After a night of endless tossing and turning, you wake up feeling grumpy and sleepy, which in turn sours your entire day. But what do you do? How can you improve your chances of sweet, sound sleep every night, or at least for most of the week? In this guide, we’ll explore various ways to many more nights of better sleep.
Preparing for a good night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep may seem like a luxury today, but it is essential for your energy levels the following day. That said, finding the secret to a good night’s sleep is much like trying to find the fountain of youth, elusive. Here are five tips to help you to effortlessly drift off to la la land tonight.
Avoid looking at a screen within the last half an hour before bedtime. That includes your laptop and your cell phone, so no more binging on series just before bed. Screens stimulate your mind, therefore making it harder to fall asleep.
Reading a book, magazine or the rest of our guide before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier. This is very relaxing and has been tried and tested over and over again.
Avoid huge, fatty meals before bed
Reserve your cheat day endeavours for the daytime. Our bodies cannot process food properly while laying down, so eating too much before bedtime can upset your stomach and limit your ability to fall into a deep sleep. Give your stomach at least three hours to digest food before bedtime.
Keep a worry journal
It is said that a clear conscience makes the softest pillow. So work on whatever is bothering you. We’re not saying fix it all in one night, but coming up with possible solutions for your worries can help you manage your anxiety better. Grab a piece of paper and write down all the things that are bothering you on one side, and on the other side write down possible solutions. This can help clear your conscience. If you don’t have a possible solution yet, write down a date by which you should have the solution.
By now we’re almost sure that you know that caffeine makes you stay alert for longer. So avoid that one last cup of hot chocolate, coffee or soft drinks before bed. Rather go for flavoured rooibos tea, warm water and fruit juice if decaf options are not quite for you.
There you have it. You should now be well on your way to your best sleep.
Turning your bedroom into a sleep zone
Getting great sleep is not just dependent on what you consume before bed, but also very much about the environment you sleep in. So why not get the odds of getting better sleep stacked up in your favour by transforming your bedroom into the ultimate sleep zone?
Make sure you have the best support
Great sleep starts with the bed you sleep on, of course. So best make sure that you get the best in the market. A firm, cushy bed like our own Genie bed is the best place to start. The Genie’s natural foam forms perfectly with your body contour, giving you the best support.
Dim the lights
A sleep zone or sanctuary should have as little light exposure as possible. It’s time to get those thing curtains or blackout shades. You can even kick it up a notch higher by wearing a sleep mask. Light sends signals to your body that it is daytime, which lowers the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
Make it a TV-free zone
Nothing is more distracting than the sound of the television every night. Break the habit of watching TV in bed. This way, you’ll train yourself to think of your bedroom as a place to kick back and unwind.
Embrace your inner minimalist
Your bedroom should be a place of serenity and peace, not a sensory overload with bright colours and statement pieces and ornaments. Keep the clutter to a minimum or at least out of sight. Otherwise, it might disrupt the peaceful energy and cause your thoughts to race.
Keep the snacks where they belong –in the kitchen
Apart from the risk of spilling and getting crumbs in your bed (ew!), eating in the bedroom tells your mind that this is another place for activity, which counteracts what you’re working so hard to achieve.
Wash your bed linen frequently
No, washing the bed linen once a year is not enough. You need to wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week. Nothing is more soothing and relaxing than the smell of clean linen. So treat yourself to this sensory treat every week.
Look to flower power
Surround yourself with the things that make you happy and relaxed. Try floral scents like lavender to ease anxiety and promote sleep.
Sleep troubleshooting – answers to your sleep questions
You’ve probably wondered about certain things concerning sleep; which advice is valid, and which is solely based on old wives tales. Let us help you sort through all that with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sleep.
How many hours should you sleep per night?
Experts say 8 hours of sleep per night is a good basis for most adults.
What causes snoring anyway, and how can you stop it?
We’ve all probably been victims of a snoring partner or sibling, interrupting our own sleep. Snoring can be caused by anything that narrows one’s breathing passages. This can be large tonsils, nasal congestion, obesity or alcohol consumption, or even using the wrong pillow. Try our Genie pillow, which offers a contour shape that aligns with your head in the perfect sleeping position.
Is it bad to work out just before bedtime?
Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a day is healthy and can even help you sleep well. But working out just before bed can interfere with your sleep. It is best to workout 5 to 6 hours before bedtime.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition that causes you to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. It can happen to anyone from time to time, but if it is happening to you more often than not, you should go see your GP to discuss common remedies.
What is sleepwalking, and what causes it?
Sleepwalking is a disorder that causes you to literally get up and start walking while still sleeping. It usually happens during deep sleep. This can be caused by alcohol consumption, certain medical conditions and medication. If you are a sleepwalker, no it is not a superpower. Best you see a doctor as soon as possible.
What to do to fall asleep now
It’s 2:30 in the morning and you are still awake. You have counted sheep, drank chamomile tea and even said a few prayers, but there’s still no sight of sleep. What now? Here are a few sure-fire tactics to help you fall asleep tonight.
Stop thinking so hard
Bedtime is for sleep, not for balancing the books and planning the next day’s activities. Don’t even focus on the fact that you can’t sleep. Think of something else. Get your mind off your insomnia for a while. Think of something that makes you happy, or visualise yourself asleep.
Visualise yourself asleep
We know it sounds a bit strange, but trust us. Just go with it. It might help. Imagine yourself drifting into a blissful slumber while practising deep breathing. This will relax your mind, and help you wind down.
Try relaxation techniques
Summon all the relaxation techniques you know and get going. Be it deep breathing, stretching or progressive relaxation techniques or humming, try it. It might be just what you need.
Minimise disturbing noises
If outside noises beyond your control, like a busy street outside, are interrupting your sleep, cover them with the sound of a fan or create a white noise playlist and put it no repeat.
Try taking a hot bath or shower
Stepping out from warm water into your cool bedroom can cause your body temperature to drop slightly, which can trigger sleepy feelings by slowing down your metabolic activity.
Make sure you’re warm enough
Sometimes we struggle to sleep simply because we are not warm enough. Get up and put on some socks. When you’re about to fall asleep your body redirects blood flow to your hands and feet. When those parts are warm, blood flow increases and make it easier to fall asleep.
Medicate with caution
This should be your last resort, but should you choose an aid, whether over the counter or prescribed, remember that these meds were designed to make you sleepy. While they are great to take at 8 pm, it might not be great to take them too close to the morning. You don’t want to be hungover at work because you took sleeping tablets at 4 am.
To find out more about buying the right bed for better sleep, download our free Genie Bed guide, ‘How to Choose a Better Bed’