Five Natural Ways To A Good Night’s Sleep

Are you one of those people that toss and turn for hours every night, only falling into a deep sleep when the alarm goes off? Well you are not alone, as the NHS reports that one in three of us Britons go through periods when we have trouble sleeping and that one in ten of us regularly takes some type of sleeping medication. Shockingly, around 15.3 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets were handed out to patients suffering from insomnia during the last year according to the Economic and Social Research Council. While having a few nights of disrupted sleep causes nothing more than a bit of tiredness, poorer performance at work and irritability for a few days, scientists have conducted many studies that prove that being sleep deprived over a long period can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, weight gain, strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Chronic insomnia is even believed to be a contributing factor to developing cancer and that if you don’t get enough hours you can expect to have a shorter life.

The stressful, busy life that many of us lead in this modern world is one of the major reasons why we are finding it so hard to sleep. And although sleeping tablets can be very effective for helping with a short term bout of sleeplessness, they are not a long term solution for chronic insomnia. So if you are fed up with feeling weary all the time and dragging your way through the day, don’t despair as luckily there are many natural ways in which you can help yourself get a satisfying night’s sleep. So what can you do to get that quality sleep time that you so richly deserve and wake up in the morning feeling vibrant, optimistic and energetic?

1. Your Bedroom Is Just For Sleep

Your bedroom is where you sleep and spend the greater part of each night, so it has to be just that – a bedroom. Your bedroom should only be used for sleep and lovemaking and nothing else. If you have created a work station in your bedroom, use it to watch TV or do one of your hobbies, stop this right now and move the equipment out into another room if at all possible. If you are really short of space and can’t move these activities elsewhere in your home, try and use screens to create a discrete space for your bed. To sleep well you need a space that spells sleep and rest for you; a space where you can put mentally put the day’s activities away and relax.

2. Creating The Right Environment For Sleep

Have you ever had a good look around your bedroom and assessed whether or not it is optimised for helping you sleep? If you are having trouble sleeping, you may need to make some changes in your bedroom, so that you can enjoy your eight hours of blissful slumber every night. Starting with the bed, check that the mattress you are sleeping on is the right one for you and supports your body properly. What about your bed linen? If yours is old, worn and mismatched, maybe now is the time to invest in some new sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. We humans are very visual creatures, so if you come into a bedroom that is tidy, well-coordinated and visually pleasing, you are going to find it much easier to relax and drift off to sleep. It also helps to make sure that your bedroom smells nice for when you want to try to go to sleep. Try burning something soothing like lavender oil before you lie down for the night, or put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball and pop it under your pillow. Ensure that you choose organic cotton bed linen, as commercially grown cotton contains strong chemicals that can irritate your skin as you are sleeping and can even affect your breathing. Also make sure that your bedroom is always properly aired, as this will also help you to sleep well. Leave a window open and turn the heating off even on a cold, winter night, as it is hard to sleep properly in stuffy, hot rooms.   If you suffer from the cold invest in a quality, high tog duvet and a hot water bottle to keep you cosy.

 

 3. Keep Your Bedroom Dark

Have you ever thought of how dark your bedroom really is at night? We live in a world full of electrical light sources, so you may think that you are sleeping in a darkened room but actually you may have light coming in from outside, while inside there may be screens glowing or standby lights on electrical appliances burning. These lights, however dim, get mistaken for daylight by our brains, which then confuses our body clocks. Our brains produce a hormone called melatonin which helps to regulate our sleep patterns, but if there is too much light in the room while we are asleep, the brain won’t produce the amounts of melatonin we need. Even though our eyes are closed during the night, our brains can still detect any light in the room through our eyelids.   We evolved in a world where we would go to sleep when darkness fell and there were no electric lights, and would wake naturally as the sun rose. So your bedroom is not the place for electrical appliances with flashing lights or screens. Remove as many as is feasible, and if you must keep some then switch them completely off at night, so the standby light is not on. Similarly, if you really must have a computer or tablet in your bedroom, shut it right down before you start to nod off, so there is no glow from the screen. If light is coming in your bedroom window from street lights outside, it is time to invest in some heavy duty curtains or blinds, or sew some blackout linings onto your existing curtains. As you are winding down for the night, gradually dim the lights in your bedroom, so that you brain is naturally led towards the sleep state and you will find that you drop off really quickly when you switch off that one remaining lamp.

