THESE HABITS WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU SLEEP
Sleep is one of the most essential elements for your general health and wellbeing. Dr Julie Moltke, our scientific advisor offers you her most well-documented tips for keeping up a good sleep hygiene. This can help you ensure that your nights are full of peace and your days inspired with energy and joy.
The Lack of Sleep due to a Modern Lifestyle
Across the globe, sleep has decreased dramatically. Average sleep time has gone down from 9 hours to less than 7 hours during the last 100 years (The Good Body, 2018). More than ⅓ of the UK population sleep less than 6 hours and scientists have proclaimed an international sleep epidemic. A lack of sleep will show in all other pillars of health. It increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and obesity and makes us more susceptible to infection. Sleep-deprived individuals have a poor memory and have a hard time focusing along with an increased risk of developing mental health problems like anxiety, depression and even psychosis.
To improve your sleep, you need a 360 review of your lifestyle, as you start preparing for a good night's sleep when you wake up. To function properly, our bodies need stable routines. You can start with setting the intention to always allow your body that 7-9 hours sleep opportunity. It is also important to try to wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday. Be kind to yourself and try to make getting sufficient sleep a top priority, even above physical exercise and a healthy diet. The reason why sleeping should be a top priority is that if you are underslept you usually do not benefit as much from exercising and your hunger hormones are out of balance so you will feel more hungry and at the same time craving food rich in carbohydrates and sugar.
For better sleep, make sure you have:
- Good sleeping conditions: Sleep in a dark and cool bedroom without too much artificial light. The body needs to cool down before you can fall asleep so a warm shower can help you with that (after a warm shower the body releases more heat)
- Sleep time habits: try to wake up and go to bed at a similar time each day. If you sleep in at the weekend try to not to overdo it; this will make it easier to get back to your sleeping habit when back to work.
- Cut out the caffeine: Science has shown that drinks rich in caffeine stays in the system for up to 8-12 hours. I recommend holding back on caffeinated drinks including coffee and teas high on caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.
- Relaxing the hours before: Try to engage in relaxing activities the hours before going to bed. This could be reading a book or taking a bath. Make sure not to do work related things just before going to bed; No emails checking just before bedtime.
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom: Try to let your phone, television or laptop to itself the last hour before going to bed. Research has shown that the artificial screen-light is not good for your natural sleep cycle.
- CBD: I can recommend taking a dose of 25-50 mg CBD 2 hours before going to bed to help you ease into sleep naturally.
- The alarm clock: Don’t leave the phone next to the bed. Many people are benefiting from an old-school alarm-clock so the first thing you see in the morning is not your phone. You can now get alarm-clocks with calming natural sounds and with a light function with increasing light-intensity over time.
- Cut down on alcohol before going to bed: Half a bottle of wine might seem like a great idea if you are feeling a bit stressed and want to relax. However the truth is that alcohol consumption before bed lowers the quality of sleep and makes you more likely to wake up often during the night.
- Exercise during the day but make sure not to do high-intensity exercise a few hours before bedtime. This will increase your levels of stress hormones (cortisol) which in turn can make it hard to fall asleep.
- Sleep supplements: If you really have a hard time sleeping there are some great supplements out there that can help you wind down, enough for the body to go to sleep. In a recent user survey we found one of the top reasons for using CBD was sleep related and most users found that CBD had a beneficial effect on their sleep. But there are also other great natural sleep enhancers like valerian root, L-Theanine, 5-HTP and Chamomile.
Join us for a Sleep Webinar
On Wednesday April 17th, join our experts Dr Julie Moltke and Hayley Pedrick for a webinar on How Sleep is the ultimate Immune Enhancer. It will be a time to learn from two health professionals why sleep is so important to be healthy.