How to Sleep Better - Five Tips for Getting a Good Night's Rest
It wasn’t until I became a mum that I realised how much I took a good night’s sleep for granted. With a two year old and a new business to run, sleep has become the new luxury in my life. Forget Champagne and macaroons… pass me the eye mask!
However, it isn’t just becoming a parent that can result in sleep issues. Stress, work and even heat waves means that, according to the 2018 Sleep Council survey, 74% of us aren’t getting the recommended minimum of seven hours sleep a night.
A good night’s sleep is just as important as exercise and a healthy diet and clocking in eight hours or more on a nightly basis can help improve memory, reduce stress and allows the body and mind to heal. A recent clinical trialby Estée Lauder also found that people who regularly sleep less showed increased signs of skin ageing (and we all saw the photos of J-Lo’s 50th birthday celebrations and she swears by eight to ten hour’s sleep every night!).
I want everyone to get a good night's rest so I asked OTO scientists, Dr Ketan Joshi and Dr Michael Haslam to share their five top tips to help you sleep better.
The power of CBD and sleep
By promoting homeostatis i.e. balancing the body, CBD can help to regulate your internal sleep / wake cycle, ultimately making it easier to fall asleep at night and also wake up in the morning.
Our own consumer trials showed extremely positive results in regards to regularly taking CBD and improved sleep. In the trials for our new OTO Pillow Mist, 87% of participants reported an improvement in sleep quality, with 92% also benefiting from improved mood, energy and concentration.
Create a regular bedtime routine
In today’s hectic modern world, this is perhaps easier said than done. However, creating a regular schedule for bed will programme the brain and sleep cycle into a set routine. Your internal body clock is the greatest sleep aid and it can take between three to ten days to reset. The trick is to stick to this routine even at weekends for consistency.
Develop a pre-bedtime routine that will help you to wind down and detach yourself from the events of the day. It is important that your mindset is focussed towards sleep, so turn off your phone and try to forget about any worries that will keep your mind ticking over into the night. The hour leading up to sleep should be your moment of calm, so focus on whatever helps you to relax, whether that be practising gentle yoga, a bath or meditation.
Hang up the phone
We all know the impact ‘blue light’ has on sleep, the hard part is switching off. For my fellow ‘nomophobics’ (aka a fear of being without a mobile phone), there are a few handy tips to break the addiction. First, switch your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode at least an hour before bed. This will stop any notifications or calls coming through, allowing you to slowly disengage from the outside world. This can be automatically scheduled on most phones. There is also a wonderful new feature on most new phones called ‘Downtime', which allows you to turn off access to your apps during set hours, which is perfect for breaking that pre-bedtime Instagram habit.
Another handy tip is to automatically set a ‘night shift’ on your phone which automatically adjusts your screen from blue light to the warmer end of the spectrum which is less stimulating and easier on your eyes. If you still can’t resist the urge to reach for your phone, tuck it away at the opposite side of the room out of arm’s reach.
Comfort is key
Investing in a good quality bed, mattress and bedding can do wonders for a good night’s sleep. Of the three, investing in a mattress is the most essential. A bad mattress won’t just affect your sleep, it can also result in back and joint pain.
A mattress isn't necessarily something you associate with craftsmanship, but a lot of skill goes into making premium mattresses and the difference is noticeable. A good quality mattress can come with a hefty price tag, but when your spending a third of your life in bed it makes total sense to have the best.
Optimise your bedroom environment
Noise and light pollution can both affect sleep, as can temperature; so creating a pleasant space can help you drift into a relaxing slumber.
Make sure the room is cool. It is said to be between 16-18°C is the optimum temperature for sleep. Again this is where CBD can help as it helps the body remain calm and balanced, naturally assisting with symptoms of overheating.
Blackout curtains are a light sleepers best friend and make sure all light emitting electronics are switched off (think stand-by buttons, electric clocks). Noise is a little bit more tricky - especially if you live by a main road - however, many friends report on the benefits of using a white noise machine. They work by generating high-pitched static, or white noise, that consists of randomized frequencies to aid sleep. Not just for adults, you can also find models designed for children and even babies and can also be a useful study/concentration aid.