Most of us look forward to lie-ins at the weekend and crave more sleep when the alarm goes off in the morning, but how can you improve your quality of sleep and what can you do if you find yourself lying awake most nights when you should be silently snoozing away?
Ideally, we should be getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night, but studies show that many people suffer from disturbed sleep or insomnia, which has knock-on effects in the days and weeks to follow. Sleep deprivation and disturbed sleep patterns can increase the risk of illness and infection, as well as contributing to irritation and mood swings, anxiety and stress and a lack of energy, motivation and concentration.
Here are some Home Remedies for Better Sleep:
Exercise is not just a way of burning off steam and using up energy, it also helps to clear the mind and rid the muscles of tension, which reduces stress and facilitates relaxation. Studies show that people who exercise frequently are more likely to enjoy better sleep. Ideally, you should try to exercise for 30 minutes 4-5 times per week. It is best to avoid exercising late at night and to give yourself a couple of hours after physical activity to allow your body to relax and your mind to unwind before going to bed.
Having a bath is a proven way to relax your body ready for sleep, as the temperature drop when you get out of the bath mimics the natural decrease in temperature between day and night. Adding 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to your bath can help to relax your muscles and ease your worries before you climb into bed. Aromatherapy oils, such as lavender, can also help to make you feel calm and relaxed.
Massage can be used either to stimulate or relax and a massage around an hour before you plan to hit the hay will help to ease stress and worries, as well as release tension and strain in the muscles. Using oils nourishes the skin and makes it easier to move the hands over the neck, back and shoulders.
Add a drop of Honey to your Tea
If you’re one of those people who enjoy a cup of tea in the evening, try adding a drop of honey. Honey is proven to soothe and comfort and it is a healthier alternative to a spoonful of sugar. If you are a tea lover, avoid having your brew just before bed, as the caffeine may keep you awake. It’s best to have your evening cuppa at least an hour and a half before bed.
Meditation can help to relax the body and prepare the mind for sleep by suppressing the body’s fight or flight response and clearing the mind. Often, people can’t sleep because they are thinking or worrying and their minds are very active. Meditation is a means of distressing before sleep.
Add some Lavender to your Pillow
Lavender is proven to be a very effective natural sedative. Adding a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow will help to send you off into a peaceful slumber.
If you’ve tried all the home remedies and nothing seems to work, it might be time to give this Sleep Apnoea Clinic a try.