Did you know that a tiny region in the hypothalamus of the brain controls our circadian rhythm, a process which regulates the sleep-wake cycle? Taking care of this is important for establishing healthy, regular sleeping patterns.
Sleep is essential for the ability to think clearly, be alert and aware, and to focus. Sleep also serves a major role in regulating emotions. Poor quality and quantity of sleep has been linked with adverse health outcomes and a reduced quality of life. One may also experience daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling asleep at night and snoring as disruptions to a healthy sleep rhythm.
Block blue lights by switching off social media by 8pm
Your phone and laptop emit blue light, which can be incredibly disrupting for optimal sleep. This kind of artificial light is stimulating for the brain and signifies to your hypothalamus that it’s day and time to be alert. Aim to switch off technology 1-2 hours before bedtime each night, to give your body the chance to wind down, and spend some time being present with your loved ones instead!
Enjoy alternatives such as working on a puzzle, doing a colouring in a book or playing a card or board game. If you must look at screens in the evening, you may find blue light blocking glasses or applications such as Flux which limit the blue light are useful.
Aim to stick to one coffee, prior to midday.
We aren’t saying you need to stop the caffeine altogether, but it’s important to limit your intake to one coffee per day. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can stay in the system for hours, so best to stick to caffeine-free drinks after around 12pm, so it’s not affecting your sleep that night.
The impact of caffeine on performance are related to functions of the brain that are linked to sleep, arousal and cognition. Caffeine consumption in the day can lead to a reduction in the main metabolite of melatonin (our sleep hormone) occurring in the night, which is one of the ways in which our circadian rhythm can be disrupted.
Put your legs up against the wall before bed
Lie on your back, with your legs up against the wall and breathe deeply, for just 10-15 minutes before bed. This maneuver helps to soothe the nervous system and is used for reducing stress in the lower half of the body in adults before bedtime.
Indulge in a hot shower or bath
There’s no better formula than soaking in a warm bath or hopping into a hot shower after a long day. It helps one to feel relaxed and unwind. Whole-body immersion bathing in warm water is very common in Japan and it helps to widen the blood vessels to increase blood flow, supplying more oxygen to the peripheral body. Add a few drops of lavender for an extra dose of relaxation.
Take a PM+
The PM+ formula contains a special blend of herbs and minerals designed to relax the body. Lavender and Passionflower help to reduce disturbed and restless sleep, and soothe and calm the nerves and the mind. They also relieve tension and unrest. Magnesium supports muscle relaxation, muscle function, healthy muscle contraction function, healthy neuromuscular system and function, nervous system health and nervous system function.
Moore RY. Suprachiasmatic nucleus in sleep-wake regulation. Sleep Med. 2007 Dec;8 Suppl 3:27-33.
Goto Y, Hayasaka S, Kurihara S, Nakamura Y. Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:9521086. Published 2018 Jun 7.
Ribeiro JA, Sebastião AM. Caffeine and adenosine. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S3-15.
O'Callaghan F, Muurlink O, Reid N. Effects of caffeine on sleep quality and daytime functioning. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2018;11:263-271. Published 2018 Dec 7.