Adjust environmental factors and establish a pre-sleep ritual to help improve the quality of your sleep.
Quality sleep can become elusive in a fast-paced world where stress and demanding schedules often take precedence. Adequate sleep is crucial for overall well-being, influencing physical health, cognitive function, and emotional balance. Lack of proper sleep has been linked to various health issues, including increased stress, impaired memory, and a weakened immune system. Several factors can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. These factors include anxiety, irregular sleep schedules, and environmental factors such as noise and light pollution. Here are a few things you can do to help you have a restful sleep.
Establishing pre-sleep rituals, such as reading a book, gentle stretching or taking a warm bath will help you calm your mind and body ready for a restful sleep. Journalling is excellent for those who struggle to drift off, as it allows you to reflect on the day and think about positive things for the following day. Allow 30 to 45 minutes for your pre-sleep rituals.
Maintaining a cool bedroom environment, typically between 15-20 degrees Celsius, is generally more conducive to sleep, whilst good air circulation will contribute towards a more comfortable and pleasant sleep environment. The room should be dark to support the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, so use blackout curtains or blinds to block external light sources.
2024 may be the year of coloured noise as more people continue to search the topic. Green noise was up 121% in Google searches last year and is expected to continue rising. Unlike white noise, which retains high frequencies, green noise amplifies the mid-range frequencies, similar to ocean waves.
Consider using aromatherapy with relaxing scents like lavender, chamomile, or jasmine. You can use aromatherapy for sleep a few ways. An essential oil diffuser will disperse the aroma throughout the room, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the oils without direct contact with the skin. Topical application includes diluting essential oils with a carrier oil (such as jojoba or sweet almond oil) and applying a small amount to pulse points, the wrists, or the bottoms of the feet. You can also create a homemade pillow mist by diluting essential oils with water and spraying it lightly on your pillow and bedding.
As a category, sleep supplements are having a moment. Last year, Google saw a 31% increase in sleep supplements, with 'sleep gummies' increasing by 22%.
The best-selling herbal and nutritional sleep supplements all contain melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain, regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Dosage and timing are crucial, and starting with low doses is advisable to avoid potential side effects - although you should always consult a doctor before starting any new supplements.
By paying close attention to environmental factors, and adjusting your sleep environment to your preferences, you can enhance the overall quality of your sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.