Tips For A Good Night's Sleep
Sleep is definitely not for the weak!
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential, not a luxury. It’s the window for our bodies to rest and recover which directly affects how our cognitive and behavioural functions operate. A good night’s rest is important as it affects everything from productivity and mental focus to athletic performance and immunity. In Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep, Walker emphasises how sleep “restocks the armoury of our immune system, helping fight malignancy, preventing infection, and warding off all manner of sickness.” Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing.
Understanding your circadian rhythm – your internal 24-hour clock – can be a game-changer for your sleep quality. This natural timer helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel awake during the day and sleepy at night. Light is the key external factor that helps set this clock; natural daylight signals it’s time to be awake, while darkness cues the body to rest. To align your sleep with your circadian rhythm, aim for consistency by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. However, difficulties falling asleep are common for many. So, let’s explore some ways that can help you achieve the restful sleep you truly deserve.
1. Take a Warm Shower
Struggling to doze off? It might be due to your body’s elevated core temperature. Research indicates that while we snooze, our core body temperature naturally drops by about 1-2 degrees, hence, it’s ideal to lower our body temperature before bed time – and you can do that with a warm shower. This kickstarts better blood circulation, causing the blood to shift from your core towards your hands and feet. This process effectively whisks away excess heat, lowering your overall body temperature, giving your brain the signal that it’s time for bed. The resulting drop in temperature aids in sleep onset, making it easier to doze off. Plus, the comforting warmth of the shower helps soothe your body, releasing the day’s stress and tension. And the bonus – you’ll tuck into bed all fresh and clean.
2. Is Blue Light Really Harmful?
Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies, plays a vital role in balancing the circadian rhythm and aligning our sleep-wake cycle. Its production escalates during periods of darkness, serving as a signal to our bodies that it’s time to wind down and rest. Unfortunately, the presence of light, particularly blue light, can impede melatonin production. Blue light emanates from electronic devices like our phones, computers, and TVs. Hence, it’s important to set our screens aside before bedtime, granting melatonin the opportunity to take centre stage, facilitating a more restful sleep.
3. Setting The Mood
The environment you’re in can shape your sleep quality. A cozy bed and a snug ambiance makes all the difference when it comes to falling asleep. Remember how cooling down your core temperature helps improve sleep quality? Well, sleeping in a cool room can genuinely improve your sleep. It not only helps lower your body temperature but also stops those night sweats from happening.productivity productivity
Besides adjusting the room temperature, consider adding more pillows or snuggling up with an extra blanket for that warm and fuzzy feeling. If you’re up for it, try lighting up a scented candle. Research suggests scents like lavender, jasmine, and chamomile work like magic to help you unwind. The calmer you feel, the easier it is to slip into the world of dreams.
4. Saunas For Sleep
From October 2016 to October 2017, a global survey was conducted to gather data on the personal traits, sauna habits, and self-reported health and wellness experiences of individuals who use saunas 1-2 times per week – the results showed that 83.5% reported sleep benefits after sauna use. Your body temperature varies in accordance with your innate circadian cycle throughout the day, hence, utilising a sauna in the late afternoon or evening can align with your body’s natural cooling phase, leveraging the ‘after-sauna cooling effect’ to assist in achieving better sleep quality at night. In line with these findings, why not consider integrating a sauna into your usual routine? Trapeze Rec. Club offers both the traditional sauna and cold plunge as well as an infrared sauna. Enhance your natural sleep-wake cycle and elevate your quality of sleep – it’s a simple change that could make a world of difference.
Understanding the science of sleep isn’t just intriguing – it’s essential for our overall well-being. From syncing your sleep with your internal clock to the calming effects of a warm shower and soothing scents, simple changes can make a world of difference. Prioritise your sleep hygiene to boost daytime productivity, mood, and overall health. Wishing you nights of blissful slumber ahead!
Suni, E., Singh A.“Understanding Circadian Rhythm.” Sleep Foundation, 8 Aug 2023, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm#what-are-circadian-rhythms.
Pacheco, D., Wright, H. “Best Temperature For Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, 1 Sept 2023, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/best-temperature-for-sleep.
National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “Your Sleep/Wake Cycle.” 24 Mar 2022, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep/sleep-wake-cycle
Ko, LW., Su, CH., Yang, MH., Liu SY., Su TP. “A Pilot Study On Essential Oil Aroma Stimulation For Enhancing Slow-Wave ECG In Sleeping Brain.” 13 Jan 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806966/
Huberman, A. “Deliberate Heat Exposure Protocols for Health & Performance.” Huberman Lab. 1 June 2022, https://hubermanlab.com/deliberate-heat-exposure-protocols-for-health-and-performance/