by Rachel Bryan
This day is to raise awareness around the importance of sleep and its effect on our day-today living, as well as our overall health.
Sleep is a biological requirement for human life, alongside food, water and air.
There are three elements of a good quality sleep.
-Duration : the length of time we are asleep for should be sufficient to feel well rested and alert the next day.
-Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
-Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.
Sleep plays a critical role in emotional processing. It is thought up to 45% of the world’s population are affected by sleep problems.
Poor sleep is linked to a higher body weight and can make you feel tired and lethargic all day, due to it’s effect of slowing the metabolism. It has effects on our appetite and hunger hormones, leading to an increased calorie intake and putting you at risk of increasing weight. A weaker immune system and increased cravings are also common side effects of not sleeping well.
When you sleep well at night your concentration and productivity the next day are much better. Cognition, concentration and performance can all be affected by how well we sleep.
Ways to improve sleep:
At least one hour before bed avoid using phones or any type of gadget. These omit blue light which tells our brain it’s daytime and therefore to stay awake.
Sleep Friendly Environment
Make sure your bedroom has appropriate softer lighting or light a candle. Switch off any bright lights. Avoid watching TV in bed. Try to keep the bedroom as place for rest and sleep. If you work from home, avoid doing work in the bedroom. Read a book or newspaper but avoid laptops, TVs and other gadgets.
Avoid having a heavy meal right before bed. These make the digestive system work harder. Avoid caffeine before bed also.
Do something to unwind before bed. This can be sitting down to do your skincare routine, reading a book, taking a bath or meditating. As long as it calms and relaxes you. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and to wake up at the same time every morning.
Many essential oils can help to induce a state of calm and can be used in various ways. A few drops of lavender on the pillow can help to induce relaxation and improve sleep. Take a bath or apply oils to the skin. Aromatherapy bath oils such as “Made for Life’s” Bath & Body Oil are ideal for this. Or light an aromatherapy candle such as the “All is Bright” candle from made for life, made to accompany their body oil.
A lack of certain minerals has been linked to poor sleep. Particularly magnesium. “Mind Your Mind” from Hush & Hush has been shown to not just induce sleep but improve it’s quality once we are asleep. It contains a blend of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium. It also has valerian root and chamomile, known for their sleep inducing properties. It’s all natural, vegan friendly and melatonin free.