50% of the UK population have problems getting to sleep and/ or staying asleep. Interestingly though, less than 5% have awareness of standard sleep hygiene, never mind in depth sleep knowledge. So, what is Sleep Hygiene (SH)?
SH defined: habits & routines that are conducive to creating the best conditions for regular, healthy and restorative sleep.
So with that, this article will cover a few simple but effective sleep hacks anyone, anywhere can implement today for better sleep.
It’s said that up to 80% of the UK are deficient. Magnesium is a mineral and our bodies require approx. 300 mg per day to function optimally. It can be taken orally via supplement or topically via sprays or bath salts.
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods like: turkey, red meat, nuts, seeds, lentils, oats, etc. Simply search online for ‘foods with high concentrations of tryptophan’.
But why is this so vital? You may have heard of melatonin - it’s termed the ‘get good sleep hormone’ and is one of the many sleep-inducing factors required for good sleep. The body requires external ingredients like tryptophan to make melatonin. Tryptophan influences the creation of 5HTP which in turn helps create serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin.
But don’t focus on the fancy words, just know that if your diet is light on tryptophan, you're not giving your body the best ingredients for sleep.
Think brrr, chilly. According to science our core body temperature has to decrease for good sleep. So, give your body a hand by adjusting the thermostat. The sweet spot is 60-69 Fahrenheit or 13.5-20 degrees Celsius. Personally, I lean towards the cooler end of the spectrum. A rough indicator is if you were to stand in your bedroom in short pyjamas and feel like hopping under the sheets to warm up, those are probably ideal conditions.
Blue blocking light glasses are your friend. The light emitted from all the screens you own - laptop, TV, iPad, mobile phone - emit a light of a whitish, blue spectrum that mimics daylight.
Think of this light as a false daytime. When the sun goes down and your body starts producing night time hormones to help you sleep, most of us will have at least one of those screens in front of our eyes. This tricks our bodies into thinking: “Hey, it’s daytime, not nighttime”, reducing the night time hormones and ramping up the day time hormones. And thus, this is a major reason why we suffer bad sleep.
What can we do? Try blue blocking glasses. They offer protection from the harmful false day time (blue/white light) produced by your devices as the orange tint of the lens allows our night time hormones to evolve to required sleep inducing levels.
Sleep is a necessity not a luxury. Experiment with these hacks to improve your energy, mood and mojo.
Author: Ross Anderson