Time at home has allowed us to stop, take a breath and reflect on how we live our lives. As a result we have become more in tune with our mental and physical well-being with a big focus on exercise, nutrition, homelife and relationships. However there is another basic human need that many of us neglect or take for granted - Sleep. Globally, over 45% of people suffer with sleeping issues and this has big impact on general well-being.
Quality sleep, Sound mind, Happy world – The World Sleep Society
A World Sleep Society ? – who knew!!! It was their World Sleep Day Committee who founded ‘ World Sleep Day’ with a global aim to lessen society’s burden of sleep problems by promoting better sleep through sleep disorder prevention and management skills. Why? They strongly believe quality sleep leads to a sound mind and a happy world.
Let’s take a look at the importance of sleep and what we can do to help our sleep pattern:
- We spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping!!!!
- Sleeping is a basic human need, crucial to our overall well-being
- Most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of us seek help
- Sleep problems actually constitute a global epidemic (sorry to use the ‘E’ word!), threatening health and life quality for up to 45% of the world’s population
- Examples of how poor sleep can affect our health:
- Poor attention span, memory recall, decision-making and learning
- Obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes
- Weakened immune systems
- Psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety
- Negative impact on family life and relationships
So what is ‘Healthy Sleep’?
Healthy sleep is sleep that restores and energises you, making you feel wide awake, recharged and ready for the day ahead. Basically gives you your ‘get up and go’!
It’s a case of quality over quantity – poor quality sleep affects our health more than the quantity of sleep we have. Saying that, sleep experts do agree the range of 6.68-10 hours per night is the optimum amount depending on the individual.
There are 3 elements to restorative sleep:
- Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for us to feel rested and alert
- Continuity: Seamless sleep without fragmentation
- Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative
Healthier Sleep in Adults1. Routine, routine
It’s good to set aside approximately 7-8 hours for sleep, with an aim to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. On weekend’s TRY to limit the difference to no more than one hour as this consistency will reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
If you don’t fall asleep within around 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and do something relaxing like reading or listening to chilled music – don’t do anything that will activate the mind – definitely don’t switch your tablet or phone on!2. To siesta or not siesta
There’s nothing wrong with a cheeky daytime nap but keep it to 45 minutes or less and avoid doing it late in the day. If you work nights, you might need a nap late in day before work to help make up your sleep debt – for you night shift heroes - we’d say just do whatever works for you!!!!!
If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep3. Take a look at what you eat and drink
Mealtime: It’s a tough balance but don’t go to bed hungry or full. Do all you can to avoid a large meal within a couple of hours of bedtime and avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods - your overloaded stomach might keep you awake
Treat Time: Don’t shoot the messenger on this but be cautious with your nicotine, caffeine and alcohol intake within 4 hours of going to bed. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off wreaking havoc on your sleep. Whereas alcohol might make you feel sleepy but it can cause disruptive sleep later in the night
Snack Time: A light snack before bedtime is okay BUT I’m afraid you are advised to avoid chocolate, lollies and soda – basically any sweet stuff!
Confession Time: I am the world’s worst for committing most of the above sleep prevention offences!!!4. Let’s get physical
Exercising regularly can also promote better sleep, but don’t do it right before bed with all those endorphins whizzing around you will have no chance of dropping off!
Being out in the fresh air during the day can also help5. Write your worries away
Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. If they can’t be dealt with immediately, jot them down with the aim of solving them tomorrow. If you wake in the night with stressful thoughts whizzing around your head, again note them down so you can put them to one side in your mind, knowing you will look at them when you’re (hopefully) fully rested. Remember - most things seem so much worse in the early hours of the morning when it’s just you alone with your thoughts6. Get in the ‘sleep zone’
Before you go to your bedroom try to do calming activities, such as taking a bath, listening to soothing music or using relaxation techniques, it might promote better sleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime.
As for your sleep sanctuary, reserve your bedroom for sleep, avoid using it for work or general recreation.
Create a calm and welcoming room that is the perfect sleeping place for you. For most this means a cool, dark, ventilated and quiet space. If this isn’t easy to come by, try earplugs or headphones, an eye mask and small (quiet!!) fan.
Limit the amount of clutter and electronic devices around you as they can be a distraction and cause sleep disruption.
Choose comfortable, soft bedding to make you feel cosy and safe.
And the pièce de résistance? Fragrance . The bedroom should be a haven from the outside world where you feel peaceful and calm. Just like snuggling into a freshly plumped cushion, a fragrance can help you relax and unwind. The ‘go to’ scent for many is lavender, but don’t panic if it’s not your thing, there are other options. Perhaps try rose, chamomile, jasmine, or as a move away from florals, look to citrusy bergamot, soft woody notes of sandalwood or the herbaceous notes of sweet marjoram.
During your pre-sleep relaxation routine burn a candle – it will provide the perfect ambience whilst you’re bathing, reading or meditating.
Apsley Suggestion – Try the Scented Space Sundown 900g Leather Candle . When you light the candle let your mind drift away and imagine watching the sun setting on the horizon whilst enjoying the tropical sweet notes of mango and summer peach, softened with a base of white musk
In the sleep sanctuary look to using a room diffuser which will constantly permeate your room with fragrance without the concern of falling asleep with a lit flame.
Apsley Suggestion – Abode Aroma’s Crisp White Linen Cybus Ingot Fragrance Diffuser and Crisp White Linen 140ml Bevelled Crystal Diffuser gently exude fresh drifts of white lily and posies of ylang ylang blooms with luscious servings of peach, red apple & citrus leaves to form a liberating perfume that dances on a soft ozonic pillow of musk and summer jasmine
For a quick but calming burst of fragrance spritz your room, bedding and curtains with a fragrance mist (always read product instructions first – unexpected staining will cause you stress – this is not the feeling we’re going for!).
Apsley Suggestion - Our Halfeti 100ml Luxury Room Mist would be the perfect fragrance to relax to with its sumptuous notes of black rose, laced with violet and ground in musk. As you drift to sleep take your mind on an exploration of the beautiful ancient towns and beaches of Turkey
Let’s be real - life, family and work all get in the way when it comes to establishing a consistent sleep routine. However, investing some time your sleep quality will have a positive impact on your personal and physical health giving you a stronger grounding to cope with the busy world you live in.
Be realistic and focus on the changes you know you can make and, more importantly, stick to. It is all about establishing a sleep healthy routine that works for you.
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night, but if you often have trouble sleeping you may need to contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you need and deserve!
Team Apsley xxx