Sleep: 5 proven ways of drastically improving it.

Getting enough sleep has been a topic discussed year on year with increased importance. With social media, stress at work, relationship strain, anxiety of the past, anxiety of the future, money worries, to name a few, it can be a task to unwind and get some good quality sleep. 

However, there are proven ways to kick start yourself into getting some coveted shut eye to face the day ahead. So here we are, 5 proven ways to drastically improve your sleep.

  1. Breathing

This first one sounds like the most obvious thing known to man, however getting your breathing right when tucked up in bed can be ultra effective. Devised by Dr. Andrew Neil, a Havard trained medical doctor, the 4-7-8 method has been dubbed a ‘life hack’ and by many a ‘life saver’ when it comes to sleep. 

It goes as follows:

  1. To start, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  5. Repeat for a total of 4 breathes. 

2. Restrict Mobile Phone/Laptop/TV usage.

It’s no secret that mobile phone/Laptop/TV usage before bed has a dramatic impact on getting sleep and at that, the quality of sleep. Radiation from the light these devices emit can disrupt the production of melatonin, which controls your body’s natural rhythm, and as a result can stunt sleep. Study’s suggest weening off your mobile/laptops at least one hour before bed time to give your body a chance to start producing the hormone. Give it a go, the latest Carpool Karaoke video can wait. 

3. Have a Routine.

Following from the above, sticking to a routine can help improve sleep drastically. Going to sleep and waking up at near enough the same time everyday will help regulate your body’s natural sleep pattern; couple this with a before bed ritual (avoid the satanic ones) such as meditation, reading etc

4. Magnesium

Widely recognised to promote sleep, stabilise mood and reduce stress, Magnesium is a must in helping to improve sleep. Since your body doesn’t naturally produce Magnesium, the mineral needs to come from Diet or Supplements. 

Examples of foods where Magnesium is found:

• Seeds and nuts, including sunflower and sesame seeds, cashews and almonds
• Broccoli
• Dairy products
• Meat
• Unprocessed whole grains
• Chocolate

5. Exercise 

The relationship between Exercise and sleep has been well documented, with results from a study conducted by Journal ‘Sleep Medicine’ finding an increase of 85 minutes of sleep after 4 months of working out. Alongside obvious cardio/fitness levels, and numerous accounts of better mental health, exercise for a good nights sleep is essential. Studies show as little as 10 minutes exercise a day will help improve sleep quality and duration. 

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