We all struggle to sleep these days, so read on for tips and advice on how to get a good night sleep.
With all the stress, anxiety, and pressure in the Covid world it is now so important to get adequate high-quality sleep. Just like food or water, sleep is a biological necessity for life and health and research shows that the hours we spend sleeping are incredibly important to our physical and mental wellbeing.
Getting enough sleep can help the body rest and recover from stressful days, carry out essential repair work, form vital memories that are essential for learning and give our bodies immune system a well needed boost.
Lack of sleep can lead us to losing focus and productivity during our normal daily routines and as everyone knows can also affect our moods and emotions. Normal daytime routines have been thrown out with working or schooling from home, while reduced daily exercise can lead to later night-time routines.
Inconsistent bedtimes and wake up times can actually make falling asleep less predictable. Most adults need 7 hours of good quality (uninterrupted) sleep each day. Some may need even more.
Here are some top tips on sleep routine and products that may help.
- Daytime Routine: Get up at the same time every day of the week. A regular wake time helps to set your body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm, one of the main ways our bodies regulate sleep). In addition to sleep, stick to a regular schedule for meals, exercise, and other activities.
- Morning Light: Make sure that you get bright light in the morning and at midday to help your circadian rhythm know that it is daytime. Natural sunlight is best, as even cloudy days provide over double the light intensity of indoor lighting.
- Exercise: Any physical activity or exercise during the day helps improve your sleep quality at night, reduces stress, and improves mood. No matter your fitness level, try and get outside for at least 30 mins of exercise daily – a brisk walk or run is ideal.
- Caffeine: Avoid caffeine late in the day.
Night Time Tips
- Electronic Devices: Cell phones, tablets and all electronic devices make it harder for your brain to turn off, and the light (even dim night mode light) from devices may delay the release of the hormone melatonin, interfering with your body clock. If you need something to watch to help you unwind, watching something that you find relaxing on TV from far away and outside the bedroom. Maybe try a hot bath with relaxing bath wash or Epsom salts can really help to relax your muscles and aids a more restful sleep.
- Minimise alcohol intake: While alcohol can help people fall asleep, it leads to more sleep problems at night.
- Caffeine: Avoid caffeine late in the day. A cup of Bedtime Tea by Yogi which contains calming ingredients like lavender, valerian root and fennel might just do the trick.
- Reduce Stress: The evening and bedtime hours are also a good time to perform some relaxation techniques. This process can be helped by taking a spoonful of Mag365 a magnesium powder in a hot drink before bed or a Magnesium Sleep Spray (Better You) which is also known to help get a restful night’s sleep. Magnesium helps regulate the hormone melatonin which guides your sleep/wake cycle, and it also aids the process of relaxation especially if you suffer from restless legs or a very active mind at night-time.
- Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable sleep environment, a place that is cool, dark, and quiet. Using a soothing and calming pillow spray such as the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray or Tisserand Sleep Better on your pillow before going to sleep is also a great addition to your sleep routine. This Works spray is infused with Essential Oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Chamomile. This helps you to wind down after a hectic day by soothing the body and mind.
- Avoid Naps: Don’t spend too much time in bed during the night (or the daytime). Minimise spending time in bed in which you are not sleeping. If you are having difficult dropping off to sleep Melissa Dream tablets are a supplement that contains herbal ingredients that have a calmative effect on your body. It contains the combination of magnesium, lemon balm, L-theanine and chamomile which helps to relax you before going to bed.
- Nytol is a sleep aid medication that is clinically proven to help relieve temporary difficulties getting to sleep. Nytol works quickly and helps ensure that your sleep is Nytol Tablets contain the active ingredient, an antihistamine called Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 50mg.
Note: As this is a medication please consult your pharmacist before taking this.
- Salin Plus: Salin Plus is an award-winning medical device that combines the functionality of traditional air purifiers with the healing qualities of salt therapy in one, easy to use device. The device removes airborne pollutants, such as dust and pollen whilst releasing tiny, therapeutic salt ions that aid a clean and consistent sleep.
- Salin Plus Salt Therapy benefits people with many respiratory conditions including asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, sinusitis, sleep apnoea, tuberculosis and many other respiratory and allergy conditions and people with breathing difficulties. Use is recommended mainly at night so as to ensure minimum exposure to the environment of 8 hours a day.
4-7-8 Breathing Technique: This technique has been used by military forces all over to world to help aid sleep when switching off is difficult. A full cycle of 4-7-8 Breathing Technique is
- Let your lips part slightly and make a whooshing sound as you exhale through your mouth.
- Then close your lips and inhale silently through your nose. Count to 4 in your head.
- Then hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- After, exhale (with a whoosh sound) for 8 seconds.
- Avoid being too alert at the end of each cycle. Try to practice it mindlessly.
Complete this cycle for four full breaths. Let your body sleep if you feel relaxation coming on earlier than anticipated.
Our expert staff are always here to help you if you are looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep. If you have any questions or would like any personalised advice please contact any of our stores by phone or email. Contact details for each branch are available on our website yourlocalpharmacy.ie