To me, there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. On days where I haven’t slept well the night before, I feel irritable, have low energy and am just generally not a nice person to be around. I’m lucky to be a deep sleeper so once I get to sleep almost nothing can wake me. I’m known to sleep with my mouth wide open and drool (not so great when you are trying to nap on a flight) and (unfortunately for my husband) I’m a snorer!
Personal anecdotes aside, I think we can all agree that sleep is important to our health and well-being. Sleep is gaining popularity as one of the primary pillars of health and studies are now looking at the impact sleep (or lack thereof) can have on various measures. Poor sleep can undo the benefits of a healthy, unprocessed diet and regular exercise regime.
The benefits of a good nights sleep are numerous. Just to name a few, this includes:
- Better mood
- Increased energy
- Reduced risk for various diseases
- Improved cognition
Research is showing that it’s not only the quantity of sleep that’s important (i.e. how many hours of sleep we get per night) but the quality of our sleep.
Below is a list of my top hacks for getting a better quality night’s sleep:
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain that regulates sleep. Our production of melatonin naturally increases over the course of the day in preparation for us to sleep at night. Studies have shown that melatonin production is disrupted by exposure to blue light, in turn leading to poor sleep. Conversely, there is evidence that wearing blue-blocking glasses promotes sleep quality and mood. I purchased these (very attractive) blue-blocking glasses almost 2 years ago and have never regretted it. I usually wear them for 1 to 2 hours before I go to sleep. On nights when I don’t, I notice that it takes me longer to fall asleep and I wake up feeling less refreshed.
Magnesium has been shown to be effective in promoting better sleep, as it induces a state of relaxation. Dave Asprey recommends taking up to 400mg of magnesium before bed. I personally use a magnesium spray on my arms and the backs of my legs just before I go to sleep. Some nights I enjoy having an Epsom salt bath to make me super relaxed and ready for a good nights rest. Hapi also manufactures a sleep supplement called Doze (containing L-Theanine, Magnesium L-Threonate, Lion’s Mane and Tryptophan) which is meant to help with easing you into a deeper rest.
Humans evolved to have complete darkness during sleeping hours. These days, however, it is rare that we go to sleep in a completely darkened room. My sleep markedly improved after getting this wrap around sleep mask for my birthday last year. I take it with me when I travel so I’m guaranteed to have a good night’s sleep no matter where I am Alternatively, you could invest in blackout curtains for your bedroom (however, these aren’t so travel-friendly).
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
I put my phone on fight mode while I sleep to reduce the risk of EMFs disturbing my sleep quality. There is also the added benefit of not being disturbed by any messages or notifications I receive during the night.
Track Sleep Quality
I use the Sleep Cycle app to track my sleep quality. The ‘sleep notes’ enables you to track various behaviours which are then correlated with your sleep quality score. My data shows that I sleep better when I have had camomile tea before bed, worn my blue blocking glasses for an hour or longer, or have done a yoga or Pilates class. This app also tracks your movement while you sleep and wakes you up at the best possible time (i.e. when you are in the lightest phase of sleep). Another way to keep track of your sleep quality is to simply keep a diary of what sleep hacks you are trying and how you feel after waking up.
The list above are just a few things that have personally helped me to sleep better. I recommend experimenting with various methods and keeping track of how you feel each morning to find out what works (or doesn’t work) for you.
What are your top hacks for getting a good night’s sleep? Please leave a comment below and share your personal experience 🙂