The Covid-19 pandemic and all the uncertainties and restrictions it brings is doing nothing for our nighttime habits.
With sleep essentially a secret weapon for better immunity, not getting the recommended 8 hours a night could do more damage than we realise.
By making just a few simple changes, you can enjoy better sleep and better health, and it all starts with your routine.
The key to enjoying a better night’s sleep is to wind-down properly. Preparing your body and mind for a restful experience should be a priority.
Here’s how to perfect your routine to enjoy better quality sleep even when living under lockdown.
Create a sanctuary for sleep
Bright lights and loud noises don’t exactly create the relaxing ambience you need to slip into slumber.
That’s why it’s important to spend 5 to 10 minutes every night creating your very own sanctuary for sleep at home.
Dimming the lights, closing the curtains and even spritzing your home with a heavenly essential herb spray are all great ways to prepare yourself for that all-important wind-down.
Be consistent with your sleep schedule
Consistency is vital for inducing sleep so try to start your wind-down routine at a similar time to gear up for going to bed at the same time every night.
Adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night; work back from your wake up time to devise a sleep schedule that suits.
Waking up at the same time every day will also help you keep your circadian rhythm or body clock in check.
Be consistent with your new sleep schedule however, it takes at least two weeks to adjust a sleep-wake cycle.
Make it a tech-free zone
We’re lucky enough to be able to harness the wonders of modern technology in every part of our lives, but during those final hours before bed, exposure to technology can do more harm than good.
Whether it’s endless social media scrolling that’s your shortcoming or bingeing on your favourite Netflix series just before bed, evening screen time can sabotage sleep.
Here HuffPost explains how that seemingly innocent session catching up on the next day’s work emails or endlessly scrolling through your newsfeed affects the brain:
“Screen time at night keeps adults from falling asleep and sleeping well due to cognitive stimulation and sleep deprivation. Your brain’s electrical activity increases, neurons race and divert you from calming down into a peaceful state of mind for sleep.
In addition, the physical act of responding to an email, text, or video increases the tension in your body which results in stress.
Your body then produces the stress hormone cortisol released by the adrenal gland aversive to sleep.”
Limit or even avoid screen time completely one to two hours before you go to bed. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence, the time can be used productively.
Pick up a book, record the day’s events in your journal, or play a relaxing game instead of reaching for your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Watch what you eat and drink
Caffeine is a big no-no before bed. Your caffeine cut-off time should be much earlier in the day, with many experts advising no caffeine after 2pm to ensure a healthy, satisfying sleep.
The same rule applies with food, set your cut-off time at least 3 hours before bed to stop those late-night snacks disrupting your sleep.
Drinking tea just before bed, however, can have a soothing effect providing it’s a herbal blend. Our Nourishing Night Tea goes a few steps further to help facilitate a relaxing, sleep-inducing wind-down routine.
The organic chamomile, lavender, and passionflower it contains help to actively calm the mind, relax the body, improve mood, and reduce anxiety to enable a deeper, more restorative sleep. It also helps soothe the digestive system, minimising the acidity that can disturb individuals when they lie down at night.
Practise a spot of sleep yoga
Indulging in a 30- to 60-minute Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep session, is an excellent alternative to a tech-infused wind-down routine.
The practice uses a combination of guided meditation, breathing exercises, and other specialist yoga techniques to promote deep relaxation.
It’ll work wonders for your sleep quality as well as unlock a plethora of other wellness-boosting benefits.
Want to learn the sleep yoga secrets that will help you tap into the many advantages of Yoga Nidra at home?
We’re running a 4-week programme throughout March with the weekly classes you need to either get started or deepen your practice.
Purchase your tickets right here.