Our bodies go through a lot whilst we’re awake, whether through the physical stress of exercising or the mental stress of being at work. Our bodies need sleep in order to repair and regenerate our bodies and minds. A lack of sleep can have a number of damaging effects on our health.
Sleep deficiency can affect a number of key areas such as concentration, mood, weight and the heart. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help to improve memory and creativity, allowing you to work more efficiently and maintain enough energy to enjoy extracurricular activities when the working day is over.
Below, we take a look at six ways to guarantee a full and restful sleep the moment your head hits the pillow.
Creating a consistent sleep schedule
Many of us will have a set time at which we have to wake up every morning in order to get to work, but many of us won’t crawl into bed until the early hours. A consistent sleeping pattern can help give your body a routine and tell it when it’s time to sleep and time to wake up, helping you fall asleep as soon as you get into bed.
Using blackout curtains in summer
During the summer, you may find it hard to get to sleep since the nights are lighter. When the sun is still up, it can be hard to convince your body it’s time to sleep. Grabbing yourself some blackout blinds during the summer months can help create a dark and cosy atmosphere, helping your body know that it’s time for bed.
Using a sleep mask
Much like blackout blinds, a sleeping mask can cut out any light that may be stopping you from getting off to sleep. Many sleeping masks have elasticated straps, making them comfy to wear in bed and allowing you to feel well-rested in the morning.
Removing tech from the bedroom
Using our laptops and phones whilst in bed keeps could mean that our minds continue to be switched on and ticking over, well past our bedtime.
A report from Harvard Medical School indicates a link between the artificial light from electronic devices and disrupted sleep. The report goes on to argue that this artificial light could, in fact, stimulate brain cells, leading us to feel even more alert.
Often, we will head straight from the computer to bed, but this doesn’t give our mind time to wind down. Leaving all tech out of the bedroom and allowing yourself that time to let your mind switch off will greatly aid your chances of falling asleep quickly.
Investing in a quality mattress
A good quality mattress that perfectly supports your back not only has a positive effect on your physical wellbeing, it can also create an ideal environment for a good night's sleep.
Just 10 minutes of meditation before bed can help to relax and switch off your mind ready for sleep. Meditating provides an opportunity to process the day, meaning you can work through any worries you may have before lying down to sleep. We’ve all been in the situation where we try to sleep but our mind is dragging up the events of the day – meditation can help to prevent this from happening.
The key to simple and effortless meditation - 3 techniques
Below, we’ve listed some really simple but effective meditation techniques to make it easier to clear your mind, relax and ultimately slip into a restful sleep.
Find a quiet and comfortable space, where you can close your eyes and meditate, undisturbed.
Slowly begin counting backwards from 100. Each time you lose your place, or your mind begins to wander, start again from 100. Breathe deeply and slowly as you complete this meditation technique to get the full relaxation feeling.
Using your mind's eye, concentrate on a single element. This could be your partners face, a calming place or your favourite colour. Notice how this makes you feel relaxed and calm as you’re focusing on things you love and enjoy.
Work on developing a personal saying or ‘mantra’. This could be listing all the things that you are grateful for, what you have achieved or what you hope to achieve. Repeat your mantra silently and enjoy how this makes you feel as you focus on positive thoughts.
Enjoying a good and restful sleep
Combined, all of these tips can help in getting you a good, restful sleep, thus keeping your mind and body healthy. Creating the perfect sleeping environment, e.g. dark and comfortable, and making sure you are taking the time to prepare for bed, will help send you off to sleep quickly, giving you the best chance of getting those rested hours we all need.