Often top athletes and successful entrepreneurs state that to maintain a balanced and productive lifestyle they focus on a healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep. This article isn’t what you think, we won’t be going into the side effects of a poor night's sleep. Instead, if you are one in three adults that don’t catch enough downtime, here are 5 tips to help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a quality sleep.
Soak up some sun
Ever feel that pang of hunger, then look up to see that it’s actually lunchtime? That’s our body clock doing its job. Whilst there are other factors that come into play, the same can be said about our sleep pattern or circadian rhythm. Natural light helps keep our body clock healthy and continuously ticking. Studies conducted by the Sleep Medical Clinic found that adults exposed to at least 2 hours of daylight enter a deeper sleep with increased sleep time.
Maintain a Moderate Exercise Routine
Join a gym. Start doing Yoga. Buy supplements and invest in blinding fluro gym attire. This is a list of what you DO NOT need to do to improve your sleep. Besides the obvious reason (fatigue), exercise can contribute to a healthier sleep pattern. Scientists discovered that as little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day will help promote a healthier sleep. Kill two birds with one stone by opting to walk to and from work. Doing so will not only increase the amount of daily exercise you’re doing but also contribute to soaking up those ever so important UV rays mentioned above. Aerobic exercise (cardiovascular) has shown an increase in slow wave sleep. Slow wave sleep (stage 3) is the deepest part of the sleep cycle, and as such is where your body will do most of its healing.
A typical sleep pattern. The longer you sleep the shorter the stages become.
Put the phone down.
Our cellphones are one of the biggest causes of poor sleep. Our phones emit what is known as blue light. Unlike natural light throughout the day time, this blue light affects our circadian rhythm in a negative way. The blue light actually tricks our circadian rhythm into believing it is daylight, thus making us want to get up and get going.
As we all well know, money never sleeps, so if you’re a night owl in your chosen career (conduct business after hours), this can throw a spanner into the works. Although not all hope is lost, thanks to an application that reduces the blue light emitted from both your phone and laptop. Alternatively, optometrists have engineered a pair of glasses that stop the blue light from affecting you. They aren’t very stylish but if you want to improve your sleep cycle, they may be your best bet. These glasses are sold at leading optometrists in many shapes and sizes, starting from around $50 AUD.
Consider Decaf after lunchtime.
If you’re a workaholic, have a dependency on caffeine or an addition to your soy latte, this one may be a bit tricky. We’ve all heard that caffeine is a drug which stimulates your central nervous system, increasing your alertness. What you may not know is that caffeine can last 6-8 hours in your system after consumption. Considered the older drug in the world, dating all the way back to 10,000BC. In fact, in 1675, King Charles II tried to ban coffee houses (although they weren’t called coffee houses back then). Caffeine might have health benefits, whilst also increasing focus or athletic performance but it greatly affects our sleep. So the next time you reach for that after lunch latte, think about the sleep deprivation it can lead to.
Invest in a quality mattress
Take a moment and think about your most recent holiday. Remember sleeping like a log? Whilst the relaxed environment of a holiday may have helped, it would also be due to that quality mattress. Public Medical conducted a study to determine the benefits of sleeping on a well made mattress. The results concluded that after 28 days of sleeping on a quality mattress, shoulder & back pain significantly improved, along with a 60% improvement in back stiffness and quality of sleep.
Travel a lot for work? Research conducted by WebMD discovered that a few hours of lost sleep (like catching that early flight for a business trip), significantly reduces performance. If you can’t find a decent place to rest your head, at least find something soft to rest your head on. Consider a travel pillow for those early morning flights, to optimise your comfort no matter where you sleep.
We need sleep. Whilst one hour of broken sleep may be better than nothing, you should follow these five tips to gain the best sleep possible, no matter the circumstance. At Quality Sleep, we sell a wide range of mattresses to suit not only your budget but also your sleep pattern.