7 hacks to sleep better every night – doing just one of these could change your life!
I don’t need to tell you how great it feels to have a good night’s sleep. But sleep does much more than put us in a better mood. Sleep helps us think, focus, move, perform and even eat better. It can make us a better parent, partner, boss and employee. And inside our bodies, sleep is hard at work balancing our hormones, repairing cells, and keeping us further away from disease and illness.
“Rest and digest”
When I talk to clients about sleep, it forms part of our discussions about nutrition. Why? Because sleep helps your body digest food and put nutrients to good use, and it can support better gut health by helping you manage stress.
If sleep is that important, why do so many of us struggle to get sufficient deep sleep every night? Turns out that modern life – with its bright lights, frequent beeps, and stresses – is bad news for sleep.
Simple strategies to sleep like a baby
Here are 7 things you can do tonight that will transform your quality of sleep. Don’t stress about doing all 7 – even 1 or 2 will do wonders for your health.
1) Turn off tech
Technology and handheld devices are no friend to sleep! The blue light and stimulation keeps your brain alert, and your stress hormones firing at the precise time you want to be winding down. Turn off tech and screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
2) Read a real book
Instead of scrolling your phone in bed, read a real book with your lights turned low. If you prefer reading on an e-reader, that’s fine too (these don’t use the same blue light as a phone). Reading instead of scrolling will calm your brain and breathing, and adjust your eyes to lower light which will start the cascade of hormones needed for sleep.
3) Go to bed earlier
Life is busy, and an early bedtime isn’t always practical. But if you can go to bed even 30 minutes earlier than usual it will transform your sleep. Instead of watching another episode of a TV show, or doing one more household chore, head upstairs. Use 10 minutes to wind down slowly, then get into bed. The extra time away from screens and bright lights will calm your system – and removes the pressure of having to fall asleep immediately because you stayed up late yet again! down let the brain and body calm down, this also removes the pressure of falling asleep quickly because you stayed up too late
4) Switch off electrical appliances in the bedroom
Start clearing all unnecessary tech from your bedroom (and, really, what do you need in there?) Turn things off at the wall to eliminate static or flashing lights. And stop taking your phone into the bedroom. This one thing will be a game changer.
5) Open a window
The ideal bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Before you go to bed, open a window to let in fresh air. And leave it open all night if that’s practical. This will lower your body temperature slightly which is exactly what’s needed for a peaceful night’s sleep. In the height of summer, try using a tower fan to keep the room cool.
6) Nose breathing exercises
Most of us breathe through our mouths all night, but this isn’t optimal for a good night’s sleep. You might not want to go to the extent of practicing mouth taping, but you can certainly do 5 minutes of breathing exercises before bedtime. These will clear your nose, get more oxygen into your system, and calm your nervous system.
7) Write it down
Writing is a powerful pre-bed tool for clearing your mind so sleep can flow. It doesn’t have to be anything formal (but if a beautiful journal brings you a sense of peace, go for it). Spend 5 minutes writing down whatever’s on your mind, then set it aside. You can now rest, safe in the knowledge that you won’t forget. I also recommend writing down 3 things you’re grateful for, then thinking about these as you drift off.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Get in touch to talk about 360* health coaching that incorporates sleep and stress management for health and performance.
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