If you often find yourself tossing and turning at night, struggling to fall asleep or you simply lie there counting sheep, these tips from health and wellness experts may help you catch the snooze train faster.
Aimee Bauer & Clint Clark | Primal Influence
Up The Amber, Turn Down The Blue
“We have a few ways we like to help us get to sleep. What I notice helps me the most is wearing amber sunglasses from just after sunset, all the way through to bedtime. I have a salt lamp in the bathroom and bedroom which produce amber light, so I wear my sunnies when I'm in between those two rooms and therefore not being exposed to any blue light. Blue light exposure at night disrupts our circadian rhythm and effects our melatonin levels. By completely blocking blue light at night I notice I feel sleepy earlier, more relaxed physically and emotionally, and I sleep better. (Aimee) Clint notices he falls asleep quicker and has a more settled sleep when he's spent most of the day moving. Not a big dose of 'exercise' as such, but more frequent low-level natural movement throughout the day. Walking, some crawling, sitting on the floor, playing at the park, lifting/carrying oddly shaped objects, basically spending less time sitting and performing one type of movement repetitively and adding in more full-body movements. By breaking the day up into more general movement he feels ready for sleep much sooner than a day of just one type of movement/activity or a day sitting for long periods.” Find out more about Primal Influence by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Amanda Campbell | Bend Like Bamboo
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Lavender is a great sedative to help you sleep. A study conducted at Wesleyan University found that those who sleep with lavender essential oils in the vicinity of their bedroom had a higher vigour when they woke up, increased the slow wave sleep, increased the level of stage 2 NREM sleep (light sleep) and decreased REM sleep. So, if you’re having a restless night, or you don’t feel like your sleep is as satisfying as it could be, why not place some essential oil next to your bed frame?
Sam Beau Patrick | Sam Beau Patrick
Avoid Any Stimulants
“Avoid stimulants before bed. This includes avoiding large amounts of alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, metabolism boosters...Have you gone to bed after a big night only to have a restless sleep? This is often because alcohol is a stimulant but also will play havoc with your blood sugar levels. If you do indulge make sure you have a nice selection of protein before bed (activated nuts, healthy piece of meat, or bean dip). Try to avoid coffee after midday and try to avoid energy drinks and metabolism boosters totally! These are designed to rev your body UP, not down. Even green tea can be too stimulating for some. Try a chamomile tea after dinner to help your body and mind relax.” Find out more about Sam Beau Patrick by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Try to force yourself to stay awake. No, hear me out here. A study that was conducted at the University of Glasgow revealed that Paradoxical Intention (PI - and no, not 3.14), where you lay awake with your eyes open and force yourself to stay awake, makes you fall asleep faster. Crazy, right? Reverse psychology is at work here. Obviously, you can’t do this as part of your nightly sleeping routine, but it really can help you fall asleep faster, especially on those nights where you just can’t sleep. So next time you’re in struggle city trying to fall asleep lying on your memory foam mattress topper, keep your eyes open and force yourself awake. You’ll be snoozing in no time.
Sonja Courtis | Sonja Courtis
“Regular meditation to turn off the ‘Monkey Mind’ and over thinking that keeps people awake, is important. Shutting off the thoughts and mind are paramount in being able to relax and get into a good pre-sleep pattern. Listening to relaxing music whilst you are trying to get to sleep, or sleep meditations, there are 100s of free sleep meditations on Spotify, or free apps such as ‘Omvana’ and ‘Smiling Mind’ provide excellent guided meditations. One particularly good one is ‘Binaural Beats for Sleep’ if you look these up on Spotify you can access them for free.” Find out more about Sonja Courtis by following her on Facebook.
Kylie Bevan | Health Wellness Revolution
Listen To Your Circadian Rhythm
“Traditionally, we rose with the sun, and went to bed not long after the sun did. Our modern, fast-paced lives make this tough to desire, let alone achieve. However, if we resist a bedtime that provides a few hours of sleep before midnight, when our sleep-inducing hormone melatonin is peaking, our bodies, in trying to help, provide a ‘second wind’. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to fall asleep once you do head to bed, so it’s the alarm clock waking you up in the morning, not circadian rhythm, where you’d wake naturally, feeling rested and revived. So much nicer a way to start your day, says a person who did the former for 30 years of her life, and has now enjoyed 10 years of the latter, that person being me. Even the subtle blue light on your alarm clock display, or your phone flashing a notification during the night, is enough to disrupt your sleep cycle. Ensure your bedroom is as dark as possible, with block-out curtains, a rubber strip around the door frame if necessary, and no electronic devices, so you can not only fall asleep faster, but benefit from quality rest once you do. On a similar vein, restrict electronic use, such as computers, tablets, TVs and phones, for one hour before bed, or at a minimum use a program to reduce blue light emission, such as Flux.” Find out more about Health Wellness Revolution by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
Avoiding blue light before bed, cutting back on the coffee and reverse psychology can help you fall asleep a lot faster than you’d think. If you’re suffering from insomnia, these tips may help you hit the hay in record time.