If you are looking for ways to help improve your sleep, you have definitely come to the right place. We’ve done the research for you and listed the top 10 things sleep experts advise to get a better rest in 2022.
The environment you sleep in is an important factor to think about when thinking about things you could change to help improve your sleep quality. A dark, cool, and quiet room with few distractions is what is recommended when it comes to the best sleep environment. With that in mind, think about your bedroom and whether it matches this criteria. Could any changes be made to your environment to help aid your sleep? Changes could include removing technology which may disturb you – such as TVs – or buying black out curtains to keep your room as dark as possible.
Your body has a natural internal process called a circadian rhythm. This is what helps you wake each morning and drift off to sleep each night. Your circadian rhythm resets roughly every 24 hours and works off routine. It is often helpful and advised to stick to a similar waking and sleeping time each day, even on weekends, to get your body’s circadian rhythm familiar with its routine. If your body knows the set times it normally goes to sleep it will begin to get ready to do this naturally, releasing hormones to prepare your body.
Light exposure can influence your circadian rhythm and the hormones in your body that are released to make you wake and go to sleep. For non-nocturnal animals like us, light can alert our bodies that it is time to wake. Light can also stop or slow the production of melatonin in our bodies (the hormone that makes us feel sleepy). Although natural light may have the strongest influence, other forms of light, such as blue light from our phones and TVs, can also trick the body into thinking it’s time for wakefulness. We therefore recommend avoiding the use of things that produce blue light before bed.
Your diet can have a big impact on your sleep. Products that contain caffeine – such as chocolate, coffee, or tea – can prevent us from sleeping and are known as stimulants. Around six hours after caffeine is consumed, half of it is still in the body. It’s recommended to therefore avoid consuming caffeinated products for a good amount of time before bed. A good tip could be that it may be best to stick to your normal coffee in the morning and switch to decaf for the afternoon. Alcohol consumption can also impact our sleep. Alcohol may help us drift off to sleep, but it disturbs our sleep throughout the night, making our sleep quality worse. Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum can be a good tip to aid a restful sleep.
It is important to have a cool environment to sleep in. When we go to sleep, our body temperature drops by 1-2 degrees. Understandably, we can struggle to sleep if it is too warm. Having a warm bath a little while before bed can sometimes help with this, as your body temperature will naturally drop once out of the bath. It may also be a good idea to have a series of thin layered bedding that you can adjust or remove so that you can regulate your temperature throughout the night. Silent fans can also be useful to keep the bedroom airy and cool.
Exercise is one of the most helpful things you can do to aid your sleep. If your body feels it has been active it will crave rest. Any form of exercise, no matter how small, can be a really positive step to help us get better sleep. Try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime as this can make our body feel more awake due to the endorphins released.
It’s a good idea to get your mind and body as relaxed as possible before bed. Try to dedicate the hour or so before bedtime to doing something you find relaxing. Everyone is different and what people find relaxing will differ from person to person, but some good ideas could be to meditate, to listen to relaxing music, or to read a book. Make it part of your routine to do your relaxing behaviour before bed so that you feel ready to drift off.
Get those worries out of your head before bed
Sometimes we may struggle to sleep because we have a lot on our mind. Often worries are worse when in your head. If this is the case for you, it may be a good idea to have a worry notebook to write down all your worries before your relaxation time. You could also speak to a loved one about your worries instead, and set a scheduled time to talk about what’s on your mind each evening. This clears your head ready for bed.
If you are lying awake in bed at night struggling to sleep, it is advised to give yourself a 20-to-30-minute window. If you are still awake after this time, get up and out of bed. This is so your body associates the bedroom and your bed with sleep. It’s a good idea to leave your bedroom and go somewhere quiet to do something relaxing. Once you start to feel tired again you could then try to sleep in bed again. You could create a sleep box in your designated place with a blanket and relaxing activities all in one place for easy access.
Having a good quality mattress can help aid sleep by providing maximum comfort and supporting temperature regulation. Here at Ely, we take the wellbeing of our customers seriously. We’ve created the very best mattresses available on the market, with a whole range of benefits to give you the greatest chance of improving your sleep for 2022. If you’re ready to browse, check out our shop.