4 Key Steps to a Great Night’s Sleep
Insomnia symptoms affect around 33-50% of adults. There are all sorts of factors that can contribute to a poor night’s sleep, including stress, noise, light pollution, an irregular sleep schedule, sleep disorders and certain physical illnesses.
Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel terrible, it also comes with a range of mental and physical downsides like increased risk of obesity and mental health issues like moodiness, anxiety and depression.
For optimal mental and physical health, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Although you might not be able to control every factor that interferes with your sleep, you can adopt some lifestyle habits that improve insomnia and give you the best chances of having restful sleep.
Here are 4 key steps to getting a great night’s sleep:
Step 1: Eat Well & Exercise During the Day
Evidence shows that exercise can reduce pre-sleep anxiety and improve insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Any amount of movement can improve sleep, and exercise in the afternoon or early evening can be particularly beneficial. Don’t exercise just before bed, because this can release stress hormones and actually worsen sleep issues. For general wellbeing and improved sleep, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
The food we eat also impacts sleep quality and duration. Diets that have too much fat, sugar or calories can make it harder for you to get to sleep, as can diets that lack key nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are also notorious for making it more difficult to fall asleep, and eating just before bed can lead to sleep disruptions.
Step 2: Stick to a Sleep Schedule
One of the best things you can do to improve your sleep quality is to stick to a regular bedtime schedule. Humans are creatures of habit - we become conditioned to patterns of behaviour through repetition. If you create a healthy sleep schedule, it will be easier for you to get the sleep you need on a regular basis. To adjust your sleep routine, start by making consistency a priority. Firstly, pick a bedtime and a wakeup time that is realistic and gives you 7-9 hours of sleep. You should stick to this schedule every day. Here are some tips for modifying sleep habits and creating a sleep schedule:
- Be consistent - decide on your bedtime and your waking time, and stick to it
- Schedule for 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Align your sleep schedule as closely as possible with natural sunlight/darkness, because this ties in with the body’s circadian rhythms
If you struggle to fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, you can leave your bedroom and do a relaxing activity like reading, listening to calming music or taking a bath with candles, then go back to bed when you are tired. Do not expose yourself to bright artificial light, because this will confuse your body.
Step 3: Make Your Bedroom a Nice Place to Sleep
Creating a bedroom environment that is conducive to falling asleep and staying asleep is a key part of getting consistently good sleep. Your bedroom is supposed to be a comfortable, quiet and relaxing oasis - it should be a place where you can lie down, snuggle up, forget about the outside world and fall asleep.
Here are some things you can do to make your bedroom as sleep-inducing as possible:
- Avoid having bright lights or screens on in the room just before bedtime - having a bedroom that is as dark as possible reinforces a healthy circadian rhythm and encourages sleep.
- Declutter - clutter can generate stress, which is a known barrier to quality sleep.
- Think about temperature - your bedroom temperature should be comfortable, ideally somewhere between 16-22 degrees Celsius. Excess heat can disrupt sleep.
- If possible, get yourself a high-quality mattress and pillows, and make sure that your pillows, sheets and blankets are clean and comfortable.
Step 4: Take a Supplement, Like Our Sleep Patch
Taking sleep-promoting supplements is another thing you can do to improve your sleep quality. Our best selling Sleep patch contains ingredients (like Valerian, Hops and Passionflower) that are known to promote relaxation, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, and have a natural sedative effect on the body.
All you need to do is place the patch on a hairless area of skin before you go to bed and leave it on overnight. The sleep-promoting nutrients will enter your bloodstream and get to work immediately. Unlike many sedatives, our natural patch will not make you drowsy in the morning so you can wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Sleep supplements in a patch are effective, easy and free from any nasties.
And if you find the soothing scent of lavender helps to lull you to sleep, we also have a Sleep patch with added Lavender aromatherapy.
If you would like to find out more about our patches, you can read all about patches here. We recommend that you chat with your healthcare provider before switching to patches or taking new herbs, minerals and supplements.