Struggling to get your 8 hours of sleep in and really feeling the effects of it? When we are tired, everything we do feels more difficult and waking up unrefreshed can be a really big deal when it comes to our health. Sleep is the time for our bodies to rest and repair and a great sleep allows our cells to work optimally so we can look and feel our best. Yes please!
Don’t mean to brag but we are pretty darn good at getting our zzz’s here at I AM Co. so we wanted to share our top tips to a sound sleep that’ll see you feeling energised and ready to attack your day!
We love rising with the sun and moving our bodies first up, and we definitely think this helps with falling asleep at nighttime. Getting the blood flowing throughout your body first thing and starting your day with high energy can be the best wake-up call and will help you feel ready to take on anything. Come evening, you will be ready to wind down, settle in for a wholesome dinner and are likely to be sleepy and ready for bed at a decent hour.
Using your phone, iPad, laptop or any device with a bright light leading up to sleepytime can be detrimental to your quality and length of sleep. The light can disrupt the natural pattern of your sleepy hormone, melatonin, which may be fooled into thinking that it is still daylight therefore not time to fall asleep yet. If you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, try and find soft light in the couple of hours leading up to bedtime. This may mean switching off your phone, laptop, TV or iPad…yes, Instagram can wait!
Finding stillness or simply a calm setting prior to jumping into bed is important for your body to begin winding down and relaxing. This may be 10 minutes of meditation, a light conversation with your flatmate or partner, or a chapter of your book next to your bedside lamp. Whatever your choose, nurture that routine when you can to prepare your body for a sound sleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
We are all aware that caffeine provides our bodies with a sense of alertness and may even release stress hormones into the bloodstream (you can read about the effects of caffeine here) but the effects of alcohol on sleep are also significant. Alcohol is known to disrupt rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the fourth part of your sleep cycle when the critical repair work takes place inside your body. While alcohol can sometimes make you fall asleep quicker, the effect on your quality of sleep is important and you may not feel recharged the following day despite getting the hours in.
Breathe and Stretch
If you struggle to switch your mind off at night and this has the flow-on effect of preventing you from falling asleep, tuning your mind into your body with a brief stretch session might help. Roll out your mat or towel, sit down and allow your spine to fold forwards, drawing your nose towards your knees. Focus on deep breathing, inhaling right into the bottom of your ribcage and feeling it expand outwards, before exhaling to release. In this position you will calm and soothe your nervous system, which will help put your mind and body at ease. Lying down and popping your legs up the wall is another simple, tried and tested calming stretch to help you find sleep, you can stay in this position for up to 10 minutes to experience the full benefits.
We want to help you get enough sleep to restore your energy and vitality and to help you function at your prime all the time. Prioritising sleep is essential for great health. If you have to stay at work a little later than usual then try and make time for an extra hour of sleep in the morning to compensate. If you have an early-morning gym class scheduled, find your evening routine a little earlier to set you up for a sound sleep.
Worrying about your sleep and the potential disruptions is only going to disrupt your sleep even further. So try and practice these tips as often as you can, but find peace with the fact that this is not always going to be the case every night of the week. Make the most of your nights with no disruptions!
We would love to learn about more ways to foster great sleep so let us know yours in the comments below! And if you know of someone that is struggling to sleep, please feel free to share this read with them xo