How to Master a Good Night's Sleep
Honing your wind-down and pre-sleep routine to a fine art
Sleep is one of our bodies’ most vital needs – and with a globally-reported spike in insomnia and sleep-related issues across the last two years, it seems we could all do with some help when it comes to getting our recommended eight hours in. We enlisted the expertise of London sleep physiologist Dr Kirandeep van den Eshof, to provide guidance in creating the optimum atmosphere to drift off.
Establish A Routine
“Establishing a regular pre-bed routine helps to deliver cues to the brain that signal when it is almost time or time for bed and allow you to wind down effectively before sleep. Things such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, reading, drinking a warm non-caffeinated herbal drink, using lavender and essential oils or taking a bath are all good in bringing about a more relaxed state.”
Stress and anxiety are having a massive impact on sleep in modern day life and can manifest more at night, leading to insomnia. People can develop sleep anxiety if they are not sleeping, and they begin to worry about not sleeping.
Block Out The Light
“Eye masks are a useful sleep aid as they block out light which is stimulating and create darkness which is a visual cue for triggering sleep. Black out blinds in the bedroom are also useful for this reason. Use comfortable bed linen, wear comfortable light clothing and have a comfortable mattress.”
The reality of it is that there are a large portion of people that find other things more important than obtaining sufficient sleep… The key is finding a healthy balance between both these things and shifting perceptions so people realise the importance and value of a good night’s sleep.
Keep Regular Hours
“Try to keep regular sleep hours to aid adequate sleep and wake regulation, be aware of how much sleep you need and try to obtain this, relax before bed and avoid stimulating substances such as alcohol (four hours) and caffeine (six hours) before bed. Practicing general good sleep hygiene is key.”