Modern life can leave us overstimulated and under-rested – and our established bedtime rituals could be doing more harm than good. Sometimes better sleep can be as easy as kicking the bad habits and adopting new, more effective ones – and help just might be at hand. Yoga teacher and sleep expert Natasha Kerry has lived the city lifestyle and understands how it can take its toll on the mind and body, so here, she shares five remarkably simple tips to help send you straight off to the land of nod.
Your phone, TV and laptop all emit blue light, which delays your natural melatonin production. Your brain secretes more when it’s dark outside to make you sleepy, so it’s best to get off your devices as early in the evening as possible. Switch off bright white lights and light Votary Lavender & Chamomile Scented Candle to add a melatonin-boosting warm glow to your space, while enjoying the relaxing properties of lavender and chamomile.
Your body has a circadian rhythm, so keeping to a consistent bed time routine is key to maintaining equilibrium. Where possible, go to bed at around the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning to allow your body to regulate. Your body is intelligent – once you’ve set up a healthy pattern you may even find yourself waking up slightly before your alarm! Replace your evening coffee or alcoholic drink with non-caffeinated Aveda Comforting Tea Bags to encourage a deep sleep.
KEEP IT COOL
Be aware of temperature – and use it to induce sleep. Our bodies like to be cool at night, so being too warm in bed can be disruptive. Introducing your body to a cooler environment helps stimulate sleep and allows you to cycle naturally though the sleep stages. In winter, set your heating to switch off a little earlier or keep your bedroom radiator low or off. At night your body temperature drops naturally, preparing you for sleep – add Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil to a warm bath before bed to kick-start the cooling-down process while you dry off.
STRETCH TO SERENITY
Practice Yoga or Meditation at any point during the day – even if it’s just for five or ten minutes. By moving your body and breathing more deeply, you can alter your nervous system response and rebalance adrenaline and cortisol levels. We often try to get to sleep wired and awake after a stimulating day and end up lying awake for longer than needed. To instantly calm the nervous system, try lying down with your legs up the wall or on a chair, and pop on the Liberty London Elysian Paradise Tana Lawn Eye Mask – the gentle pressure of an eye mask on the forehead creates a shift into Rest and Digest Mode.
Listen to a sleep audio or guided meditation in bed at night. Listening to something shifts the mind to the present moment, instead of dwelling on your day, work and relationships. Thoughts create powerful chemical reactions in the body, and when you turn your attention to the present moment, you’ll drift off easily. Accompany this with an essential oil, like Bamford Shavsana Essential Oil to effectively induce sleep.