It’s important that you sleep well to help you perform at your optimum throughout the day. Sleep helps increase energy, focus and emotional balance to name a few. To help you ward off daytime fatigue and a disruptive night’s sleep, I want to share a few things that I’ve found helpful when it comes to finding a better night’s sleep.
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Tips for a better night’s sleep
Support your body’s natural sleep cycle
Your bodies natural sleep cycle is also known as your circadian rhythm, which sets your body’s internal clock. To help find this rhythm, it is best to go to bed and get up at the same time. If you have a late night, still get up at the same time and have a ‘nanna nap’ later in the day – otherwise you’ll find it harder to sleep at bedtime as your natural rhythms have been thrown. Some people will find that naps also keep them awake at night, so for them (rather than sleep) a restful day to help recover is best.
Be aware of your exposure to light
Your circadian rhythm is regulated by the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is produced when it gets dark and this is what helps make you sleepy. This means that your sleep-wake cycle can be disturbed and even changed by regular exposure to artificial light at night (eg. phones, ipads, computers, tvs). Often this is the reason we feel really tired by 3pm because our circadian rhythm out of whack, leaving our body confused as to when it needs to be awake and focused. You can read more on how phone lights/TV affect you here.
Improve your sleep environment
As we’ve already seen, too much light is bad before bed, so it’s best to have a lamp (rather than a bright bedroom light) to put on at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. It’s important to be in a comfortable, supportive bed too. Finding the right mattress and base is equally important. I generally avoid slat bases (without additional middle support) as we have found they bend and can ruin the support your mattress offers.
In terms of mattress’s we’ve recently been trying out a new Melbourne brand of gel memory foam mattresses, Ecosa. It arrives neatly tucked in a box, you unravel it and cut it out of the plastic (with the cool gadget that prevents you from cutting the mattress). Once out of the plastic, the mattress slowly expands.
But how is the Ecosa to sleep on? I’ve found it comfortable as it is firm but still molds to support your body. The gel feature of the memory foam helps to regulate temperature and prevent you sinking too deeply into the mattress. You can use the mattress on the floor, a slat or spring base. The best thing is there is a 100 day return policy if you decide you don’t like it! Ecosa mattresses are reasonably priced and start at $599. This competitive price is significantly more affordable than current latex/foam mattresses and yet offers the same level of support.
Avoid eating late at night or drinking caffeine
Avoid caffeine after 3pm as it does have a long lasting effect on your body and hence your sleep. In regards to eating before bed, for about 3 hours beforehand, avoid rich fatty foods or very large meals as these take more energy in the digestion process that can keep you awake.
What have you found most helpful in improving your sleep? Let’s help each other out in the comments below!