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Begin with Sleep
The Sleep Foundation are having their annual Sleep Awareness Week, March 10th to 16th 2019. Their theme this year is Begin with Sleep and ‘highlights the importance of good sleep health for individuals to best achieve their personal, family and professional goals.’
In our society and culture, we’re so set on the rise, grind and hustle. On the working hard till we’re all worked out and spent. Whilst a strong work ethic is not a bad value to have, sometimes it comes at a high price. Our health. And when our health starts to fail, so does the rest of our lives. And many people find that it’s not sustainable to keep going like that in the long run.
Another thing that stops people from getting in enough Z’s is stress, which can be related to work too! Many of us find ourselves tossing and turning and laying there awake wondering why they’re body can’t seem to just give in to sleep.
We all already know this, but we are a sleep deprived society, and statistics are shocking. According to a 2018 survey by Chemist-4-u, only 6% of us in the UK are managing to make the recommended 8 hours of sleep.
So, to kick off this week of sleep, here at Fushi Headquarters, we’re sharing our top tips for optimising your sleep, so that other areas of your life can improve.
Imagine waking up in the morning feeling energised, refreshed and ready to take on the world! Keep reading to find out how you can do this.
1. Consider taking magnesium at night.
There are quite a few recommended supplements for sleep, but you should only try one at a time to see if it gives any noticeable results. Magnesium is an underrated but essential mineral for sleep, and many of us lack it in our diets, especially women.
As magnesium deficiency is associated with insomnia and restless sleep, many people could benefit from consuming more magnesium, either through diet or supplementation, or both. Taking magnesium can be part of a greater relaxing bedtime routine as it also promotes relaxation by increasing GABA, Gamma-Aminobutyric acid.
2. Increase Bright Light Exposure During the Day.
Not many people realise the effects a lack of bright light exposure can have on your sleep. In a study published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the findings confirmed the importance of exposure to natural light for office workers. Workers in environments with windows not only had significantly more light exposure during work hours but also slept an average of 46 minutes more per night during the work week. This was compared to workers in environments without windows who reported more sleep disturbances and poorer quality of sleep.
By getting bright light exposure in the morning, either from daylight or a SAD lamp, you can wake up your body naturally and regulate your circadian rhythm for more energy in the mornings.
3. Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night.
This is a big one that affects so many people’s ability to sleep, as we are almost always attached to our phones or laptops. It’s not uncommon for some of us to sleep next to our phone, staring at its screen until the early hours of the morning, distracted from even trying to sleep.
Way to avoid blue light include wearing blue light blocking glasses, downloading an app such as F.lux to block blue light on your laptop/computer, turning off bright lights two hours before bed and stopping to watch TV.
4. Cut down on your caffeine, especially later in the day.
Reserve your caffeine intake for earlier on in the day. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and can stop the body from relaxing at night. Some people have a cut off point of 5pm, but if you’re someone who struggle with your sleep, then maybe cutting it off even earlier would be helpful. As caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6 – 8 hours, you may want to think twice before drinking large amounts or drinking it too late. Get your warm drink fix with caffeine free herbal tea options. There are some great, sleep-inducing options so do your research and find one that you can enjoy a couple of hours before bed as part of a winding down ritual.
5. Create a calming bedtime routine.
Using rituals as part of your bed time routine can help your brain and body wind down for sleep. This could be giving yourself a little facial massage with your favourite oil or a gentle yoga routine followed by a bath. Your routine could combine a few relaxing things, and when you do them, it sends a message to your brain and body that sleep time is fast approaching. Make your bed time sacred and give yourself time to relax, instead of heading straight to bed after working or running around trying to be a superhero.
Have you got any sleep tips? Is there anything that works for you? We would love to hear your stories, and please get in touch if you have any questions!
Written by Jess Burman
(BA) Honours Writing