There’s nothing quite like waking up refreshed after a good night’s shut-eye – and we know that sleep is vital for our wellbeing, affecting everything from our mood to our metabolism. But for some of us, high quality slumber is a little harder to come by. Thankfully, the good sleep club doesn’t need to be an exclusive one – a few simple tweaks to your routine might be all it takes to help you get to the land of nod more easily each night. So if you’re looking to improve your sleep – and in turn, your overall wellbeing – here’s where to start.
How to get better sleep
Set a sleeping schedule
One key to getting a good night’s sleep is ensuring that your body knows when it’s time to start winding down. That’s why experts recommend setting and sticking to a sleep schedule whenever possible – meaning going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (yes, even at weekends!). This helps to set your circadian rhythm – the body’s internal clock – which means your body will start to expect sleep at a certain time, making it easier to nod off at bedtime. If you need a nudge, lots of great apps – including the brilliant Sleep Cycle – can help you set sleep reminders, and even track your sleeping patterns.
Treat your bod right
While exercising just before bedtime can be disruptive for sleep, studies show that getting some physical activity in the day can help you drift off more easily at night. What you eat and drink can also impact how well you sleep – it’s recommend that you avoid caffeine too close to bedtime, and it’s wise to avoid eating just before bed. If you must have a snack, opt for a handful of almonds rather than a stimulating sweet treat – almonds contain high amounts of magnesium, which supports relaxation.
Create a pre-bed routine
Experts recommend starting to get ready for sleep at least 30 minutes before bed, to help prepare the body and mind for a restful night. Here are a few ways to get in that sleepy mood:
Dim the lights. Exposure to artificial lighting is stimulating and restricts the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Turn those lights down low in your bedroom to help you relax and unwind, and signal that it’s time for rest.
- Introduce soothing scents. Aromatherapy is a well-known relaxation aid, and when it comes to sleep, the calming scent of lavender is your best friend. Try lighting a candle infused with lavender essential oil – like our Quiet Evenings candle – or spritz a lavender-based pillow spray (we love this one by Ren).
- Indulge in some before-bed rituals. Whether it’s jade rolling your skin or taking a relaxing bath, pampering yourself can help encourage relaxation. So grab your favorite products and have a bit of me-time before hitting the hay.
- Sip a herbal tea. Camomile is the queen of herbal teas when bedtime rolls round. The camomile plant contains a substance called apigenin, which is proven to have sedative effects and can also help reduce anxiety. So why not brew up a cup?
Create a calm atmosphere
If you’re in a chaotic space full of distraction, chances are it will affect your ability to drift off. Cultivate an air of calm in your bedroom and make it an inviting place to be, and you’re sure to feel the benefit. Clear out any clutter, and try painting your room in a peaceful color – studies show that blue is the best for relaxation as it promotes feelings of safety and serenity. It’s also wise to remove as much tech from your room as possible, as the blue light emitted by various devices at night can keep you awake by tricking the brain into believing it’s still daytime (not ideal when you’re trying to snooze).
Clear your mind
Once your room is sorted, take some time to clear your headspace too – try meditating with a soothing app like Third Ear just before bed, or writing down those racing thoughts in a notebook on your nightstand. According to research, journaling before bed can help you sleep more soundly, while reducing worry and stress to boot.
Upgrade your bed
When it comes to shut-eye, the details can make all the difference. To help you sleep as comfortably as possible, invest in the best quality mattress and bedding you can afford, favoring natural materials where possible for breathability. A good pillow is a no-brainer, with memory foam pillows like this one by Weekender consistently ranking among the best on the market. If you’re a light sleeper, treat yourself to some earplugs and a sleep mask (this one by Nidra is highly rated), so you’re not bothered by external distractions while trying to catch those precious Zzzs.
Shop the CASA Home Quiet Evenings range here.