 

 4. Create a regular Sleeping Routine

One of the great things about growing up and becoming an adult is that we can now do what we want when we want. Unfortunately, however, having an erratic schedule could be one of the major contributors to your insomnia. Many of us have lives where we get up early for work during the week, stay out late partying and then sleep in at the weekends to catch up. But sleep experts are now saying that one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good night’s rest is to have a regular sleep schedule that you keep to even at weekends. So it is recommended that you get into bed and go to sleep at roughly the same time every night and then aim to wake up at the same time every morning. And you may even be surprised to find that getting up at seven o’clock on a Sunday morning isn’t so bad after all? If dropping off still proves to be a problem, then implement a regular winding down schedule. Stop doing any tasks that require a great deal of thought and concentration a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed, switching off computers and TVs. Listen to some soothing music, take a gentle walk in the fresh air or have a long hot bath. Read a book or magazine and make yourself a hot, caffeine-free drink to sip. Whatever you choose, try and do the same things in sequence every night, so that your mind begins to associate your activities with preparing for sleep. Likewise, if you are one of those people who just lays in bed worrying and fretting instead of sleeping, decide that you are going to put your worries away for the night and leave them outside of your bedroom. While you are cleaning your teeth in the bathroom every night, just visualise or imagine that you have a box on top of the bathroom cabinet for your stresses and worries. Identify what is on your mind and mentally put that worry away in the box for the night. There is nothing you can change in the middle of the night, so what is the point of fretting about it? If sleep is still elusive, try some reverse psychology. Most people lie there telling themselves that they can’t sleep or will never get to sleep, which is a self fulfilling prophecy. Instead, try telling yourself that you intend to stay awake all night, and see how fast you drop off! You can always decide to pick your worries up the next morning if you really have to, but wouldn’t it be much better for you if you decided to pack them away for good?

5. Drink and Eat Yourself Into Sleeping Naturally

We are what we eat and drink, so it stands to reason that what we put into our bodies can either help or hinder our sleep. Many people have a few glasses of wine or beer in the evening in the mistaken belief that it is helping them sleep. In fact, although they may fall asleep faster, they will generally have a night of broken, disrupted sleep and will not go into the deep sleep part of the cycle that our bodies need to become truly rested and refreshed. Traditionally warm milk or a hot milky drink like cocoa has been the bedtime drink of choice for insomniacs. Hot milky drinks help us sleep because they are rich in calcium which relaxes us. They also contains tryptophan, a substance that the body can convert into serotonin in the brain, making us feel contented, relaxed and drowsy. The trouble is that a lot of us don’t like the taste of hot milk, but if you still want to get your dose of tryptophan, why not try snacking on a turkey sandwich during the evening? Turkey is a good source of protein and tryptophan, and the carbohydrate in the bread will make it easier for the brain to use the tryptophan. Another drink that recent studies have shown to be good for promoting a great night’s sleep is tart cherry juice. Packed with antioxidants, Montmorency or tart cherries are rarely eaten as fruit because they lack sweetness, but are often made into a potent cherry juice concentrate, that is now sold in a lot of health food shops. Dilute the cherry concentrate with water to make a refreshing, fruity drink or add to a healthy, milky smoothie and sip during the evening before bedtime. The reason why drinking tart cherry juice can help you to sleep is that is packed full of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleeping patterns. There are also some herbs that can be drunk as teas or taken as tinctures that can naturally help you to sleep. One of these is valerian, a flowering plant that has been utilised as a medicinal herb since antiquity. It is taken to reduce anxiety, relieve muscle tension and help you drift into a deep sleep. Valerian is truly one of nature’s natural tranquillisers, and its efficacy is thought to be down to helping increase the levels of gamma amino butyric acid or GABA in the brain, which is believed to boost relaxation levels and reduce anxiety. Having a mug of camomile tea before bedtime is also another natural way of helping you sleep, as it is very calming and will help your body rest. For a stronger infusion pour hot water over dried camomile flowers, and add some honey and lemon for taste. For a relaxing bath, just hold some camomile teabags under the hot water taps as you are running it and then just get in and luxuriate. One of the more unusual natural foods I came across that promotes sleep is lettuce. Apparently, including lettuce in your evening snack gives you a supply of a substance called lactucarium, a natural opiate found in the white, milky sap at the base of the lettuce heart and leaves that soothes and sedates your nervous system.

So, as you can see, if you have trouble sleeping there are many natural ways of aiding sleep that you can try. Everyone is different, so you may find some things work for you better than others, but I’m sure that very soon you will be enjoying a great natural night’s sleep!

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information given in this article about natural aids to sleeping should in no way be used to replace advice given to you by your doctor or health professional. If you suffer from a serious medical condition or are at all concerned, then you should always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting to take any form of dietary supplement or natural remedy.

Bedroom Colours: How Do You Sleep?

Room colour does influence your mood and set the tone for your living environment. Therefore it’s important to choose a bedroom décor that will help you relax and induce sleep.

