How can I improve my sleep quality?
Sleep is so incredibly important. Not getting enough of it impacts your mental health, concentration, and your physical health, too. Lack of sleep is linked to depression, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and chemicals linked to inflammation, which puts extra strain on your heart and can be dangerous.
And you don’t need to be missing out on a whole night of sleep to put yourself at risk. Just a few hours less than you are supposed to every night for a long period of time can cause long lasting health issues it is hard to replace.
For this reason, it is very important you look for ways to improve your sleep quality if you are struggling to get a proper night of shut eye. Here are the best ways to improve your sleep quality.
1. Make sure your mattress is suitable
We’re a mattress company, so of course we will start with mattresses. If your mattress is old, you’ll need to consider buying a new one. This is because most mattresses are done by the age of eight. If you sleep on them any longer, your sleep quality will absolutely be affected, even if it still feels relatively comfortable. We think you’ll be surprised. Once you have a new mattress, you might realise how bad your sleep has been before.
You might also need to think about changing your mattress if you find it generally uncomfortable. If you’re too hot, for example, your mattress is likely not breathable, which means it can’t wick away moisture, which means you are sweating on it. This could be keeping you up at night without you realising it.
2. Develop a sleep routine
Your body is habitual. We learn, for example, that we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. We know roughly when bedtime is. But if our bodies have decided we go to bed later or lay in the dark for hours trying to sleep, we need to reset them with a sleep routine.
A sleep routine is a series of habits we commit to completely every night before bed. We might have a hot shower, then a caffeine free drink, then brush our teeth and wash our face, then go to bed. If we do this often enough and with religiousness, our body will eventually come to associate these acts with sleep, instead of a specific time.
You might already have a sleep routine in place for your children without even realising it. Those habits you encourage them to do before they go to bed are part of their sleep routine, and tell their body it is time for sleep. We don’t change so much as we get older, so it is perfectly plausible that a sleep routine would inform your brain to expect sleep should you remain committed until it happens.
3. Turn off technology
You should be limiting what happens in your bed, so that your body comes to recognise it for only a limited number of activities. Lying in bed for an hour watching TV or reading your phone is a bad idea, because your brain comes to think that bed is somewhere you should be alert and awake.
Technology is bad for sleep anyway. The blue light found on most screens interrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm and makes your body think it is earlier in the day than it really is.
Try turning your technology off an hour or so before bed. Read a book, instead.
Meditation doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for most people. Twenty minutes of meditation resets your mind and stops your ego racing to inform you of things you need to achieve. This relatively short amount of time is often enough to calm your brain down and help you sleep.
You don’t need to meditate on an evening. Research shows that twenty minutes of meditation at any time in the day can help you relax, which will help you sleep. For the best results, add meditation into your daily routine at a specific time.
5. Try scents
A carefully chosen scented candle or essential oil can do wonders for your sleep routine. A few drops of lavender on your pillow – or a lavender scented candle – will soothe you into snoozeville in no time. You can also try cedarwood, sweet marjoram and rose.
If you’re in a relationship, there is some research that suggests the scent of your partner helps you sleep, so try swapping pillows every few nights, or wear something of theirs if you don’t live together.
We really hope our top tips for improving your sleep quality will help you get the shut eye you deserve.