There is no question that sleep is important, everyone knows this.
If you ask any person, they will most likely say that sleep is important, but most people are unaware of actually how important sleep is.
Along with a clean diet, sleep can be the biggest contributing factor to having a good day, where you feel like you can work for hours, or having a not so good day, where you feel groggy and tired throughout.
Most people are also aware that the regular adult requires above 7 hours of sleep for it to be sufficient (unless you’re Elon Musk). Some of you reading this might not be able to muster 7 hours of quality sleep, so here are some tips to get you functioning well.
1. Utilise your smartphone’s features
For people who use their mobile phones frequently at night, some of you may be unaware of the features your iphone or android phone has for sleep.
One key feature is the warm light feature, in which you can schedule a time of the day where the screen automatically turns to a warmer reddish colour, as opposed to the regular, bright blue light colour.
What this does is blocks out the blue light, which is at the top of the Kelvin scale (a scale that measures the temperature of a light) and suppresses the body’s release of melatonin; the hormone which helps you go to sleep. On the opposite end of the Kelvin scale is the warm, reddish and orange light that has a lower temperature of Kelvin (K). This in turn can increase the release of melatonin in the body, making it easier to fall asleep.
A clear way to think about this is that melatonin is released as darkness increases, and vice versa. This is why we naturally tend to sleep at night time, rather than throughout the day. The warm light feature on your smartphone can play an important role in the increase of sleep.
For a tutorial for how to turn this feature on, have a look at this website: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-stop-blue-light-from-disturbing-your-sleep
2. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each night (or close to)
This one is tricky. We often have things to do or places to be which can have an impact on the time we go to sleep. We get caught up watching the latest TV show on Netflix or have to embrace the tantrums of the little ones.
To the best of your ability, try to set a specific time in which you start to get ready for bed and a time when you will hopefully fall asleep by. This should be 7-9 hours before you need to wake up for work, as the recommended amount of sleep for adults aged 18-64 is 7-9 hours, and people aged above 64 is 7-8 hours.
To make this easier, as a general rule, try to go to sleep as darkness sets in and wake up when the sun rises.
3. Create a good ‘wind down’ routine
Having a wind down routine is key for good sleep. In short, a wind down routine is a nightly routine that consists of setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep.
This can consist of shutting down at a certain time, where you turn off the blue/bright lights, turn on your devices warm light features, eat a kiwi-fruit (eating kiwi fruit an hour before bed has been proven to assist with sleep onset, see: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21669584/) and read a book.
To some people, this wouldn’t be appealing at all, but this is just an example. For this to work, you need to find things that will work for you.
You should generally begin your wind down routine 1 hour – 30 minutes before hopping into bed. Ideas to implement to your wind down routine can include; meditating, stretching, journaling, writing about what you’re grateful for, listening to an audiobook or planning for tomorrow.
4. Listen to white noise/rain sounds
This tip is a weird one, but can be beneficial for people who find it hard to get to sleep or for people with a loud house, loud neighbours or a partner who doesn’t stop snoring.
There are apps on your mobile device that have a range of these sorts of sounds, or if you simply type in ‘white noise’ into Youtube, a number of videos will come up.
So why white noise? White noise simply blocks out other sounds that have the ability to keep you from falling asleep and waking you up.
Another form of this could be sleeping with the fan on. The fan has a constant whirring sound that can be very relaxing.
Apps like ‘Calm’ and ‘Headspace have many forms of soundscapes you can choose from, ranging from a waterfall to being underwater.
5. Sleep at the correct temperature
For most people in the summertime, it can be difficult to fall asleep due to the heat. The recommended temperature for optimal sleep is 18.5 degrees Celsius.
If you can afford to run the air conditioner before bed, then great, however for most people, this is an unreasonable choice.
Another option would be to sleep with a fan. Portable fans are very cheap, and can be purchased for less than $20 (AUD) in some locations. This is a great way to reduce the temperature of your bedroom, so you can get a better night’s sleep.
So there’s 5 uncommon ways to increase sleep, hope you enjoyed and Goodnight!
To read about what the best position to sleep in is, click HERE.
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