Who doesn't know the feeling of waking up in the morning after a deep, restful sleep interspersed by lovely dreams. A good night's sleep is magical. And it’s so very important! It's safe to say that a good sleep pattern is the building block to optimal health. Both mentally and physically. How fit we are during the day relates directly to the snooze we get the night before. And the wakeful hours are what makes up our life. So, we’d better catch good Zs. For those plagued by sleep problems, who wake up often at night or have a hard time falling asleep, we have a set of guidelines that will help bring back quality sleep.
"Sleep is an
essential but often
of people’s life."
The quality of your sleep and the sleep process start the moment you get up in the morning. Why? During the day, the body stores up an important neurotransmitter – serotonin, known as the "feel-good hormone." Before you prepare for bed, make sure you’ve had a good, structured day. This means fresh air with lots of sunshine - serotonin production depends on it. Then there are physical activities - 10,000 steps a day, jogging, yoga or tabata. Practically any physical activity will suffice. You should make sure to eat enough protein – that’s important for serotonin production too. Protein needs to be well digested and absorbed by the body. To guard against digestive problems, the pH value of the stomach acid should be in proper balance.
TIP: Drinking lemon or apple cider vinegar water in the morning helps.
What should you do in the evening to ensure good sleep?
The key is sleep hygiene, i.e., healthy sleep habits that are crucial to sleep quality. It is essential for the bedroom to be kept cool - between 18 to 20°C. Get rid of any sources of blue light in the room. Cover light-emitting buttons on devices with black tape. Curtains should be thick, ideally the blackout kind. If you're sensitive to light, wear an eye mask to bed. The aim is to keep the room free of light as they interfere with melatonin production. Melatonin production is extremely important in the sleep process: it is a hormone instrumental to sleep.
Next, unplug from social media for 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Cellphones, tablets and laptops cause mental stimulation that make switching off the brain difficult. Make the bedroom a place of peace and tranquility. If this is hard to achieve, comfortable earplugs can help. Many people swear by sleep sprays, like our PillowMist spray (available in our shop). It is made with lavender essence oil, which has a soothing effect on the senses. You've probably heard everyone should get about eight hours, right? In fact, our sleep is composed of a series of 90-minute cycles. The optimal amount of sleep ranges between 6 to 9 hours. Within these 90-minute intervals, different sleep phases occur.
The deep sleep phase is the most important for rejuvenation. The benefits include: energy restoration, cell regeneration, muscles get increased blood supply, tissues undergo growth and repair, the list goes on. Deep sleep occurs mostly in the first cycle. "If you go to bed late (after midnight), you won't get in the optimal amount of deep sleep phase, which is hugely important for regenerative processes." In other words, it's not the number of hours of sleep that counts but the amount of deep sleep you get. In short, go to bed earlier - ideally before midnight. REM sleep: this phase occurs in the early morning hours and continues till we wake up.
During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, we have (hopefully) beautiful dreams. This phase is also important for the mind. The information received over the day is processed and memory gets consolidated. This phase has an impact on our intelligence and emotions, and so is extremely important for the brain. If you are in a situation where you need to process huge amounts of information and take important decisions, make sure to allow yourself more sleep. Switch off the alarm clock and stay under the covers a little longer. REM sleep helps the brain process information and, if need be, find solutions. Sleep is an essential but often neglected component of people’s life.
Remember, it is only during sleep that our bodies regenerate, repair and restore, so that we can start the new day refreshed and energized. Incorporate these guidelines into your routine and you’ll see a difference in your quality of life.