In a modern world characterized by a fast-paced lifestyle, a collection of commitments that are bursting at the seams and technological devices that vie for our attention at every minute during the day, the simple concept of getting a good night’s sleep becomes riddled with complexities.
So much so that we actually have to make a conscious effort to eliminate these distractions and cultivate a nightly routine just so that our bodies can be prepped for sleep and we can get the best rest possible to be fully functional the next day – and also, look and feel our best.
One of the most effective habits to getting a good night’s rest is staying on schedule. That is, going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday – and ensuring you have an adequate rest period in between. This way, you will train your mind and body to feel tired and wake at a certain time. By feeling tired at a particular point in the evening every evening, you will save time trying to fall asleep at night and avoid exhaustion the following day.
TIP: Being active during the day will contribute to a quality rest at night. Following a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help you to sleep on schedule.
Sleep is the time for rejuvenation – not only mentally, but physically too. We can optimize on this period of rest by pampering ourselves with a nightly hygiene and beauty ritual. Always make sure your makeup is completely removed and brush your teeth before bed to keep bacteria at bay. Overnight beauty treatments such a moisturising face mask or an anti-puff eye treatment will keep you looking and feeling energized and revitalized.
By sticking to a nightly ritual, you are subconsciously training your body to unwind as you do the same activities every night. This way, by the time you’re ready for bed, you’ll already be in a deep relaxed state which will not only help you to fall asleep quicker but also ensure that you get a much more solid sleep.
Instead of catching up on series or browsing social media before bed, rather opt for a good book or meditation to help you unwind. Research has found that the blue LED light emitted from screens suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupts our natural circadian rhythms. This can prolong the time it takes for us to fall asleep and cause us to have a restless night. In addition, too much time spent in front of laptop, TV and smartphone screens can cause unsightly dark circles beneath the eyes.
Remember that your environment directly affects your mindset and your mood. Therefore, your bedroom or the place where you sleep should help you wind down rather than stimulate (or stress you out) even further. Create a relaxing atmosphere and comfortable space through the use of soft pillows, candles, incense and calming music. It is also important to keep your sleeping space tidy and de-cluttered. All these factors can contribute to giving you peaceful night’s rest.
According to researchers at the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine, our body temperatures need to cool off before we can sleep soundly. Taking a hot shower before bed may seem relaxing, but in fact a cool one may be just the thing we need. This trick extends to the bedroom as hot and stuffy room can signal a restless night ahead. Use aircons or fans during the summer months to make your space more comfortable.
AUTHOR: Farah Khalfe