CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

How to get better sleep

05 November, 2019

Sleeping is a significant part of our lives, but is only really talked about when we aren’t getting enough of it. Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t start when you get into bed, it starts from the moment you get up. There are many things you do during the day, evening and night that may interrupt your sleeping pattern. Being sleep deprived can be the cause of countless mental and physical health issues – so preparing for it seriously is one of the healthiest decisions you may ever make. This article will cover the most important steps to take to ensure you get healthy rest.

The mattress

Before talking about the more abstract reasons why you may not be getting enough sleep, the mattress you sleep on is still the foundation. A poor quality mattress may not only interrupt your sleep but it could give you physical problems such as back pain. There are many mattresses on the market, from innersprings and pillow tops to smart gel. The thing is, everyone is different and should test out what’s best for them. There is one type of mattress that usually prevails, though. A memory foam mattress will provide most people with fantastic support, particularly if they sleep on their side. Comfort and support is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep, so getting this one right is first on the list.

The memory foam mattresses offered by the brand Casper is the perfect solution to getting you better sleep. As mentioned above, all our bodies and sleeping patterns are different. Casper offers a mattress 100 day trial to ensure satisfaction in case their mattress is not made for you. Casper’s mattresses are the result of more than a 100 prototypes, after which their engineers have created the perfect foam layer combination to ensure they’re providing the best mattresses on the market. They also provide a mattress guide detailing all of the available options and their pros/cons.

Reduce blue light exposure

During the day, it’s vital that you get enough bright light. This means getting lots of natural sunlight in order to keep your natural inner clock in rhythm. However, in the evening, you should be more conscious about blue light, and try to limit it. Blue light that is emitted mostly from electronic screens and is what will deprive you of your melatonin hormone, which helps you sleep. A great way to go about this is to set your phone to “reading mode” or similar as the sun starts to go down (most phones can automate this with a schedule). Additionally, you can physically wear glasses that will block such blue light.

Caffeine

Caffeine is great for most of us. It can really kick start your day and put you into gear. The issue is that it has a half life of 5 to 6 hours. This means that you can have a coffee at 4pm, and when you go to bed at 10pm, your body may still have half of that caffeine active in your system. To make this worse, outlets such as Starbucks have an insane amount of caffeine too – way more than you would consume in one cup of your own home brew. As a general rule, try and not have caffeine after 2pm when possible – or cut it out completely.

Routine

Routine is one of the most important factors in getting consistent sleep. Your body is incredibly clever, and picks up on things that even your conscious mind doesn’t. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is vital for this. Once your body can predict when is the time for rest, and when is the time for work, then your inner clock will take care of the rest.

Your bedroom is only used for sleep

This is another example of how your subconscious mind may be acting differently to your consciousness. When you consume media, play games and read whilst lying in bed, it is very difficult for your mind and body to discern the difference between when you’re trying to sleep and when you’re not. If you use your bedroom solely and exclusively for sleeping instead of consuming media, then it will not subconsciously expect anything other than sleep.

Alcohol

Many people use whisky and other beverages as a means to get better sleep. A simple night cap feels although it will put you to sleep much faster. And it does, for a while… The issue with alcohol is that it will make you wake up more frequently during your sleep, cause you sleep apnea and disrupt your sleeping patterns. It will also cloud your inner clock, which ruins your routine. Besides that, it causes you to snore, meaning your other half may also struggle with their sleep.

Whilst these are the absolute foundations, there are tons of things that can interrupt sleep. There are even factors starting from the beginning of the day that will affect your sleep, such as what you’re eating. Your bedroom environment, routine and mattress are the three main things that should help change your sleep for the better.

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