Monday motivation: Top tips to help you wind down before bed
Sleep is a sought-after commodity at the best of times. With an industry worth billions of dollars, a plethora of new sleep-improving products constantly being conceptualised and a population soaking up reams of information on the subject, it is an innate bodily function most of us are always seeking to enhance.
Here are our top tips for a better night’s sleep during the stress and uncertainty of lockdown.
When normal daily life is in full swing, it’s not difficult to see why a good night’s sleep often evades us. With nights cut short by early rises and long commutes, and long working days providing stress and sometimes little reprieve, it is no wonder we can struggle to silence our inner monologues when it comes to switching off the lights.
Whilst we’re in a state of lockdown, one would think we would have more time to dedicate to perfecting the craft of a good night’s rest. However, it seems our sleeping patterns are facing an increasing number of obstacles.
With the comfort of our long-established daily routines suddenly in disarray and our relaxation and productivity spaces becoming blurred whilst we work from home, not to mention the hours on end spent cooped up in close quarters as a result of the current social distancing measures, a good kip could allude even the most hardy of dispositions.
Coupled with the immeasurable levels of worry and anxiety we carry around, as well as the uncertainty and loss of control we are all experiencing, it’s no wonder a good deal of us are finding it harder to switch off the constant carousel of thoughts when it comes to hitting the hay.
The irony is that achieving a good night’s sleep is even more important in the current climate. Whilst lethargy may seem debilitating in times when we get up and go, sleep is such a cornerstone when it comes to good mental and physical health, both of which we need to be so mindful of right now.
Falling short of the optimal eight hours can take its toll on our emotional wellbeing, productivity levels and general outlook, whilst potentially wreaking havoc on our brain and heart health, immune systems and even our metabolisms!
With this in mind, we have pulled together a list of our top tips to help you get your hands on those coveted eight hours:
1. Switch off phones at least an hour before bedtime
The artificial blue lights emitted from our screens supress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin
2. Try your hand at meditation
A great way to quieten quarrelsome thoughts and alleviate stress, one of BodyHoliday’s head practitioners, Tendel Zangpo, talks you through a 10-minute guided meditation here
3. Limit caffeine after 4pm
Dependent on the individual, your caffeine cut–off may be even earlier, so be sure to listen to your body, not your boredom!
4. Gently stretch
A great way to relax your muscles and give yourself a little mental refresh
5. Drink herbal tea
Drinking decaffinated herbal tea before bed can have a plethora of benefits when it comes to your quality of sleep. Watch Dr Maha Lakshmanan, Body Science Leader at BodyHoliday, as he talks us through his recipe for an immune-boosting herbal tea here
6. Utilise nature’s calming fragrances
Whether it is burning a scented candle or sprinkling a few drops on your pillowcase before bed, essential oils such as lavender have been proven to increase the time spent in deep, restorative sleep