Why a good night’s sleep is an antidote to our modern lives
Sleep is now considered as important as diet and exercise and one of the most important activities we do each day to maintain a healthy immune system. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of good quality sleep to function at their optimum. Lack of sleep is thought to lead to depression and obesity among other modern diseases. However, for many of us, a good night’s sleep is something many of us can only dream about.
Here’s 5 ways to help you get a good night’s sleep…
D is for Digital stimulation
It’s a well-known fact that digital stimulation interferes with our sleep which is why it’s essential to power down early (by 8pm if possible). According to the National Sleep Foundation, the blue light that’s emitted from screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, that in turn increases alertness, and resets our body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) to a later schedule. The end result: that sleep-deprived feeling that feels like a minor case of jet lag.
Make sure your bedroom is fitted out with all the best sleep-enhancing amenities. These include black-out curtains (and/or a sleep mask), melatonin-enhancing lighting, organic bedding and a breathe-easy humidifier for fresh air supply. Plants help to increase oxygen in the air which also contributes to better sleep. You can also now get alarms that slowly awaken you like a morning sunrise.
M is for Magnesium
Magnesium is so good for relieving symptoms of sleeplessness including fatigue, nervousness, anxiety and mood disorders. Which is why taking magnesium before bed can be a great way to relieve a mind. Magnesium rich foods including almonds, cashews, seeds, dark chocolate, oatmeal and spinach. Don’t forget a warm magnesium salt bath before bed can do wonders for relaxing the body and mind.
Take a Nap
Some of the longest living people in the world make an afternoon siesta a part of their lifestyle. According to the The National Sleep Foundation, a 20-30-minute nap can improve our performance, focus and mood. While it isn’t always possible to take a nap during the week, see if you can do this on the weekends. Even a massage can help reprogram our body for deep relaxation. A genius way to take a restful nap is to relax in a hammock or a yoga parachute – feels so good!
Last Call 10pm!
If we are still awake beyond 10pm, then the body reads this as a stressful situation and our adrenals kick in and release cortisol that keeps us awake. Which is why powering down the devices early is a must. As is eating early (it’s recommended we have our last meal four hours before going to bed as it takes this long to digest our food which can be stimulating). Why not sip on a calming tea made with passion flower, chamomile and valerian. Sleep experts also recommend a warm bath or warm shower before going to bed.