Six Keys to a great night’s sleep
Want the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had? Read on.
1. Understand the Science
Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" delves deep into the groundbreaking research about the power and purpose of sleep. He reveals that regular, restorative sleep improves our cognitive functions, emotional balance, immune system, and even helps prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Key takeaway: The first step to respecting your sleep is understanding its profound importance.
2. Get Your Circadian Rhythms in Sync
Our internal clock, or circadian rhythm, controls our sleep-wake cycle. "The Mystery of Sleep" highlights the significance of syncing with our natural rhythms. Exposure to natural light during the day and dimming the lights in the evening can reinforce this rhythm.
Key takeaway: Spend more time outside during daylight and limit exposure to screens in the evening to set your internal clock right.
3. Quality Over Quantity
Sure, eight hours is the magic number we often hear, but it's not just the quantity but also the quality that matters. Deep, non-REM sleep is when our body repairs and regenerates. “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity” states that consistent sleep routines, creating a serene bedroom environment, and avoiding large meals or caffeine close to bedtime can promote deeper sleep cycles.
Key takeaway: Focus on creating an environment and routine conducive to deep sleep.
4. Watch What You Consume
Alcohol and caffeine can severely disrupt your sleep. While a glass of wine might make you feel drowsy, it can prevent you from entering those restorative stages of deep sleep.
Key takeaway: Monitor your intake of stimulants and depressants. Consider stopping caffeine intake after 2 pm and limiting alcohol, especially close to bedtime.
5. The Power of Napping
"Sleep: A Very Short Introduction" showcases the underestimated power of the humble nap. A short, 20-minute power nap can rejuvenate your mind and increase productivity.
Key takeaway: If you're feeling sluggish during the day, a quick nap (not too long or too late in the day) can be more beneficial than you might think.
6. The Environment Matters
Your bedroom should be a temple for sleep. Cool temperatures (around 65°F or 18°C), dark, and quiet settings can significantly enhance the quality of your sleep. Investing in blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white-noise machine can be worthwhile.
Key takeaway: Set the scene for a peaceful night’s sleep by optimizing your bedroom environment.
In essence, sleep isn't just a passive activity; it's an active investment in our health, mood, and overall quality of life. So tonight, as you tuck yourself in, remember the profound effects of a good night’s sleep and dream sweetly.
Here’s a link on sleep tips from friend of the Lane Cove Chiro Blog, Michael Mosely.
Dr Mark has a special interest in helping recreational athletes of all ages perform better and prevent injury. Correct breathing and postural alignment are critical for top performance and injury prevention and is an integral part of “The Over 40 Athlete System” that Mark has developed. Dr Julie has a special interest in helping mothers and “mothers to be”. Her Post Graduate qualifications in Paediatric Chiropractic and as an ex-midwife give her a unique ability to help pregnant women, new mums and their young children. Yours in Health, Dr's Mark & Julie