Do you toss and turn all night? Or find that your mind just won’t quieten down when it’s time to go to bed? A good night’s sleep is essential for our overall health, as this is when our muscles repair themselves and our mind recoups. If you have just one or two nights of poor sleep, you can expect to feel cranky and tired the next day, and may even find yourself depending on coffee and sugar to keep you going through the day. Been struggling to sleep for longer than just a week or two? You are more likely to become overweight, experience depression and suffer from heart disease in the long run!
Of course, we all want to feel rejuvenated and avoid all the health consequences associated with poor sleep. But how can you best set yourself up for a great night’s sleep? Which habits should you adopt, and which should you ditch? How can you set up your bedroom itself to promote blissful sleep? We took our sleep-deprived selves to Australia’s top sleep experts to ask them for their well-rested advice.
Be mindful of your caffeine intake
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with caffeine, relying on it to get us through the day but blaming it for keeping us up at night! To end this vicious cycle, integrative doctor Ron Goedeke suggests “no caffeine after 3pm, as it’s going to be in your system by the time you try and go to sleep.” If you still need a warm brew in the afternoon, swap your coffee or tea for a herbal drink.
Check your vitamins
Nutritional deficiencies can affect our quality of sleep, with Dr Goedeke recommending magnesium to many of his patients suffering from poor sleep. For a greater understanding of Dr Goedeke’s work, make sure to visit his clinic’s website.
Eliminate light from your bedroom
It’s pretty simple – when our brain perceives light, it thinks it is still daytime, and therefore stays alert! Dr Goedeke suggests we “eliminate as much light as possible, which means blackout curtains or dark sheets over the window, and turning off all electronic devices.” If you can, get your phone out of the bedroom so you are not disturbed by it during the night.
Take a bath – but not an ordinary one
We all know baths relax us and get us ready for the night, which is why babies are treated to a luxurious bath every night! But did you know an Epsom salt bath can be especially good for enabling solid sleep? Expert on going from exhausted to energetic, Melissa Smith is a huge advocate of Epsom salt baths, saying: “Beyond creating a desirable sleep environment, an Epsom salt bath will prepare you for a deeply relaxing sleep by calming your nervous system, reducing stress and relaxing your muscles because of its magnesium content. The drop in your body temperature from going from a warm bath to a cool room also helps signal to the body that it’s night time, making you feel sleepier.” Melissa’s simple recipe for this dreamy bath is 500g-1kg of Epsom salts mixed in with 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil. Simply prepare a warm bath and add the salts and lavender oil, and hop in when the salts dissolve. For even more inspiration, visit her website, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Scrutinise your bed
When thinking of how to improve your sleep environment, the feature to focus on is of course the bed! Ergoflex expert Matthew White suggests we “make the bed as relaxing and welcoming as it can be, by getting the right mattress, pillows and other beddings. Start by acquiring a new, comfortable and supportive mattress, especially if your current one has lumpy areas, is too hard or too soft, and/or has begun to show its age by dipping in the middle.” Too often, we put up with worn and uncomfortable bedding, not realising how much it is really affecting our sleep. If you feel it’s time to update your bedding, opt for memory foam mattresses. The unique material of memory foam mattresses mould to your shape and support your spine for a restful night’s sleep. Even if you can’t afford a whole new mattress, you can still improve your sleep with a comfortable mattress topper, with designs like the egg cup being great for those who can’t sleep due to back pain.
Finally, create a tranquil environment that is conducive to sleep
This includes eliminating things that remind you of work, lighting lovely candles and ensuring that the air in your room is clean.
You deserve the best sleep possible to be able to power through your life with purpose and energy. Utilise all the tips above to set yourself up for a great night’s sleep, and invest in the right MyDeal bedroom furniture to create your own slice of paradise.