Simple tips for great sleep

by | Jul 12, 2021 | Healthy Lifestyle, Sleep | 0 comments

Photo Credit: Good Sleep – Bruce Mars

Simple tips for great sleep

Sleep (and by that, we mean good quality, deep sleep) is an important and incredibly essential function and basic need for every single person. Good sleep not only allows your body to recoup after a long day, but allows your mind to recharge, enables the body to remain healthy and improves mental clarity and concentration. If you or a loved one suffers with insomnia or struggles to fall asleep at night, or if you wake up feeling sluggish and can’t start the day without caffeine, then chances are that you are not getting enough sleep. Read more below to learn some helpful tips that will increase your sleep quality and help you get your 8 hours of sleep a night!

Get at least 8 hours

Getting about 8 hours of sleep a night is something that many of us are fully aware of yet lifestyle stressors, diets, work stress and many other environmental issues can cause us to get a lot less sleep than we need. If you struggle to sleep within 30 minutes of getting into bed (with no distractions like a cellphone or bright light), then chances are that you are getting bad sleep. Another way to check this is if you wake up tired, moody and as if you cannot concentrate. An example of good sleep however is if you fall asleep and wake up naturally and feel as if you are ready to tackle the day. You are also less likely to feel tired during the day and will not feel the need to rely on sugar or caffeine for energy.

A good night’s rest not only improves concentration, productivity and performance, but has also been proven to enhance problem-solving skills. According to Healthline

“A study in over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength, and greater difficulty performing independent activities”.

A lack of sleep can not only leave you feeling fatigued during the day and increase your chance of getting a migraine, but in the long run, it can also drive chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Poor sleep can also impact blood sugar levels and cause prediabetes while increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Not surprisingly, a lack of sleep can also have an impact on depression and anxiety causing obstructive sleep issues such as insomnia and even vivid dreams in some cases!

Did you know that there are 4 stages of sleep? According to the Sleep Foundation, once we fall asleep, we fall into a cycle that is divided up into 4 different stages which are the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM – making up 3 of the stages) and the Rapid Eye Movement (REM – making up the last stage.

Stage 1:

NREM – this is the stage where you transition between wakefulness and sleep. At this stage, muscles relax, and the heart rate slows down. Eye movements and breathing also slows down – this stage only lasts for a few minutes

Stage 2:

NREM – the second NREM stage is where your heart rate and breathing slows down even more. This usually lasts for 4 hours

Stage 3:

NREM – the third NREM stage is where your body takes the time to recoup, leaving you feeling alert and ready for the next day. During this stage, brain activity reaches the lowest level.

Stage 4:

REM – This is where your eyes move around quickly under the eyelids and starts happening about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. This is a deep sleep where dreams can take place. Interestingly, the length that you stay in this phase decreases as you age!

Be consistent

While it sounds easier said than done, putting yourself in a sleep schedule and being consistent with your night-time routine can make it easier for you to fall asleep – especially if you struggle to sleep. Making a constant effort to go to bed at the same time each night might seem hard in the beginning, but it makes a world of difference once you are in a routine that works for you.

Have a wind-down time

Due to how hectic life is nowadays, it seems that many are falling asleep with their phones in their hands. If you often grab your phone before bed and spend time scrolling social media, then it might be helpful to try and curb your technology time before bed. Try to stay off of your phone and social media at least an hour before bed to allow yourself the time to recoup after a long day and calm down an over-excited brain. A great way to help get yourself ready for bed and fall asleep naturally and calmly is to read a book before bed to help you relax. If this is still too over stimulating, then investing in a meditation app can really help to calm down the body and get ready for bed.

We also recommend taking a natural apoptogenic like Avalife Calm before bed as it contains Holy Basil, a natural and peaceful adaptogenic which can help you relax and bring calmness to the body. However, if you do need something a little stronger and specifically made for sleep, then be sure to keep your eyes on our product page for the launch of our all-new supplement, Avalife Sleep.

Set the scene

Sleeping in a room that is comfortable and clean is a vital step to take to ensure deep sleep. When you wake up in the morning, make a conscious effort to make up your bed, put any dirty laundry in the basket and pick up any clothing that might be scattered around the room. It’s also a great idea to buy some scented candles and room mists that contain calming scents such as chamomile, lavender, rose and even lemon to help fast track relaxation.

One of our favorite tips to ensure deep, good-quality sleep is to invest in some black out curtains. They not only help to shut out any light that could still be filtered through your normal drapes but help to put your body in ‘sleep-mode’ with ease. Since humans are non-nocturnal, any form of sunlight can prevent us from falling into a deep sleep. This is because we have cells in our retina which detect rays from the sun and send a message to the brain to keep us awake. Interestingly, these light rays work to trigger various chemical responses in our body throughout the day and lead to various behavioral changes. An example of this is how the production of melatonin increases naturally in our body as the sun begins to set, making us feel less alert and ultimately, helping us to fall asleep. In the morning, the cortisol increases our body temperature, allowing us to feel more awake and alert, enabling us to get out of bed and start our day. If your bedroom gets a lot of evening sun then getting some blackout curtains can possibly do wonders to help you get into a sleep cycle since most black out curtains block at least 90% of light, giving your body time to calming switch off without any distraction outside light.

If you still feel like you struggle to fall asleep naturally and feel as if you have done everything to make it easier on your body like cutting out sugar and caffeine and doing meditation and deep breathing before bed, then it might be worthwhile to speak to your GP to ensure that there are no underlying issues.

References

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