From natural light to evening walks, we've put together some great ideas to improve your sleep habits and help you drift off more easily.
We are celebrating World Sleep Day today with some great tips on how to achieve a better night’s sleep. From the cosy sleepwear you choose to the steps you take to wind down, we could all use some help with drifting off. Anxiety, stress and even lack of sleep can all contribute to keeping you awake, so taking steps to calm yourself before bed is an excellent way to improve your sleep.
Finding a routine that works for you is essential, so make sure to try out different things and see what's best - we recommend keeping a sleep diary, or using a smart device to monitor your sleep patterns.
Here are our top tips to help you drift off and wake up feeling rested and relaxed, including the proper uniform - our organic cotton pyjama range is the perfect step towards dozing off:
Pyjama Organic Cotton Shorts in Leaf Blue
Organic Cotton Pyjama Set in Leaf Pink/ White
Leah Organic Cotton Pyjama Bottoms in Leaf Pink/White
Organic Cotton Pyjama Set in Leaf Blue/ White
Top 10 tips for a better night's sleep:
1. Set yourself a bedtime, and stick to it
If you often take afternoon naps, you may be confusing your internal body clock - which naturally tells us when to go to bed and wake up. It's a finicky schedule that even a weekend lie in can throw off, so try to get in and out of bed around the same time each day!
If you've tried that and still feel awake at night and tired in the mornings, consider a SAD lamp - it allows you to wake up to natural daylight, even with curtains or in the middle of winter. Light therapy through SAD lamps have been known to have mood-boosting effects - another bonus.
2. Limit work related stress
Studies show that working long hours can stop us falling asleep quickly, as well as increasing stress and leading to burnout.
Try to stop answering emails before dinner, and write yourself a to-do list for tomorrow to get everything out of your head. Having time to yourself in the evenings is the best way to unwind.
3. Have an evening ritual
Speaking of making time for yourself, having an evening ritual is a great way to signal to your brain that it's bedtime. Relax and push away the stresses of the day; try reading, meditating, listening to podcast, having a hot bath, or whatever else calms you.
Exercise is a great way to get rid of any lasting energy; try a nice walk in the fresh air, or soothing yoga to tire yourself out.
You can also use your senses to become sleepy: you could use the same scented bath bomb or pillow spray every night, or drink the same flavour of tea half an hour before bed. We recommend Twinings White Peach and Orange Herbal Tea bags
4. Invest in your comfort
A tidy, dark and cool bedroom is said to be the optimum conditions for sleep. Investing in blackout blinds, comfy nightwear, and a fan (or having the window open if it's not too noisy) could mean a better night's rest.
Similarly, tidying your room before bed may help clear your mind of the day's stresses - especially if your bedroom now doubles as a work-from-home office. Get cleaning!
5. Know what light is right
Studies suggest dimming lights at night, and getting plenty of natural light in the day helps your internal body clock. Spending more time outside in the day will mean a better night's sleep - as will creating a serene setting at night with soft lamps and candles.
6. Turn away from screens
Speaking of light, the blue light emitted by our screens has been shown to disturb the sleep cycle. Picking up a book or listening to a podcast instead of your scrolling on your phone can drastically reduce the time it takes for you to sleep - see our Aspiga Loves recommendations here.
If you can't put your phone down then try setting your phone to automatically change to warm light, and dimming the TV glare after a certain time.
7. Limit what you eat and drink
We probably all know drinking caffeine later in the day keeps you up, but other stimulants like alcohol can have similar effects. If you don't want to stop drinking altogether, consider stopping a few hours before bed to limit restlessness and midnight bathroom trips.
The same goes for midnight snacks and big meals - eating large servings before bed may make you feel sluggish, but it may also result in a poorer nights sleep.
8. Drift off with some white noise
If you're one of the people who can't drift off without background noise, consider a podcast or white noise playlist instead of a muted TV - we love the BBC Earth Podcast for nature lovers.
9. Try a weighted blanket or fuzzy socks
According to one study, a weighted blanket can give a calmer night's sleep. It's said to mimic the feeling of being swaddled as a baby, and leaves us feeling more secure and drowsy. The same may apply for warm socks or pyjamas, so you could try that before investing in a blanket.
10. If you can't sleep, get up
It may sound counter-intuitive, but don't lie in bed awake for too long. If you can't fall asleep, or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep within 15 minutes or so, get out of bed and do something relaxing in another room, like reading - then go back to bed when feeling drowsy.
Do you have a top tip for getting a good night's sleep? Leave a comment on our Instagram - @aspigalondon