Untitled

Creativity

Orange expands your thinking. It reduces self-consciousness and allows you to express yourself with confidence. Use it in your home when you want to feel younger. It is the colour of laughter and celebration.

orange

Order

Deep blue encourages efficiency. It will purify your thinking, so you can cut through the clutter and discover what is most important in your life. It helps you integrate the big picture with the little picture. Wear dark blue when you need to make a decision.

db

Calm

Blue gives a sense of peace. It dissolves tension and promotes tranquillity. Light blue especially brings ease into the home and harmony into relationships. Wearing or surrounding yourself with it helps calm aggressive tendencies and eliminates discord. Those with bedrooms this colour tend to get the best rest – nearly eight hours a night – and wake feeling happy and positive.

pale blue

Energy

Bright red will fortify you. It is a stimulant. It promotes courage and fearlessness. Use this color when you want to increase self-confidence. But too much red can make you feel overly excited or agitated. A little goes a long way.

red

Concentration

Yellow increases your focus. It is known for enhancing intelligence and mental agility. It can help stimulate conversation and clarify thoughts. People sleeping in rooms decorated in calm colours, such as yellow, blue or green, received the best night’s sleep.

yellow

Health

Green is also the colour of healing. It represents nourishment and helps steady the body, balancing your equilibrium and encouraging stability. Use it to rejuvenate yourself, to promote physical and emotional well-being. Green and yellow are also winners, with those choosing these colours clocking up roughly seven hours and 40 minutes of sleep.

green

Sensuality

Deep red inspires passion. It helps awaken the libido. Use it to move you through inhibitions and emotional blocks that prevent you from expressing yourself. It will remind you to live life fully and to love your body. Try a deep red…ottoman, lampshade, accent chair.

deep red

Rest

Aqua inspires trust. This is the colour to use when you need to relax. Wear or surround yourself with it if you have difficulty sleeping, dreaming, or meditating.

aqua

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Get Your Beauty Sleep

2

They say that an hour before midnight is worth three afterwards. That’s the age-old adage. But does it have any substance? Some people swear that sleep is the most powerful rejuvenating treatment of them all. And  apparently Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zelwegger swear it keeps them beautiful. Beauty sleep is real, it’s free, and when you skimp on sleep, it shows on your face.

p

Tired skin sags, bags, and loses its luster. From 8pm to 11pm is the time for hydration and stimulation, while 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration, and 3am to 5am is the time for resting. While you sleep, your skin renews itself and new skin cells grow and replace older cells, repairing and restoring and rebalancing. It’s also a time when all sorts of hormonal and metabolic changes happen in and the body, including your skin, so it’s time to remember that a lack of sleep can disrupt those processes.

Untitled

Seven or eight hours of sleep is ideal for most of us. More than that can mean we wake up looking puffy and feeling sluggish. Of course, very few adults are in bed at 8pm and, as the hormone that triggers sleep – melatonin – peaks at around 11pm, this is the time we should naturally get tired.

rt

Not enough oxygen in your bedroom affects blood flow to the skin, causing puffiness. Make sure the room is not too warm – switch off the heating, and open a window. And also having a comfortable bed and good bedlinen always helps.

90

How much Sleep Do You Need?

How much Sleep Do You Need?

1

Oh don’t we need our sleep! Why we need it, why it can be hard to get, and how that affects everything from our daily routine to our income.. So, how much sleep is ideal? Studies show that people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hr. or more, or less than 6.5 hr., they don’t live quite as long.  The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age.

Consider these general guidelines for different age groups:

Untitled

Pregnancy. Changes in a woman’s body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep.

Aging. Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults. As you get older, however, your sleeping patterns might change. Older adults tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans than do younger adults.

Previous sleep deprivation. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Sleep quality. If your sleep is frequently interrupted or cut short, you’re not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.

Contrary to what is often thought, sleep is actually an active, organised process. How and when we sleep is governed by a number of factors. These include factors under our control, such as whether or not we are sleep deprived, and factors beyond our control.

3

But going to bed also has the factor that sleeping in a good bed with great bedlinen makes it all the more inviting! Also washing your bedlinen regularly is as important too. If your bed is uncomfortable uninviting them the chances are it’s a put off and not a very good nights sleep! Get your beautiful bedlinen and a GOOD nights sleep with The Fine Cotton Company!

http://www.thefinecottoncompany.com

Untitled

 

How Well Do You Sleep?

How well do you sleep?

6

How much time do you think that we spend in bed, sleeping? It is actually a whopping 1/3rd of our life. So how much does it matter to what we sleep in and under the sheets. The mattress or the bedlinen, and taking into account the bedroom itself. Your bedlinen is a most important part of giving you that great nights sleep, and dependant on what type of bedlinen, whether cotton, linen, silk, or flannel, it is important that you choose wisely.

