For some of us, trying to fall asleep is a struggle every single night. Others fall asleep the minute their head hits the pillow – only to wake up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep again. Here are our top 5 tips on how to sleep better.
1. It’s all about the timing
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to set your body’s internal clock. This also means you should avoid sleeping in – even on weekends. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to offset your sleep deficiency without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
2. Max up on natural light
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Your brain produces more melatonin when it’s dark – making you sleepy – and less when it’s light – to keep you more alert. But our modern-day life can interfere with the production of melatonin and shift your rhythm. To stop this from happening, research suggests you get plenty of natural light in the morning, the closer to the time you get up, the better. Have your morning coffee outside or enjoy breakfast by a sunny window to help you wake up and reset your sleep-wake cycle.
3. Skip that late afternoon coffee
Your afternoon coffee may give you a welcome boost to any post-lunch sluggishness, but research shows caffeine might be disrupting your sleep. Caffeine shortens the deep-sleep phases of your sleep cycle, resulting in poorer sleep quality and duration which is why sleep experts say not drinking coffee or other caffeinated products at least eight hours before bedtime.
4. Keep cool & sleep better
Most of us have experienced how hard it can be to fall asleep in a room that’s too hot. Feeling too warm will disrupt your sleep as your body is trying to reset its core temperature. Adjust your bedding, open the window, use a fan or air conditioner (if available) to cool down. Research shows, ideal sleeping temperature for most adults is around 20 degrees Celsius or cooler. This may not be possible in warmer climates like Australia, but you can still keep cool by selecting your bedding carefully (see point 5).
5. Choose your bedding wisely
Opt for all-natural materials for your bedding and to avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, polyester mixes and memory foam (made from polyurethane foam, a type of plastic). Great all-natural options include cotton, bamboo, linen or silk for sheets; and for quilts and toppers try wool, natural latex and bamboo.
“Bamboo: This eco-friendly fiber is also thermoregulating with a greater ability to absorb moisture than other fibers.”Medical News Today What are the best sheets for hot sleepers? by Danielle Dresden
Out of these, bamboo is best when it comes to keeping you cool because it’s highly breathable, moisture wicking and boasts superior thermo-regulation qualities – keeping you cool and comfy all year round. And for the climate conscious – the sustainable nature of bamboo provides additional peace of mind for a better night’s sleep.
More Tips on How to Sleep Better…
A cozy and calming sleep environment is another great place to start when optimising your chances for quality shut-eye.
Transform your bedroom to a cozy sanctuary with luxurious bedding in calming colour hues. Read more about “Cozy Bedroom Design Ideas for the New Year” by Alison Bentley of Redfin.
Over 60 and having trouble sleeping? Find additional tips and resources at Sixty+me.
“Nothing beats ending your day by falling asleep in a relaxing and cozy bedroom – especially if your New Year’s resolution was to get a better night’s sleep.”Redfin Cozy Bedroom Design Ideas for the New Year by Alison Bentley