Rest Fully With These Four Simple Sleep Hacks
Are you constantly tired right up until the moment you finally decide to hit the hay? Many of us suffer from sleeping problems, in particular, falling asleep and this is often due to factors such as a stressful day at work, not being able to switch off from the day’s events or restlessness. The truth is that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. But fear not, if you need some simple tips and tricks to help with drifting off, try these 4 Sleep Hacks that will make sleepless nights a thing of the past.
1.Drown out distractions
Ever feel like your ears become extra sensitive to noise when you’re laid in bed trying to get some shut eye? As humans, it is in our DNA to listen out for anything that could be a threat whist resting. This means we tend to hear anything that may sound unusual or pick up on sounds we may ignore at other times of the day. One way of dealing with this problem is to play some sort of calming background noise that will help mask other sounds that might keep you awake. This noise shouldn’t be anything too distracting or interesting (put down the iPod) but something that holds your attention just enough for you to ignore anything that may be happening just outside your bedroom window. Listening to white noise or the purr of a bedroom fan can often work wonders.
2. Set the mood with less lighting
Melatonin is a hormone our bodies release which makes us feel tired, sleepy and ready for bed. Exposing your eyes to bright lights can reduce the amount of melatonin that is released and delay the feeling of tiredness. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set the mood an hour or so before your bedtime, dim the lights and try to avoid looking at television, phone, tablet or computer screens. Your laptop and smartphone screens use blue light which is particularly bad for the secretion of melatonin so you want to avoid these devices as much as possible in the evening. If time away from your phone or computer sounds like a living nightmare there are apps that are available which filter out this blue light slowly throughout the day.
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3. Avoid TV binges
Although many of us would like nothing more than to sit at home and catch up on all six seasons of Game of Thrones, there is a time and a place (which sadly isn’t 11pm on a Wednesday night). Most of us find watching our favourite shows relaxing, but try to refrain from staying up all night watching episode after episode. The truth is that staying up late watching TV completely disrupts your sleep-wake cycle. Being awake past 11pm can also lead to the release of cortisol, a hormone usually released when you wake up to get ready for the day’s stresses.
4. Stick to the 90 minute rule
Did you know that when we are asleep, our brains run through 90 minute sleep cycles? If you wake yourself up in the middle of one of these 90 minute cycles, you can often feel groggy and tired (even if you’ve had a full night’s sleep). The answer to this problem is super simple, stick to the 90 minute rule! Calculating how much sleep you need is easy, simply count back in 90 minute increments from your desired wake up time. If this sounds like way too much effort, there are plenty of apps that can do this for you at the click of a button.
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