleep). In the past, when the sun set and the fire died out we began to fall asleep.
Now, we have a plethora of light sources all telling our brains to slow that melatonin production. It takes approximately one hour for the melatonin production to get back to normal if the other circumstances are right for sleep.
Electronic devices with screens like television, mobile phones and tablets are a huge contributor to interrupted sleep in that last hour of the day but more often than not, other sources of light are overlooked. Phone screens lighting up with notifications during the night are something you might not be aware of but it still makes a difference. It can be solved by setting your phone to aeroplane mode or turning it upside down, or better yet, turning it off.
Night-lights, digital clocks, LEDs and/or standby lights on electronic devices are subtle offenders. All sources of artificial light can interfere with a restful sleep during the early hours. Cover them up with a bit of tape or pull the plug and notice the difference.
4) Get your mood right
Stress, anger and sadness can all affect sleep. Bad moods mean sleeping in tension. Muscles tight, teeth grinding, worries weighing on your dreams. We’ve all heard the phrase “sleep it off” but it doesn’t always work. If the issue is one of adjusting to an inevitable reality that you can do nothing to change, rest can be hugely beneficial as it can provide you with a fresh perspective. But if the upset has been caused by a solvable problem, set aside time to solve it before you rest or create an actionable plan to solve it the next day.
Try to go to sleep in a good mood wherever possible and you increase your chances at fulfilling, restful sleep as well as a great tomorrow.
A problem left unsolved becomes a lifestyle.
5) Get your space right
The effect of bedroom clutter on the psyche is significant. If you’re a high-performing, “type A” person, a messy, cluttered room may blunt your edges or make you feel agitated. If you’re someone who likes to nest and you claim “organised chaos” is preferable because at least you “know where everything is”, mess and clutter can still leave you feeling drained, tired or apathetic more often than you need to.
Moreover, a cluttered room makes it hard to think clearly during the day. With so much in your environment to take in, there’s less mental RAM for important “thought” tasks. This ties in with our previous point about tension during sleep time.
Additionally, the more your brain associates your bedroom with work, creative pursuits, stories in TV shows and so on, the less it will associate it with rest. Make the implications of entering your bedroom and going to sleep clear. When you lay down on your bed, you do it to go to sleep.
These five tips will promote more restful sleep and set you up for greater levels of happiness, productivity and well-being. The human brain needs restful sleep to thrive and overcome challenges. Without it, learning and memory consolidation, retention and recall is impaired.
Give yourself the well-being you deserve… Questly is a tool that quickly help you access your overall health. It includes a quest specific to sleep allowing you to dive in deep and set sleep goals using what you’ve just learnt in this article.
If you want to try something different that may help you sleep check out these resources on Total Wellness Club:
Monika Kralj is an award winning sound therapist. Read reviews about her work and you will see how she has helped people get a better nights as a result of sound therapy in Bristol, UK. You might think that sound would wake you up, but the vibrations wash over the body and travel through your body, just like music would. Just take your hand and wave it in front of your face 10 times… can you feel the lovely feel of the air waves… now imagine that, but 100 times more powerful (with sound) flowing through your body. Find out more here
Tim Walter, an award winning coach, performs a process known as Geomancy. Geomancy utilises dowsing, which has been around for thousands of years. Today it is used by many Utility Companies to locate underground pipes and water leaks. Police Forces have also been known to use the same method to find missing people and the Army used it to find enemy mines and tunnels. Dowsing has also been used in oil and mineral exploration. Tim Walters uses it to locate natural electromagnetic and geomagnetic energy fields that can have detrimental effects on health and well-being, including sleep. Check out reviews on Geomancy.
Daniel Kronenberg is a clinical hypnotherapist based in Bath and Salisbury and online. Hypnotherapy focuses on understanding and changing patterns of behaviour. Though the cause of the problem will vary for each individual, there are many events or situations in life that may increase the risk of developing a sleep disorder. If you have suffered a trauma or experience current stress or anxiety, which may be contributing to your sleeping problems, Daniel focuses on this during the sessions. There is no one size fits all treatment – your individual circumstances have led to your sleeping difficulties so these issues will be discussed and targeted during the hypnotic part of the session. Check out reviews for Daniel Kronenberg here