No wonder so many people are curious about how to improve their sleep. The NHS reports that one in three people in the UK suffers from insomnia, a common problem many people face at some point in their lives.
I certainly was. I am a health and well-being journalist and a licensed meditation teacher, and have struggled with insomnia for most of my teens and early twenties. I felt like I had tried everything, but made it my mission to learn as much as I could about sleep, sleep hygiene, and most importantly, how to ensure quality sleep.
That includes reading the best self-help books and listening to self-care podcasts about sleep, as well as experimenting with self-care ideas and trying out the best self-care products. Not only that, but I’ve experimented with sleep induction techniques, discovered the best sleep hygiene hacks, and tried a fair amount of sleep aids.
Not only is this a subject I have personally struggled with, but it is also one I now support clients in helping them find holistic techniques to help them sleep better. Numerous studies suggest that short-term and chronic stress can have a significant impact on sleep, including not getting enough sunlight and sudden weather changes that make it even more difficult to sleep. , can also be affected by lifestyle changes. Underlying why I’m having trouble getting these all-important zzz’s.
The good news is that even if lifestyle changes affect your sleep, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep. Need help?Whether you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or struggling to get quality sleep, here are my five tips for improving your sleep. Don’t miss our guides on how to work on self-love, how to set goals, and how to switch off.
A meditation teacher who struggled with insomnia talks about how to improve sleep
1.Aim for bright hours in the morning
Did you know that? A good night’s sleep is influenced by everything you do from the moment you wake up. Exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning is the key to a good night’s sleep. why? That’s because sunlight resets the body clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.
A 2008 study showed that exposure to this light inhibits the production of substances such as: melatonin (aka the sleep hormone) increases cortisol and serotonin, which are responsible for keeping you awake. Experts recommend getting at least 15 minutes of sunlight within an hour of waking up to keep your body clock on track.
The moment I made the morning sun a priority, whether it was a morning walk or a cup of tea by the window on a busy day, my sleep really started to improve.
2. Find time to move
We all know how important mindful movement is to your overall health and well-being. But what you might not know is that it can also affect your sleep.
A recent review of research shows that exercise improves sleep quality and sleep duration.
However, avoid strenuous exercise in the hours before bed. This can increase cortisol levels and affect the production of sleep hormones. Instead, if you want to work out before bed, stick to slow-flow yoga or low-impact Pilates workouts.here MC UK, we are big fans of yoga with Adrian Flow. Cozy, simple, and free.
3. Improve your sleep habits
Another important thing to know is that going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at about the same time each morning helps regulate your internal clock and normalize your sleep-wake cycle. This ensures that sleep hormones are released at times when your body should be asleep.
Additionally, having a sleep schedule can also affect your gut health.a Recent research Researchers at King’s College found that irregular social jet lag — which is nothing more than a change in the body’s internal clock when sleep patterns change — can cause inflammation and the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. I discovered. So you might want to reconsider sleeping on your side on the weekends to keep your body clock on time.
Instead of forcing myself to fall asleep again on Saturday mornings when I wake up at my usual time, I now use that time to read (or scroll through TikTok, to be honest) and have my morning drink. I use it for things like going out for work. sunlight.
4. Try Body Scan Meditation
Over the years, I’ve lyrically talked about the benefits of meditation, and I’ve also written about how body scan meditation has made a huge difference in my sleep, and I’m not alone. A search for #sleepmeditation on TikTok brings up thousands of videos with a total of 25 million views from users who swear by this habit.
That’s not all. There is also research-backed science behind it. A 2019 study found that mindfulness meditation may improve sleep quality because both meditation and breathing exercises help calm the body and mind. These techniques do this by initiating the body’s rest and digestive responses, directly neutralizing the fight-or-flight response when feeling anxious, stressed, or tense.
try this: Bedtime meditation doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Instead, try simple breathing techniques such as periodic sighs or box breathing. Both have been proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
5. Use sleep aids
While lifestyle changes are often the key to a good night’s sleep in the nodding country, sleep aids can also help relax the mind and prepare the body for rest. A 2021 study found that white noise machines and apps are common in big cities that can disturb you when you’re trying to fall asleep (such as traffic jams or the sound of talkative people stumbling home early in the morning). effectively masking the , resulting in fewer wakings during the night. You can also buy a white noise machine from Amazon (I’m evaluating the Magicteam White Noise Machine). Alternatively, you can use a white noise app such as Bedtime Fan to simulate the experience from your smartphone.
NEOM’s Perfect Night Sleep Pillow Mist is also one of my favorite sleep aids. It has firmly established itself in my bedtime routine. The Dreamy Mist contains 14 essential oils, including chamomile, patchouli and lavender, which research suggests supports sleep by sending relaxing signals to the brain. Sprinkle this scent on your duvet and feel the tension of the day melt away instantly. Not a fan of lavender? Try another aromatherapy spray instead.a 2015 survey Aromatherapy has been found to be effective in improving sleep quality, so choose scents that induce sleep.
They also rate the Drowsy Silk Eye Mask as helping to block the light that prevents them from closing their eyes, especially when traveling.
Shop your favorite sleep aids from MC UK now:
Magicteam Sleep Sound White Noise Machine
Studies have proven that white noise machines or apps can effectively improve sleep. I’m evaluating the Magicteam White Noise Machine. It has 40 natural and soothing sounds and 32 different volume levels. If you want to simulate that experience from your smartphone using an app, Bedtime Fan is definitely your choice.
NEOM Perfect Night Sleep Pillow Mist (30ml)
Looking to soothe your mind before a good night’s sleep? NEOM products are made from 100% natural ingredients that are ethically sourced right here in the UK. This calming formula is my favourite, combining sleep-inducing essential oils like lavender, sweet basil and jasmine.
This padded face-fitting sleep mask from DROWSY promises to help you fall asleep even in complete darkness and is my favorite.
How can I get more sleep naturally?
short answer? look at your lifestyle. Studies have shown that factors such as getting plenty of natural light and sleeping at the same time while moving are key to overall sleep hygiene and quality.
No fancy gadgets or sleep aids needed. Rather, it requires a more mindful, balanced approach to daily life and a concerted effort to ensure that both mind and body are ready to switch off when you hit the pillow. is.