Woman on bed reading a book

How to Sleep Better

When coping with insomnia or restless nights, getting a good amount of sleep can feel impossible. At OSU, we’re here to help. Just like eating a healthy and balanced diet or exercising regularly, getting enough sleep is pivotal to improving your quality of life.[1] Did you know that getting 8 hours of sleep can enable you to:

Have a Better Attention Span and Concentration Level During The Day - Getting enough sleep helps your brain capacity to maintain high attention and concentration levels. 

Help Maintain a Healthy Diet - Not getting enough sleep means your body needs more energy from food to compensate for the energy lost the night before.

Boost Your Mental Health - During sleep our body releases hormones that reduce our levels of stress and anxiety, the more sleep we get, the more these hormones are released.

Ready to get out of the right side of the bed? Let’s look at some actionable ways in which you can wake up feeling fresh, energised, and ready to take on the day. 

Exercise for Better Sleep

There is a solid connection between the amount of exercise someone does and their quality of sleep. Exercise as simple as a 10 minute run, walk, or swim (done on a regular basis) can improve the quality of your sleep. We also recommend trying yoga or gentle stretching, as these activities not only relax your muscles but can help center your focus in the present, quieting your thoughts when stressed.

However, for improvements in sleep to be truly noticed exercising needs to be a regular effort (around 3-4 times a week) for a prolonged period of time.[2] Whilst the more vigorous the exercise is, the better the quality of sleep is likely to be, it’s important to note that participating in a 30 minute intense gym session 1 hour before bed will have the opposite effect and keep you awake. So for more intense workouts, we suggest finishing them at least 3 hours before you plan to sleep.[3]

Create A Sleep Friendly Bedroom

Whilst it may be common sense to say that the room in which you chose to sleep in every night should be a relaxing and peaceful space, there could be certain elements of your bedroom that are inadvertently weakening the potential of your sleep. The most common offenders are old mattresses, lack of curtains/blinds, the temperature of your room, and how messy it is. For the best night’s sleep, we advise that you invest in a good mattress (if you can), adequate curtains/blinds, keep your room between 18C and 24C, and maintain a clean space.[4]

Another seemingly innocuous item that can impact sleep is electronic devices. Electronic devices (like phones and tablets) release an artificial ‘blue light’ that can inhibit the release of the body’s sleep-inducing hormone.[5] So we recommend wrapping up your latest Netflix binge or Whatsapp message chain at least 30 minutes before you plan to drop off.

Sleep At Regular Times

Establishing and maintaining regular sleeping hours can do wonders for the nature of your sleep. Adults need between 6 to 9 hours of sleep in order to function as effectively as possible the next day. Knowing this, establish the time at which you need to wake up every morning - from here you can set up a sleep schedule. 

It’s vital that you stick to the schedule you have created in order to gain the maximum benefits from it. While it may be tempting to sleep in after a heavy night having fun with friends and family, that one sleep could derail the schedule you’ve created. Try instead to take a short 20-45 minute nap during the day.[6]

Relax & Wind Down Before Bed 

One of the easiest ways to sleep better at night is by winding down and relaxing before bed. Winding down gets your body in the early stages of the sleeping state. There are so many ways to do this, here are a few of our suggestions[7]

  • Warm baths to get your body temperature perfect for sleep.
  • Mindfulness meditation to help your mind relax, follow our Guide to Meditation if you need help with this.
  • Reading a book can help stimulate the feelings of tiredness. 
  • Dimming the lights in your room, this helps your brain signal that it’s time for bed. 

Fix Your Sleeping Pattern Tonight 

After reading this, bye-bye are the days of waking up and having to drag yourself out of bed. A night of good sleep can have many knock-on effects for the rest of the day like low concentration and high levels of stress. We want you to avoid this as much as possible and have really good and positive days.

Follow some of our recommendations and let us know how they helped you via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Feeling more energised by your new sleep routine? don’t forget to try adding our Apple Cider Vinegar product to your mornings via a smoothie or healthy morning tonic. 

References 
  1. https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/nine-benefits-good-night-sleep
  2. https://www.sleepstation.org.uk/articles/sleep-tips/exercise-helps-you-sleep/
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/10-tips-to-beat-insomnia/
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/
  5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/screen-time-and-insomnia-what-it-means-teens
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/
  7. https://www.sleepstation.org.uk/articles/sleep-tips/destress-for-better-sleep/