CEO and Sleep Expert Martin Seeley has shared his top tips for getting a great night’s sleep in 2023, focusing on simple habit changes which will be highly beneficial to your overall health.
Although I didn’t go out of my way to make resolutions for 2023, I did discuss with my wife some things I would put more effort into for the new year. They were, meditating more effectively, making time for hiking, learning ways to breathe more effectively and improving my brain capability without medication, and a great way to do this is by getting more quality sleep.
For some strange reason, we Brits are one of the world leaders when it comes to poor sleep. A few years back, and I doubt anything has changed, Aviva conducted a trial covering thirteen countries on poor sleep, and the UK came out on top with approximately one in four stating they had problems sleeping. Fortunately, Martin Seeley, a sleep expert and the CEO of MattressNextDay, has shared ten great tips to get better sleep.
1. Down all electronic tools
Using your phone, laptop or iPad right before bed can harm your sleep hygiene, promote disturbed sleep, or interfere with sleep quality. I would recommend removing all electronics from your bedroom in the evening. Ipads, TVs and Phones should be turned off for up to an hour before you go to sleep; this allows your brain to switch off and unwind slowly.
The blue light emitted from our devices can often make us feel more wired and awake, so scrolling on your phone right before sleep is the worst thing you can do. Instead, read a book, listen to a podcast or take a long bath to help you wind down. Research has shown that females get the most benefits out of evening baths, as this is a time that they can relax, have a bit of peace and enable their body to relax before bed.
2. Create a sleep sanctuary
Creating a sleep sanctuary and a place that will allow you to drift off into a deep sleep is super important when it comes to making sure we get that all-important REM sleep. Your bedroom is for sleep, so the furnishings and environment should reflect this. Ensure all electronics are removed, and it is cool, dark and quiet.
You should also ensure your room is free from clutter, as a messy room can often subconsciously make us feel stressed and anxious, which could promote migraine triggers. Try black-out curtains to ensure the room is dark enough; you may also want to light scented candles and even try a weighted blanket to help you feel comforted and relaxed.
3. Eat well to sleep well
Nutrition is important during winter, and eating the right foods and getting the right amount of food for our body is vital. Your body needs more food during the colder, darker nights; however, be sure to eat healthily and still try to get as many minerals and vitamins in your diet as possible. Hearty and healthy foods are always good this time of year; broths, soups, and stews are fantastic mood boosters during winter.
4. Invest in a good mattress
How you sleep greatly impacts your overall health and well-being, not to mention helps with your spinal alignment and posture. The wrong mattress and pillows can promote bad spinal alignment and increase the chances of head, neck and back pain. Many memory foam mattresses can promote good and proper posture and can help you to get a better, more comfortable sleep.
5. Create a new bedtime routine
During the winter months, you may find that your body needs more sleep compared to other seasons. The reason for this is lack of daytime sunlight can trigger your body to produce more melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy – so feeling tired earlier in the day is often common but completely normal.
Lean into this and if you need to have an extra hour of sleep each night, then embrace it and adjust your sleep routine accordingly, winding down earlier with a bath, a book, and meditation, create a relaxed sleep environment and get an earlier night’s sleep.
Changing your sleep routine and sleep habits to fulfil your body’s needs will help you to feel more energised during the day, and you may find that you are waking up in a better mood, ready to embrace the cooler, darker, yet beautiful winter’s day ahead.
6. Reconnect with nature
Reconnecting with nature and spending more time outside could be the answer to better sleep in 2023. A study conducted in 2013 has shown that spending lots of time indoors in artificial light can disrupt the natural circadian rhythm; however, increasing exposure to natural sunlight can help to reduce the consequences of that circadian disruption. So make sure to get out daily, go for long walks, run, and embrace the fresh air.
7. Get to know your chronotype
Are you a night owl or an early bird? Getting to know your chronotype is the best way to work out how best you function and how to get the most out of your sleep. Everyone has a particular circadian rhythm known as a chronotype, which lets you know when you have the most energy or when you need to sleep. Knowing yours can help you schedule your life better and allow you to make the most out of your days so that you can get into a better routine.
8. Reduce your caffeine intake
Do you find yourself drinking excessive coffee during the day and then struggling to sleep at night? You may need to reduce your caffeine intake. Drinking too much caffeine too late in the day can leave you feeling wired well into the evening, and whilst this may be useful if you are heading to the gym or have evening plans, you may find it harder to drift off to sleep when it’s bedtime.
Try to reduce the amount of coffee you have each day, and ensure your last one is early afternoon, so the caffeine has time to leave your system before you head to bed. If you’re a bit of a coffee addict, you may want to switch to decaf so you can enjoy the flavour without all the caffeine.
9. Move your body daily
It’s no secret that daily exercising can help you sleep each night, as your body is fatigued and more likely to need rest. Exercise is also the best thing you can do to help increase your energy levels; however, during winter, it can become increasingly difficult to find the motivation to go.
The best way to get over this is to exercise first thing in the morning; first of all, it is light outside, so you can go for a run or go to the gym during daylight hours. A morning workout can also increase endorphins, boost energy levels and help keep you motivated for the day ahead. You are also more likely to exercise if you get it out of the way first thing, as the idea of going to the gym when it gets dark in the evening can be quite hard.
10. Fall back in love with your bedtime
Often the lines between evening and bedtime blur, and we find ourselves watching TV in bed, working from bed or sitting on our phones. Try and distinguish clear boundaries between evening time and bedtime, which will help you to switch off and fall back in love with the routine of going to bed.
The feeling of being in a comfortable, warm bed is unbeatable, and many people take it for granted. Treat yourself to a nice bedtime bath, invest in good quality bed linen, pillows and mattresses, light candles, add dim lighting to your room, and just make the most of a wonderful time of day.
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