It’s that all too common feeling – you’ve been looking forward to sleep all day, your body is exhausted but your mind is so active you question your sanity.
Sleep is a powerful remedy to restoring you physically and helps clear your mind, an activity you can’t live well without.
But that nightmarish feeling of restlessness proves falling asleep can be difficult. Just like you can’t digest your food faster, sleep onset is not something you cannot control.
But a few handy tips can help create the right conditions for sleep – both in your mind and in your environment.
Protect yourself from common sleep thieves by keeping your room dark, quiet and cool. Your bedroom is not your office, gym or storage closet, it should be used primarily for sleep and romance. Create a space that is only associated with sleeping by removing distractions from the room. One of the major triggers to alertness is a television because light is associated with wakefulness. When there's light, your body doesn't produce as much melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
While ‘zen’ technically means relaxed and not worrying, we think it also means sleep. A relaxing routine before bedtime, away from bright lights, electronics and to-do lists helps separate sleep-time from daytime activities that tend to cause excitement, stress or anxiety. Herbal tea, aromatherapy and baths can all support your transition to sleep.
There is a fine line between help and hindrance, and nothing walks the tightrope more destructively than caffeine. Caffeine is a drug that acts as a stimulant, both mentally and physically, while we religiously support an early morning pick-me-up, cut the coffee late in the day. The experts at Sleep Health Foundation recommend caffeine to be avoided for at least four hours before going to sleep.
Wine or whine?
While alcohol can make you feel tired and may help you fall asleep at night, it actually disrupts the quality of your sleep. Sleep after drinking alcohol is associated with more frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, headaches and restfulness. High volume of drinking can impact your levels of melatonin for up to a week, and we remember we love melatonin for its talent in helping you sleep better and regulate your body rhythm.
Get off the Internet
Alarmingly 44 per cent of adults are on the internet immediately before bed, and 59pc of these late night workers, web surfers, movie watchers or online gamers report sleep problems, according to Sleep Health Foundation director David Hillman. The bright screen light from devices cause increase alertness, which stimulate minds making us less ready to sleep. Not to mention the web-abyss we can often fall into which can make us absorbed with our personal trainers’ ex-girlfriends’ cousins’ dog Rupert, well beyond our usual bedtime.
Sleep in a bottle
To avoid the detrimental casualty of sleep deprivation - the moods, irritability, clumsiness, or just downright depressed because you can't get a decent night's sleep - try SaltLab Magnesium Oil.
Magnesium is vital for the function of GABA receptors, which exist across all areas of the brain and nervous system. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires to switch off; without it, we remain tense, our thoughts race and we lie in bed staring at the ceiling – This is a game changer.