How to achieve the perfect night’s sleep – Sleep is highly important for achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle and changes in our sleep can dramatically affect our overall health. The recommended amount of sleep for UK adults is six to nine hours per day and if deprived of this, high blood pressure, weight gain and increased levels of cholesterol are all possible. Additionally, sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on your mental health, which is why it’s essential to achieve the perfect night’s sleep. Here are some top tips to help improve both your sleep time and quality.
Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
Whilst it is extremely tempting to scroll through social media when relaxing in bed, this favourite downtime activity could be drastically affecting your sleep. The blue light emitted from phones or laptop screens tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, reducing the hormone melatonin which allows you to relax. Instead of reaching for your phone, try settling down to a good book or listen to relaxing music to help you drift off to sleep in the late evening.
Create a tranquil environment
It comes as no surprise that a calming environment can help you get a better night’s sleep. There are so many ways to create the perfect surroundings for sleep, including de-cluttering your room and using dimmed lighting before bed.
In addition to this, utilising certain smells can also be great for aiding in relaxation before bed. For example, a geranium is a great option for helping to reduce anxiety and lavender has been well documented to help you relax and drift off to sleep. If you or someone you know struggles with getting to sleep, try embracing holistic living and using aromatherapy scents, whether in reed diffusers, oil burners, or even massaging the essential oils into the skin.
Reduce liquid consumption before bed
Drinking enough fluids during the day is extremely important to our overall health and is something that should be encouraged. However, when it comes to the late evening, it is suggested that you reduce the amount you drink in order to minimise the need for getting up in the night. Experts suggest avoiding liquids for two hours before bed to prevent sleep disruption and promote a perfect night’s sleep.
Mediate your bedroom temperature
An underlying factor as to why many people struggle to sleep is because their room is either too hot or too cold. It’s thought the perfect temperature for getting a good night’s sleep is 18.3°C. To achieve this, try adding insulating furniture or accessories during the cooler months, and opening windows and internal doors to allow air to flow in the warmer months.
An obvious no-go before bed is caffeine and high-sugar foods as they stimulate the mind, giving a rush of energy. However, other foods to avoid that may not be as obvious include anything salty or particularly spicy. This is due to spices increasing body temperature, and high salt foods increasing dehydration levels, both of which can lead to disrupted sleep. It’s recommended to avoid salty foods two to three hours before bed.
Whilst there isn’t one miracle cure to achieving the perfect night’s sleep, these five useful tips can certainly contribute to improving your sleep quality all year round. However, if you continue to experience issues with your sleep, it is advised to speak to a medical professional for further advice.