The Science of Sleep

Why are we are designed to spend one third of our life sleeping?

Sleep is essential to life and to health.

It’s when our brain ‘detoxes’ and  when we make memories.

Fat storage and appetite hormones are regulated when we sleep.

Clear thinking, a good immune system, a healthy heart, good metabolism, positive mental health plus lots more come from getting good sleep.

Tips For Great Sleep

  • Before bed, limit exposure to daylight or any bright light.
  • Coming off a night shift limit time in daylight and get to bed as soon as you get home.
  • If driving home wear sunglasses as long as this does not cause drowsiness.
  • Ideally do not drink caffeine 8-10 hours before sleeping. If for safety reasons this is not possible, know your personal limits. Will tea or weaker coffee be enough? Close to bedtime, only have enough to be safe and no more.
  • Even mindless scrolling on phones & devices stimulates our brain preventing the natural wind down that we need. It can also stimulate our stress hormones which blocks our sleep hormone. No devices for an hour before bed!
  • Drink plenty water and be well hydrated. Is your urine a clear colour? This is a good sign. 
  • Exercise too close to sleep time can increase wakefulness and it raises our core body temperature which is not good for sleep.
  • Alcohol causes most people to wake earlier and sleep quality is poor.
  • Smoking is a stimulant and worsens your sleep in many ways.
  • Changing some medication times could make a difference to sleep. Speak with your Dr. 

Create A Bedtime Routine

A consistent pre-sleep routine can prompt your brain that it’s sleep time. Try doing some of these every day before sleeping regardless of your bed times:

  • Reduce light exposure, dim the lights or use a lamp.
  • If you have access to red or amber light it can help to wind down. (sunset colours)
  • Have a relaxing tea such chamomile or a night time tea.
  • Write or think of a few things you are grateful for.
  • Focus on your breath – you could try Box Breathing.
  • A warm footbath with relaxing Epsom salts.
  • Try a meditation.
  • Listen to relaxing music.
  • Your bedroom should be cool and as dark as possible. try blackout blinds or an eye-mask.
  • Lavender oil on your pillow can help relax.
  • Bedrooms should be screen free and your brain should connect it only for sleep and intimacy.

Prioritise sleep to make all other aspects of your life better. Pick a few things to try and do all you can to get to those 7-9 hours of quality sleep.