It seems Britain is becoming a nation of restless sleepers. In the course of a month, 1.3 million people search for ‘can’t sleep’, 3 million for ‘insomnia’ and a whopping 3.2 million for ‘sleep’ on Google. And what’s more, over 141 thousand of us have tweeted ‘can’t sleep’ in the last 24 hours.
As World Sleep Day has reminded us, getting a decent amount of shut-eye is the modern-day conundrum. Miss out on the recommended eight hours sleep a night – which only 14% of us actually gets – and it can affect everything from complexions (waking up with dull skin ring any bells?) to cognitive impairment that’s startlingly similar to being drunk.
Make this the week you make-over your sleeping habits with these five simple changes…
Blue light emitted from smart devices stops the body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Commit to a technology sun-down from 21.00 every night and refrain from checking your phone in bed.
Rethink your night-cap
While a glass of wine in the evenings might feel relaxing, alcohol actually disturbs the REM (or the rapid eye movement) phase of sleep. This occurs roughly 90 minutes into your sleep cycle and is thought to be the most restorative phase of sleep. Switch red wine for cherry juice, which is a natural source of melatonin.
Relax with magnesium
Lack of magnesium has been shown to stop the brain from settling down at night. Good dietary sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, or add Magnesium Oil Original Flakes, £9.95 to a pre-bed bath to help relax muscles and prompt the body’s relaxation mode.
Inhaling aromatherapy oils has a direct effect on our limbic system a.k.a our emotional brain, helping to induce calm, while also focusing the breathing to help aid relaxation. GLOSSYBOX loves This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £16 and Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm, £18.
Set a sleep schedule
As simple as it sounds, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day for two weeks to reset your natural body clock. Clear your diary and make getting into good sleep habits your priority.