It’s no big secret that sleep is a crucial part of our health and wellbeing. It’s a key component of human life that we need to survive – like food and water. But in a world of digital distraction, rising mental health issues and an increase in working from home. In our 40s, many of us struggle with disturbed sleep, with sleep often the first element of our daily life to get neglected and to suffer.
If you are suffering from disturbed sleep, whether ongoing or for a short period of time, it’s important to remember that things can change and that it is possible to get the rest your mind and body needs to thrive.
Wh sleep so important for your health
Sleep helps the mind and body repair, regenerate and recover. It allows us to wake up feeling refreshed, re-energised and ready to take on the day ahead. And not only does a good night’s rest add a positive spring to our step – it has many other benefits too.
Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function. Cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance are all negatively affected by sleep deprivation. In turn, this affects our decision-making and problem-solving skills, ability to focus, memory and general day-to-day motivation.
And on the physical side?
Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy, and a lack of it can result in you struggling to fight off common infections. Sleep also supports the healing of your heart and blood vessels, the repairing of cells and tissues, whilst maintaining a healthy balance of hormones.
We know that sleep helps the body in many ways and is critical for our overall health. And we also know the damage that sleep deficiency can have on our health and wellbeing instantly and over time.
As individuals, we all have a unique pattern and requirements when it comes to sleep. And it’s all about finding what works for you! But the general recommendation for adults is between 7-9 hours a day.
5 top tips for a better night’s sleep
1) Limit caffeine and alcohol
Enjoy a coffee or two in the morning? Go for it! But try to avoid drinking much past lunchtime, as caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. If you do crave an afternoon coffee, try decaf as an alternative.
Alcohol is also one to be avoided or limited before bed to reduce the chance of disturbed sleep. It may assist with feeling sleepy at first, but is known to disrupt sleep patterns, increase snoring and reduce night time melatonin production. And we already know that’s vital for a good night’s sleep!
2) Add exercise into your daily routine
We all know the positive effect exercising can have on our mind and body. But did you know it can improve our sleep too? Not only does it increase sleep quality but it decreases the risk of excessive weight gain, which can be a cause for sleep deprivation in itself. Whether it’s going for a walk, jog, swim or doing yoga – make sure it’s something you enjoy!
3) Reduce screen time before bed
With most of us keeping our phones by our bed, it’s tempting to indulge in screentime until we choose to close our eyes. But blue light emitted by our phones and laptops trick our body into thinking it’s daytime – reducing hormones like melatonin, which help us relax and get into a deep sleep and and can result in disturbed sleep. Try to eliminate any screentime in the hour before bed. Use this hour as an opportunity to read, relax and indulge in some self-care. You deserve it!
4) Get comfortable in bed
This may seem like an obvious one to some, but our bed and environment must support us in our mission to sleep. If you wake up feeling uncomfortable, you may need a new mattress and/or pillows. Always invest in a good quality mattress and bedding – we spend a third of our life in our bed!
5) Take high-quality natural supplements
The Herbtender’s Doze & Dream (The Sleep Mix), is our tranquil adaptogen blend that promotes uninterrupted rest when you need to switch off and recharge. Designed to gently ease you into sleep, our bedtime supplement sees Ashwagandha, one of the few non-stimulating adaptogens, join forces with calming Reishi, as well as Lavender and Chamomile. Better nights lead to better days!