Posted on 26th November 2012
How to sleep better- Back 2’s 8 tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
We all need sleep. Even when we’re not sleeping, the amount and quality of sleep we get in the night plays a big role in our day to day performance and ultimately, overall quality of life. Most adults need 8 hours sleep, however as we get older we tend to sleep less. Sleeping is as important to health as are eating properly and getting proper exercise.
There are many detailed and complex articles and advice written about how to get a good night’s sleep. With 25 years’ experience of selling support products to help you sleep better, Back2 has come up with some very simple and clear suggestions to get the best night’s sleep possible.
1. Get yourself a good mattress- According to Jessica Alexander of the Sleep Council, whatever you choose to sleep on will impact the quality of your sleep. “Research has shown that an uncomfortable bed can deprive you of around one hour of sleep per night, so swapping for a comfortable one can give your sleep a good boost”, said Jessica. It is important to shop around and find the right mattress for you. Busy and stressful lives often lead to neck and shoulder tension, lower back pain and Insomnia and so it is vital to try a selection of beds before you buy. “A good rule of thumb to test a mattress is to slide a hand between the mattress and your back, and if it slides in without difficulty, remaining in contact with both your back and the bed, it’s probably right,” says Patricia Watber, research officer for UK charity BackCare.
2. Use a pillow with proper thickness. According to Theodoros Manfredi from the online Health Guidance website “your neck posture when sleeping should be equal to when you’re standing up. Generally, a medium pillow is good for you if you sleep on your back. Use a firmer pillow if you sleep on your side and use a softer one if you often sleep on your tummy, as it will strain your neck less.”
3. Set a regular bedtime. Create a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps anchor your body clock to these times. Resisting the urge for a lie-in can pay dividends in alertness.
4. Watch what you eat- yes this is an obvious one but Back2 would like to re-affirm the importance of eating plenty of healthy foods, such as fruit, vegetables and Omega 3. Avoid foods containing Tyramine- this causes the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant and try not to have any caffeine or spicy foods late at night.
Tyramine foods include:
· Pickled or smoked meat
· Alcoholic beverages
5. Exercise during the day- numerous studies have shown that exercising during the day can help improve sleep at night. Be careful not to exercise within three hours of bedtime though--this will raise your body temperature and make it hard to fall asleep.
6. Lavender Oil- Lavender slows the nervous system and promotes relaxation, so try adding a few drops of Lavender Oil on your pillow before you go to bed and breathe in the relaxing scent and drift off to a good night’s sleep.
7. Sleep in a quiet dark environment- Create a quiet and dark place for sleeping. The temperature of your bedroom should also feel comfortable.
8. Hot bath and hot milk- take a long hot bath and relax all the aches and pains in your muscles to help you wind down. After taking a bath, your body temperature drops helping to prepare you for the sleep state. Also have a cup of warm milk- this contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid which helps induce sleep.