Have trouble sleeping? Sleep is vital for staying healthy. It aids in the recovery and restoration of the body and the brain’s functions. Not getting enough sleep can result in poor mental performance and physical well-being.
However, getting a good night’s sleep presents its own set of challenges. Sleeping disorders and problems occur in 4 out of 10 Australians (1), but there are measures that can be taken to improve the quality of sleep we receive. Having good sleeping habits and tweaking your lifestyle a bit can significantly make your nights more comfortable.
How to sleep well
Here are a few tips you can follow to get more refreshing sleep at night:
Tip #1: Stick to a good schedule
Try to aim for at least 7 hours of sleep to avoid lack of sleep and to get better quality of sleep. Getting used to a regular bedtime makes it easier to prime your body for sleep. To have your measure of healthy sleep every night, you will need to reset your sleep-wake cycle.
It is recommended to keep to the same hours of bedtime as a person’s sleeping cycle can be affected by plenty of factors, including changes in each season. Some sleep cycles last longer during the winter, with summer having shorter cycles (2). Keep a sleep schedule and tuck yourself in at the same time everyday.
Tip #2: Clear your mind
It is more difficult to sleep if your mind remains busy. For instance, even if you aren’t doing work in bed, continuing to think of work keeps you awake. Instead of lying down in bed and thinking of work, try writing down everything you need for tomorrow and leave it at that. Close to bedtime or about 30 minutes prior, pull down your blinds and keep your room dark and comfortable, put on some soothing meditative music, plus a diffuser with lavender oils works like magic in getting those eyelids to droop. Be indulgent about making a fuss over your sleep routine. Sleep hygiene is putting yourself first, ahead of all distractions and optimizing your sleep schedule. Follow the simple routine enumerated above to ensure you have no disrupted sleep or encounter none of the sleep problems.
It can also help to do some relaxing exercises. You do not need to stand up for these. Keep a relaxed body, wiggle your toes, and gently move around your arms and legs. You can also consider meditation to help with mindfulness. Focusing on breathing or the classic sheep counting may also help you ease into a good night’s rest.
Tip #3: Reduce screen time
Part of how to sleep better is letting go of distractions. It is a good idea to keep cell phones, laptops, televisions, and anything with a screen away if it isn’t urgent. Staring into the bright light from a screen can delay and decrease total sleeping time (3). This is due to the psychological stimulation caused by the exposure to light, which keeps the brain alert and awake (4).
Tip #4: Be mindful about what you consume
The food you eat is known to affect the quality of your sleep you receive (5). Consuming fruit, fatty fish, and milk can significantly improve your sleep duration. This is due to certain vitamins like vitamin D and B-group vitamins which help in serotonin production, which provides better sleep quality (6). And definitely no big meals before bedtime. A light, fulfilling supper at least a few hours before bed, works well to prevent the brain from interpreting it to be time for wakefulness.
Taking herbal tea may also be helpful. For instance, some people take Ashwagandha, a plant extract found in tea, for better sleep. Ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a multipurpose treatment. It promotes refreshing sleep because of its alkaloids, which are considered to be a sedative (7). This sleep medicine can also be taken in the form of supplements to help you get a good night’s rest.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be tough. But Vitable has you covered! Ashwagandha for sleep comes recommended by medical practitioners as a safe choice to get you back to bed. You now get the chance to customise your vitamin packs to help you sleep better at night. If you’re looking for delivery as well, we cover this in the personalised vitamin package. Get to know more about Ashwagandha and its great effects on your sleep, stress, and overall quality of life.
- Healthdirect. Sleep. Healthdirect. Published August 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sleep. Accessed September 12 2021.
- Banks, Siobhan & Dinges, David F. Behavioral and physiological consequences of sleep restriction. National Institutes for Health. Published August 15 2007 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17803017/. Accessed September 12 2021.
- Hale, Lauren & Guan, Stanford.
Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: a systematic literature review National Institutes for Health. Published June 2015 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25193149/. Accessed September 12 2021.
- Munezawa, et al. The association between use of mobile phones after lights out and sleep disturbances among Japanese adolescents: a nationwide cross-sectional survey. National Institutes for Health. Published August 1 2014 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21804663/. Accessed September 12 2021.
- St-Onge, Mikic, Pietrolungo. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. National Institutes for Health. Published September 7 2016 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015038/. Accessed September 12 2021.
- Hansen et al. Fish consumption, sleep, daily functioning, and heart rate variability. National Institutes for Health. Published on May 15 2014 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24812543/. Accessed September 12 2021.
- Vitable. Ashwagandha Plus. Vitable. Published (n.d.) on https://research.vitable.com.au/ashwagandha-plus. Accessed September 17 2021.