2

Firstly Make sure that you choose the right TOG quilt, its just as important that you get the season’s right as well, too heavy and summer will be a nightmare, too thin in winter and you will be as cold as an iceberg for the season and your personal body temperature. You’ll want bedding which is breathable and regulates your body heat systematically, making it less likely that you’ll get woken up from being either too cold, or over hot. When it comes to bed linen, spending a little extra on high quality that comes highly recommended.

3

Exclusively made for The Fine Cotton Company, our stylish and luxurious collections of duvet covers with coordinating plain dye sheets and pillowcases are carefully produced from pure organic and natural cotton. The eco friendly cotton we use is organic and is fully combed to give a smoother, softer feel.

fitted sheets and flat sheets from The Fine Cotton Company

Fitted and Flat Sheets from The Fine Cotton Company

Not only do high quality sheets keep you comfortable at night because they have a high thread count and are made with breathable materials, they also last long because of the superior quality material used. This is why, when it comes to bed linen, spending a little extra on high quality comes highly recommended.

So Why Do You Think You Feel So Shattered?

By Lisa Artis, The Sleep Council

Are you constantly on the go? Never sitting down to rest? Feeling like your brain is bursting at the seams?

Well now there’s a new term to describe this feeling and it’s fast becoming a modern day health problem: Adrenal fatigue or to put it even more simply, adrenalin overload.  And according to experts more and more of us are suffering from it and it’s damaging our health.  It’s even been accepted as a real ailment by the World Health Organisation.

Dealing with a heavy workload, financial concerns, running around toddlers or teens can make you feel constantly under threat, triggering your ‘fight or flight’ stress reaction.  However this stress response is now switched on for far longer than it should be which is ultimately leaving us stressed and exhausted.

When we’re overly stressed we find it harder to sleep.  And then when we’re sleep deprived it increases the odds that we’ll get ‘anticipatory anxiety’ – that sense of dread you feel before a big test, presentation etc. That’s because the loss of deep sleep fires up your amygdala and insular cortex – the regions of your brain responsible for emotional processing as well as your flight or fight response.

We’re all expected to be able to juggle lots of balls in the air these days but if we don’t make the time to relax and indulge in some ‘me’ time then those balls will come tumbling down.

Here’s our top tips for relaxing:

– Make sure your bedroom is a place of peace and tranquility – a perfect escape from the toils and troubles of everyday life. Keep it cool, quiet and dark.

– Devote half an hour to an hour every day to do something you find enjoyable – whether it’s reading, having a bath, listening to some music or even going for a walk.

– Take small time-outs to consciously slow down and re-balance.

– Regular exercise helps you to cope with stress. If you’re exhausted don’t over-do it, try a yoga class instead.

– Put down those gadgets before bed. Leave mobile phones and tablets downstairs out of reach and try to refrain from using them a couple of hours before bedtime.

 

Ten Tips for The Perfect Night’s Sleep

Ten Tips For the Perfect Sleep

Routine – a regular routine educates your body to sleep far better.  Try going to bed, sleeping and getting up at about the same time, every day – even weekends!

Exercise can make a bigger improvement to sleep than any other natural treatment – studies have shown that people who exercise regularly sleep better.

Relax your mind and body before going to bed – maybe have a warm (not too hot) bath, listen to some quiet music or a relaxation tape or do some yoga.  Studies show that combining pure essential oils with a calming routine works best for deep sleep.

Remove anything from your bedroom than can prevent or disrupt sleep.  Your brain needs to relax so don’t have mobile phones, computers or TV’s in your bedroom

Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine and try a milky drink or night time herbal tea instead.

Create a restful sleeping environment by keeping your bedroom for relaxation and sleep. Keep it at a comfortable temperature and it helps for the bedroom to be as quiet and dark as possible

Clear the clutter from your bedroom

Have a comfortable bed – if your bed is too small, too soft or hard, or the mattress is lumpy it may difficult to get deep, restful sleep. It could be worth investing in a new bed or a new mattress topper to add layers of comfort to your bed.

Choose your bedding carefully to ensure the right temperature – make sure you have the correct tog duvet for the time of year and organic cotton sheets. If you are too warm in bed it can lead to a disrupted night’s sleep.

While you sleep your body works hard to regulate your temperature so by using cool, breathable organic cotton bed linen which is effective in absorbing moisture and perspiration, it becomes much easier.

Change your bed linen regularly (at least once a week) – Any excess dust can irritate the airways which may disrupt sleep.

Spritz your pillow with lavender mist made from pure essential oils, close your eyes and drift off to sleep.

Sweet Dreams!

Videos, Slideshows and Podcasts by Cincopa Wordpress Plugin