Did you know that more than a third of all Kiwis are sleep deprived?! Did you also know that adults need between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night and children and teens need even more! Stress is one of the biggest contributors to a poor nights sleep and inadequate sleep has a detrimental impact on mental health and mood, daytime alertness and performance. Lack of sleep can also cause unwanted weight gain and increased risk of disease in both adults and children. If you are finding it hard to catch some Z’s at the moment, we can assure you that you are not alone, so we have put together a list of tips, tricks and products to send you on your way to counting sheep in the land of the nod.
Increase your bright light exposure during the day
Your body has it’s own natural timekeeper which is called your Circadian rhythm. It helps you stay awake and go to sleep by sending certain signals to your brain. Exposing yourself to natural sunlight keeps your Circadian rhythm ticking away nicely allowing you more energy during the day and to get a better rest at night. Some studies have shown that getting 2 hours of sun exposure per day can allow you 2 extra hours of sleep per night.
Cut down on the caffeine
This one is a no brainer really. Caffeine keeps you awake so try not to consume your favourite hot cup of Joe any later than 6 hours prior to going to sleep. If you do feel the need to have a nighttime hot bevvy, stick to decaf or try a sleep tea, your body will thank you for it with a good nights sleep.
Try to sleep and wake at the same time
Again with your body’s Circadian rhythm, it places itself on a set loop so it aligns with sunrise and sunset. So being consistent with going to bed and waking up at the same times every day is said to help aid your sleep. Some peoples Circadian rhythms are so spot on that they don’t need an alarm to wake them in the mornings, their bodies natural body clock does it for them.
Melatonin is your friend
If you have tried other things to aid with your sleep but you are still struggling, give melatonin a try. Melatonin is a naturally occurring sleep hormone that tells your brain when it is time to go to sleep. Taking a melatonin supplement before you go to bed can help with insomnia, the quality of your sleep and your energy levels the next day. Because they are a natural supplement that already occurs in the body, they won’t make you feel groggy or drowsy either.
Try some of these Lush bedtime products
Our friends at Lush know a thing or two on how to create soothing sleepy products. Lush has cult classics such as the Sleepy range which has ingredients such as Lavender, Tonka and Ylang Ylang or take a soothing, hot bath with one of their bath bombs specially designed to help calm and relax. Our favourites are the new Floating Flower bath bomb with Lavender oil, Cocoa butter and Vitamin E and the Sleepy shower bomb with Lavender oil, Ylang Ylang, Oatmeal and Tonka Absolute.
Meditate with these apps
Our final suggestion to help with those sleep woes is to download a meditation app and take some time out of your day to do some mindful meditation or listen to a guided meditation as you are drifting off to sleep. Apps such as Calm, Headspace and Slumber will be sure to help your stresses melt away and send you into dreamland.
Images via Adobe Stock.