6 tips to get better night’s sleep

Sleep is the single best thing you can do to feel and perform your best. But ost of us don’t get enough of it. So here’s our top science-backed tips on the best ways to get a better night’s kip. And they’re all free.

6 tips to get better night’s sleep
Getting good sleep can feel like an elusive goal and it usually takes a back seat in our busy lives. Yet sufficient sleep is the single best (and easiest) thing you can do for your health and performance. And it’s…free.
So why aren’t we getting the recommended 6-8 hours a night that we need? High stress and sleep disorders can contribute to sleep disturbances, but one of the most recent common inhibitors is our phones. The constant barrage of notifications, emails, and endless scrolling can lead to stress, anxiety, and reduced sleep duration. So how can you get a better sleep?

Why is sleep so important?

The benefit of a good night’s sleep go way beyond simply feeling awake. Sleep is like a nightly service for your mind and body, performing essential maintenance tasks that keep you functioning at your peak.
🧠 Sleep consolidates memory and learning During sleep, the brain replays and strengthens memories and connections. This helps to solidify new information and make it more easily accessible to recall. This process, crucial for learning and cognitive function, happens primarily during deep sleep stages.
🔧 It aids in physical and emotional repair Sleep helps your body recover by rebuilding and restoring muscles during your sleep. It also plays a key role in regulating emotions, so you wake up feeling calmer and mentally clearer.
🧬 Strengthens your immune system Sleep gives your immune system a major boost and is the prime time for the production of cytokines, proteins that help fight off infection and inflammation. When sleep deprived, your body produces fewer cytokines, leaving you more vulnerable to getting sick.

What are the different stages of sleep?

When you sleep, you cycle through four distinct stages, each playing a crucial role in overall sleep quality. Throughout the night you cycle through these stages multiple times.
1️⃣ Stage 1 (Falling Asleep / NREM 1) This is the lightest stage of sleep, a drowsy transition zone between wakefulness and slumber. It typically lasts just 1-7 minutes.
2️⃣ Stage 2 (Light Sleep / NREM 2) Brain activity slows down as you enter this deeper sleep stage, and your muscles begin to relax. Your heart rate and breathing begin to regulate. This stage is usually in 10-25 minute cycles and makes up a significant portion of your sleep cycle.
3️⃣ Stage 3 (Deep Sleep / NREM 3) Deep sleep magic happens here! Your brain waves slow considerably, and muscle activity drops. This is the restorative stage where your body repairs tissues and strengthens the immune system.
4️⃣ Stage 4 (REM Sleep) This is when dreaming often occurs, and it’s essential for memory consolidation and emotional processing. REM sleep is characterised by rapid eye movements and increased brain activity (nearly as much as when you’re awake) even though your body remains mostly paralysed.
The Different Stages of Sleep (c. Sleep Foundation)
The Different Stages of Sleep (c. Sleep Foundation)

Top tips for getting better sleep

We’ve filtered out the fads and shortlisted our top 6 tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

1. No screens 1 hour before sleep

Power down phones, laptops, and TVs at least 60 minutes before bedtime. Blue light from electronics can disrupt melatonin production, the hormone that makes us sleepy, making it harder for us to get to sleep. Plus the content we see on our phones can keep us engaged which eats into our sleep time. Why does blue light inhibit sleep?

2. Cool down your bedroom

Aim for a bedroom between 15-19°C. Your body temperature naturally dips as you prepare for sleep, so mimic this by lowering the room temperature 30 minutes before bed. Using linen sheets and adjustable duvet togs are also great investments.

3. Get outside and move your body during the day

Make sure you’re moving your body and getting outdoors every day. Exercise and sunlight helps regulate your sleep wake cycle, as well as playing a part in stress reduction and mood regulation. By feeding your body the right vitamins and minerals, you’ll be setting yourself up for a better night’s sleep.

4. Avoid meals and alcohol 2 hours before bed

Eating heavy or sugary snacks before bed, as well as consuming alcohol, can disrupt your sleep cycle. These can lead to fragmented sleep and prevent you from reaching the deeper stages of sleep.
What is the 3-2-1 rule and how can it help you sleep?

5. Consistent sleep-wakes time, even on weekends

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends, regulates your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it, even if you're not tired initially. Over time, your body will adjust, making falling (and staying) asleep easier. What is sleep syncing?

6. Swap your phone for light alarm clock

Not only does this remove your phone from your bedside at night which can disrupt your sleep, it can reduce morning grogginess. Replace your phone alarm with a light alarm clock, which wakes you up gradually with natural light, simulating sunrise. This method aligns with your circadian rhythm, leading to a more natural wake-up process. Why you should stop hitting snooze
By incorporating these top tips for better sleep hygeine, you can transform your sleep habits and wake up feeling refreshed. Implementing these six tips on how to get better sleep can significantly improve your sleep quality and help you wake up feeling refreshed.

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