We teamed up with award-winning Sleep Coach and Eve World sleep Day ambassador Max Kirsten, to help you master the art of quality rest and find 10 Better Sleep Tips.
“A good night’s rest is invaluable for both mental and physical wellbeing, so good sleep practices are vital. By monitoring what you consume in the evening, clearing a busy mind and ensuring you have a comfortable and supportive bed, you can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep and regulate important body functions so you wake up feeling refreshed and engerised in the morning”.
Here are Max’s top 10 tips, vital for ensuring the quality of your sleep…
1. Reduce caffeine. Basically caffeine can keep you awake, and believe it or not stays in your body much longer than you would think, I recommend reducing your caffeine about eight hours before bedtime will help you fall asleep easier. You will find caffeine not only in coffee and tea, green tea and many carbonated soft drinks. Also be careful of eating too much chocolate which contains cacao (which acts very similarly caffeine as it’s in the same family). If you’ve already had too much caffeine, try eating carbohydrates like bread or biscuits to help reduce the effect.
2. Drink alcohol in moderation. Although alcohol may help you to fall asleep, it can also cause symptoms like dehydration, nightmares, headaches and sweats. If you must drink alcohol before bed, I recommend that you also drink water, but be careful not to drink too much water because that alone will have you waking in the night. Alcohol can interfere with your sleep architecture. During the evening drink less water. A glass of water right before bed may cause you to wake in the night disrupting deep sleep. In bed, I recommend the only sip water minimally as needed.
3. During the day get tired. It’s important that we use up energy, at least go for healthy walks whenever possible. Have a a 21st-century sedentary lifestyle were most of our time is spent sitting on a chair is going to lead to a slow unfulfilled energy feeling. Being active, and going, or doing something that pushes your physical body regularly to the limit means that in the evenings when you climb into bed you are ready to relax and let go. However going to the gym in the evenings before bed can increase your heart rate making it difficult to relax. in the evenings, if you must do something try stretching, yoga or a relaxing swim. Learn how to relax.
4. Control your environment to sleep. Ideally your bedroom should be dark, comfortable and quiet. Optimise and control your sleep environment (the bedroom). Evaluate your bed, and of course the mattress upon which a third of your life is being spent. If your bed is uncomfortable – too soft, to hard, or just unsupportive – invest in a better bed. If you haven’t changed your mattress for between 5 to 8 years look into replacing it with something like perhaps an Eve mattress. Also the temperature of your bedroom for sleep should ideally become lower by a few degrees which has been shown to improve deep and restful sleep. The Bedroom for sleep should be as dark as possible, ideally switch off electronic devices. Ideally keep the TV out of the bedroom.
5. Reduce late-night exposure to blue LED light. Sleep research has shown that bluelight from smart phones, tablets, and computer screens reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin that is produced in the pineal gland in your brain. Blue light through the optic nerve tells your brain that it is still daytime. Either switch off all devices a few hours before bedtime. Television however is still fine, as the screen is far enough away so as not to cause this problem. Or get filter for your screen that reduces bluelight, I recommend f.lux. Or get some glasses that filter out bluelight instead.
6. Develop a good sleep routine. Ideally go to bed at the same time every night. Obviously there will be times when you break your routine, such as a late-night, or travel. It’s useful to begin to wind down work-related emails many hours before bed, take a hot bath, or if not a hot shower before bed as this has been shown to improve the speed at which you relax.
7. Avoid large heavy meals and alcohol late at night. Digesting a rich heavy meal makes it harder to fall asleep. Eat light and clean. Vegetables like tomatoes, fruit, even a bowl of cereal is better than going to sleep on an empty stomach which can also keep you up. Although alcohol in small doses can be helpful for sleep, the downside is that it also can interfere with your sleep architecture. Meaning that you will probably be waking feeling dehydrated in the middle of the night, so at least keep a little water by the bedside.
8. Clear your mind before sleep. If there is a lot on your mind get into the practice of writing things down so that there then the morning. Then when you turn out the light, learn techniques that help you to relax physically and then mentally so that you can begin to drift off. I recommend you take three deep slow breaths and after each breath relax your body and mind just before going to sleep.
9. Avoid exposure to disturbing films, gaming, and even watching the world News. These subjects can cause disturbance, anxiety, adrenaline and are not conducive to winding down and relaxing before bed. Ideally you should have sent your last email or text communications should.
10. Work out your pre-sleep routine. Poor sleep preparation can lead to having poor sleep. Research shows that taking a hot bath, is helpful, in fact better, more effective at helping you to relax than taking a shower. Feeling clean, with a hot body that cools slowly in bed with a wonderful feeling. Comfortable bedclothes, pyjamas or whatever makes you feel comfortable in bed, some prefer to sleep naked with a T-shirt. Some prefer sleep socks (low-cut socks) that help keep the feet warm during sleep – usually more for the older adults.