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7 Tips for Better Sleep

7 Tips for Better Sleep

There is absolutely nothing better than a good night's sleep. And, on the contrary, there are few things more terrible than a bad night's sleep. Sleep is a fundamental part of our health: it plays a critical role in brain function, emotional balance, memory, creativity, immune function, learning, metabolism and other significant functions. Sleep is important, and it is crucial for all of us to get enough of it. That's why we're offering these useful tips for better sleep that you can use tonight. For our whole lives, we have been told that eight hours is the optimal time of sleep per night. But just as there is no bed sheet fabric that's perfect for everyone, there is no "one size fits all" for sleep. Sleep is personal and our lifestyle determines how many hours we need to rest our mind and body. Some of us are night owls and some of us are early birds; some of us are avid nappers and some of us buzz through the day without stopping. No matter when you get to bed or what time you wake up, making sure you allow your body ample rest is vital for a healthy life.

Linen Sheets

A natural fibre extracted from the flax plant, linen is one of the best options when you're looking for sheets that keep you cool. Due to the unique structure of the fibres, linen has an exceptional level of air permeability, meaning that cool air can easily pass through. This remarkable fabric also conducts heat efficiently, keeping you cool and comfortable. Linen can absorb moisture without immediately feeling wet, and allows any dampness to evaporate easily.
Linen has a reputation in some circles for being stiff, but when made of the finest fibres and woven with care, you'll find that these summer sheets offer an exceptional softness that only improves with time. In fact, they have a weightiness that allows you to feel cocooned in luxury without ever being heavy or smothering.

Cotton Sheets

If you prefer cotton over linen, you're not alone — cotton is the standard in luxury bed linens and is preferred by many of the most discerning individuals. You have several different options when it comes to cotton bedding, but the best bed sheets for summer or for those living in warmer climates is often percale. Percale features a close, simple weave of one thread over and one thread under, making them noticeably lighter than many other fabrics used for bed linens. Due to the tight weave, these sheets are often considered "crisp", but they are still exceptionally soft and comfortable.
Whether you have trouble going to bed at night or dread waking up in the mornings, there are little habits you can pick up (and bad habits to lose) to help you rest better at night.

7 Tips For Better Sleep

  1. Create a Sleep Schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. When we set ourselves a consistent schedule for times to sleep and times to wake, our body begins to stabilize its internal clock, which helps it to naturally wake itself up in the morning when we have had enough sleep. Take little steps every day to achieve this: If you usually hit the snooze button two or three times in the morning, try making a weekly goal to hit snooze one time less than the week before. For most people, weekends usually consists of late nights and even later mornings. Sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays can throw off your sleep schedule – even if you get to bed late on a weekend night, try to wake up within one hour of weekday wake up time.
  2. Limit naps to early afternoons. Early afternoon naps have been proven to rejuvenate our minds and bodies. A nap of just 20-30 minutes is ideal and can improve our alertness and energy without leaving us feeling groggy. But be careful with naps. Long naps (more than 45 minutes) can leave us feeling lethargic and drowsy throughout the rest of the day. Limit naps to late morning or early afternoon, as sleeping later in the day can compromise a good night's rest.
  3. What's on your plate? A well-balanced diet of whole foods is wonderful for overall health, but did you know that adopting a healthy diet can also improve your sleep? Filling up on nutrient dense foods create an optimal environment for the brain to produce certain neurotransmitters that help maintain sleep. The biggest sleep hormone is melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness. When your body produces too little of the hormone, you may not only find falling asleep difficult, but you are also more susceptible to anxiety and depression. Watching what you eat before bed is also crucial: eating heavy, spicy or greasy spoons before bedtime can not only hinder restful sleep, it can cause heartburn and acid reflux. Instead, opt for a lighter meal like salad, roasted vegetables or lean meats, and save heavier meals for earlier in the day.
  4. Keep your morning coffee, but ditch your nightcap. Despite what you might suspect, giving up all caffeine isn't always a helpful tip for better sleep. If coffee or caffeinated tea is part of your morning routine, keep it! Coffee can help to improve energy levels, burn fat and may protect you from diseases like Alzheimer's and diabetes. Individuals who are severely affected by caffeine should limit their coffee or tea intake to mornings and early afternoons. Because coffee is a stimulant, drinking a cup later in the afternoon may keep you awake longer at night. Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner? Experts say that reducing your alcohol intake late at night may help you sleep better. Though alcohol may cause drowsiness, it reduces the overall quality of sleep, causing individuals to toss, turn and wake up in the middle of the night. Our tip: limit alcohol intake to the early evenings, allowing it to properly digest before bedtime.
  5. Change your sleep position. If you fall asleep on your back or your stomach, you may be setting yourself up for a bad night's sleep. When we sleep on our stomach, our spine remains in an unnatural position throughout the night, causing strain on our joints, back and neck. For men and women who snore, sleeping on your back may worsen snoring and sleep apnea. Instead, try resting in the foetal or log sleep position. Curling up allows our spines to rest in natural alignment. It may also have an impact on health conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as the brain can more easily clear any excess waste that could lead to neurological diseases. If you're not fond of the foetal position, try laying like a log. In this instance, individuals sleep on their side with both arms down near the body. For extra comfort and to ease pressure on the hips, place a pillow between your knees.
  6. Move your body. Just like eating whole foods, exercise is a fundamental part of a healthy lifestyle and also key to a good night's sleep. Regular aerobic exercise can help you fall asleep faster, and it promotes increased restorative deep sleep and reduces the possibility of tossing, turning and waking up during the night. There's no need to sign up for a marathon – as little as 30 minutes of any aerobic activity like biking, walking, jogging or hiking is enough to induce a night of restful sleep. You may want to limit exercise to mornings and afternoons, as a rigorous workout before bedtime may increase your energy and keep you up later than you'd like.
  7. Build your own oasis. Creating a peaceful environment for rest is an important tip for better sleep. Making small adjustments to your room can positively impact how you sleep and wake up. Limit light pollution at night with dark curtains or blinds. If you live in the city or a noisy part of town, using ear buds at night will help drown out noises and ensure a night of uninterrupted sleep. We sleep best when our room is comfortably cool – make sure your thermostat is set between 15°-21° C (60°-70° F). Ditch your screens and leave mobile devices outside of the bedroom. Instead, take a relaxing bath or dim the lights in your bedroom and read until you are tired.

Minimal changes in your habits can drastically improve your sleep quality. You don't need to try all of these tips for better sleep at once, but slowly make adjustments to your routine and customize these recommendations to best fit your lifestyle.