Adequate, good quality sleep is an essential component
to your overall health and wellbeing.
Did you know that sleep affects every system within your body? Your hormones, digestion, cognitive function and more are all impacted by your sleep.
Furthermore, chronic poor quality sleep and lack of sleep, have been linked to a predisposition to inflammation, chronic disease and illness.
If you struggle with sleep, consider the 5 tips for a better night’s sleep below. These are tried and tested methods we implement with our clients to help them to achieve better zzzs!
5 tips for a better night’s sleep.
1. Lower the temperature of your bedroom.
Out in the wild, when nighttime sets in, temperatures tend to drop. This is true even in the warmest of climates. As the temperature dips, it signals to the body that it’s time to ready itself for sleep, encouraging the release of Melatonin—a sleep-inducing hormone.
In modern life, we’re able to control the climate of our home environments using things like central heating and air con. While it may be tempting to turn up the heat, especially on colder days, if you’re hoping for a good night’s sleep, consider lowering the temperature of your bedroom before you head to bed.
A cool room mimics the dip in temperature of the great outdoors, signalling to your body that it’s time to sleep; thus promoting the release of Melatonin.
Bonus tip: a cool room doesn’t mean a cold night’s sleep! Layer up with a cosy duvet and comforting pyjamas, it’s the temperature of the environment which has an impact, not how snug you feel.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
“Circadian rhythm” refers to the body’s sleep/wake cycle. It’s made up of 90 minute increments over 24 hours. Every 90 minutes you’ll experience a natural increase and dip in energy, this is echoed throughout your sleep, alternating between deep and light sleep.
When you regulate the time you wake up and head to sleep, the body becomes accustomed to a routine—naturally rising and becoming tired at roughly the same time daily. As mentioned above, Melatonin is the body’s “sleep hormone”, Cortisol is its opposite. When the body’s Circadian rhythm is regulated, Cortisol should naturally rise in the morning to help you get up and going with your day. Melatonin will then secrete at a regular interval daily to help you to go to sleep.
If you notice that you frequently have a surge of energy just as you’re trying to go to sleep, or that you’re particularly groggy as you try to wake up, it can indicate a dis-regulated Circadian rhythm. Try implementing a regular wake and sleep time to get your body onto a more regular cadence.
3. Introduce Magnesium to your routine.
Magnesium is a mineral which many people are naturally deficient in. Magnesium deficiency can contribute to poor sleep, slow digestive function, body aches and pains and brain fog.
Conversely, sufficient Magnesium levels can assist with good quality sleep. In fact, many of our clients describe Magnesium as the “missing link” in their sleep routine.
Magnesium can be taken in supplement form, or via Epsom salts in the bath or in a foot spa. Be mindful that Epsom salts can aggravate individuals who are sensitive to sulphur based foods, which include: garlic, onions, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. For individuals with a sulphur sensitivity, it is advisable to avoid Epsom salts. Interestingly, such individuals are also likely to be CBS gene carriers. You can read more about our work with genetics here.
If using Epsom salts, consider implementing them into your routine roughly 3 x a week.
A further note on Magnesium supplementation: Magnesium comes in a number of different forms which can be more or less effective for various needs. We recommend doing your research on which form is best suited for your needs. As always, The Maas Clinic team is available to assist if needed. Drop our friendly team a line if you’d like to learn more!
4. Limit blue light exposure after sunset or two hours before bedtime.
Blue light, emitted by technology and bright white light bulbs, can trick the body into thinking it’s daytime, thus inhibiting the production and release of Melatonin—the body’s sleep hormone.
Negate issues surrounding blue light by limiting your exposure to it after sunset. In the natural world, sunset signals to the body that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Use this as your cue to start a warm light routine, or begin a warm light routine at least two hours before bedtime.
You can do this by using blue light filtering glasses, implementing amber light bulbs in the areas you spend your evenings in, and changing your phone screen to an amber tint.
5. Implement blackout blinds or curtains, or use an eye mask.
Daylight signals to the body that it’s time to wake up. In fact, any light exposure can trick the body into thinking that it should be awake.
To encourage your body to sleep deeply, consider implementing blackout blinds or curtains in your bedroom, or use an eye mask. All of these options will help to block out light, which can positively impact the quality of your sleep.
Bonus tip! Chargers, TVs and plug sockets often emit a small light. Though small in size, the light can still affect the efficacy of your sleep. Consider covering these small lights with tape, or using an eye mask for a total blackout effect. Silk eye masks are particularly gentle on the delicate skin around the eye area.