According to a survey by the sleep council 43% of people in the UK are now finding it harder to fall asleep. With unease around the current situation affecting 75% of people.
Before Covid 19 it was still a massive problem. In another article on sleep by the company linenbundle they reported that NHS prescriptions for melatonin rose 148% from June 2014 to May 2019
Sleep deprivation is a massive problem in this country and it only seems to be getting worse.
We’ve all been there, wide-awake in the early hours of the morning completely frustrated and unable to get back to sleep.
It’s not only a problem in the short term, but long-term sleep deprivation is damaging for our health.
Short term most of us feel foggy brained and lacking energy.
Lack of sleep impairs thinking and reactions. Making us more prone to mistakes.
We crave more starchy comfort foods. Making it harder to stick to our healthier choices.
There is a link to increased cortisol levels which can increase anxiety in some people.
The long-term lack of sleep is more scary. It has been linked with serious health risks of high blood pressure, heart attack, depression and obesity.
All of us want and need a good consistent nights sleep, here are 9 ways that can help you do that naturally.
1 Switch off
At night, switch off your electronic devices.
Put your phone onto aeroplane mode, or at the very least silent. Allow your brain to relax.
Most of us spend our day on high alert, constantly checking emails and calls.
Being connected 24 hours per day creates additional stress draining your body.
You will also be giving your body a break from the electromagnetic radiation created by all of these devices
Choose a regular time to shut down. Make it a habit
Create a regular evening routine.
Overtime your body will get used to the pattern and start to recognise its time for bed. Helping you to relax and drift off to sleep easier.
3 Body Clock
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your body clock, and is affected by light.
Getting plenty of exposure to natural light during the day, and lower light levels at night, have been proven to help sleep quality.
Before bed time try reducing the light, start signaling to your body its time for sleep
4 Gentle activities
Find something that is easy to do and repetitive, that doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Which allows your mind to slow down, getting ready for sleep.
Meditation, reading, drawing, listening to music, or gentle stretching are all examples of some activities you could try.
5 Bath time
The warm water of a bath, as we all know is deeply relaxing.
Salt baths using sea salt or Epsom salts, are great for detoxifying. Drawing toxins out of the body which aids recovery of sore tense muscles, reducing stress.
Relaxing scents like Lavender can really help relax too.
Give your mind the space it needs to process the day.
Writing your thoughts down, helps to clear them from your busy mind. Which will aid you to sleep better.
It’s also a great way to add gratitude into your day. By recording all the positive things that are happening in your life. You’ll end your day in a positive and less worried state.
7 Get organised
Go to bed with peace of mind, by getting organised for the following day.
Take the pressure off your morning routine.
It could be preparing meals for the next day, ironing your clothes, having that document to hand for your work project.
Not only will it help you switch off but you’ll gain time back in the morning too.
8 Setting the scene
Make your bedroom a relaxing environment for you to sleep in.
Remove clutter and distractions. Is your bed comfy enough?
Can you make any changes to your pillow?
Is it time to change your mattress?
How is the temperature? Scientists recommend 18.5c (65f) as the ideal temperature for sleep.
Make you bedroom your haven of peace.
Avoid rich, heavy meals or stimulating foods and drinks, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar and chocolate before bedtime. All of which will affect your sleep quality.
Instead try foods and drinks that encourage relaxation. Like Herbal teas that include Chamomile, Valerian or Lavender as an example.
Including more foods into your diet that contain the amino acid Tryptophan can also help, as the body needs this to make melatonin.
Tryptophan is rich in foods like Turkey, eggs and dairy products.