Health and Wellness

How to improve your sleep hygiene this year

By Clementine Beale | Published the 19th Mar 2019

At Koa Recovery, we recently completed a survey where 63% of people said they had difficulty sleeping at night! Sleeping is just as important for your health as eating well and exercise, so it’s critical that we get it right. If only it was as simple and laying down and closing our eyes – we would be so much better off! But it's not. Not getting a good night's sleep may result in a negative effect for our brain function, exercise, productivity and hormones. Poor sleep hygiene has also been linked to weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

So…do you want to hear our top hacks to improve your sleep hygiene this year?

I love a good coffee, so I'm not about to tell you to stop drinking it. In fact, it has been found to have benefits including improved sports performance. Some research studies have even found that it may help protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and help to promote a healthy heart. In saying that, caffeine is a stimulant and having too much late in the day is not a good thing when you are trying to wind down and relax. Caffeine levels remain high in the blood for approx 6-8hours following your drink. For this reason, it's not a good idea to have a coffee after 3 pm if you're looking to improve your sleep quality.

TIP: Try a nice cup of herbal tea or a decaf coffee instead.

Sleep Times
Your body's circadian rhythm is aligned with sunrise and sunset. A study recently found that going to bed and waking at a similar time each day helps to improve your sleep quality long term and irregular sleep/wake times affect the melatonin levels in your body and the circadian rhythm. This is critical to getting a good night's sleep as it's the melatonin which sends the signal to our brain to go to sleep. Most people are able to maintain a consistent sleep routine during the week, however, change the routine up completely on the weekend.

TIP: Try and go to bed and wake at a similar time during the week and on the weekend.

Magnesium is an essential mineral for our body and has multiple health benefits including enhances relaxation and sleep quality. Magnesium can help to regulate melatonin which therefore regulates our sleep cycles. It activates the nervous system in our body which helps it to calm the brain, remove the chatter in our mind and relax. It also helps to regulate neurotransmitters that 'quieten down' our body and prepare it for rest. Magnesium can be taken orally, however, the most effective way to consume magnesium is to absorb it through the largest organ in the body - our skin! Float therapy involves floating in over 500kg of magnesium. As well as providing many other benefits for sleep, during the hour your body soaks up lots of magnesium to aid you in getting a good night's sleep. We recommend floating 2-4 times per month and using a good quality magnesium oil from Salt Lab daily to optimise the magnesium absorption in the body. The truth is in the sleep tracker.

TIP: Ensure you absorb your magnesium through the skin rather than orally for optimal absorption. We recommend float therapy and a good quality magnesium oil. We use Salt Lab daily.

Your Bedroom
Setting up your sleep space and ensuring that it is conducive to good sleep is critical. Don't ever underestimate these small things. The way you feel when you walk into your bedroom has a huge impact. How good do you feel when you walk into a clean room and then get into a bed of fresh sheets? Amazing right! Also think lighting, furniture, temperature, technology. How does it impact how you feel? There have been multiple studies which have found that long term health issues can be caused by outside noise or traffic when you're trying to sleep. Reducing noise and lighting can improve your sleep quality by 50%!

TIP: Try and make your room dark and quiet. Make it clean, warm (20 degrees Celsius) and inviting so when you walk in, you feel at ease.

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