Sleep. How to improve your sleep quality, and why it’s so important.

In this article, I will be discussing why a good night’s sleep is vital for physical health. The most common issues that cause disordered sleeping. And my top 3 remedies for a peaceful night’s sleep.

If you are reading this and you have excellent quality sleep 7 nights per week, you are a minority. The majority of people, me included, suffer from poor sleep quality. Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep for optimal function. This is not only to feel rested enough for the next day, but because our body goes through important functions when we are asleep, such as;

  • Producing its own muscle-building hormones, including human growth hormone (HGH).
  • Blood flow to your muscles increases, and tissue growth and repair occurs.
  • During REM sleep, the muscles relax, which can help relieve tension and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain.

These processes that happen during sleep are vital for recovery and well-being. If you partake in regular exercise it is even more important that your sleep is adequate. As when the body goes through these processes it is essentially healing itself and preparing for whatever is thrown its way. If sleep is not adequate, all of the training to build muscle or lose fat could be wasted.

How can I fix my broken sleep?

There are a number of reasons that cause problems with sleep such as: Restlessness. Poor sleep etiquette. Unsuitable surroundings. Sleep walking. Lack of sleep patterns. Night terrors. Just to name a few.

How you are able to fix your sleep is dependent on the problem. So I will go through 3 of the best potential cures for disordered sleeping, that have helped me.

Creating a positive sleeping environment.

This means clearing out anything that distracts from sleep, e.g. phones, TV switched off, no clutter in eye line. If someone suffers from an overactive imagination (often people suffering from night terrors/ sleep walking), they may find that the body stays in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for an extended period. If there are objects in eyesight that are cluttered or promote stress, this could be the trigger. The room should be dark and cool; Your body releases chemicals to relax the body and mind in these circumstances, and if the room is too light your brain does not switch off. Creating a positive sleep environment could help anyone suffering from disordered sleeping, as often this is the cause of the problem. So if needed invest in some black out blinds and re-shuffle your room to create a peaceful environment.

Sleep sprays and essential oils.

This is one of my favourite sleep fixes. I suffer from night terrors and restless sleep, and have sought out many remedies to no avail. The only thing that helps me to relax and fall into a deep sleep is a sleep spray with lavender, or using an essential oil blend. You can buy sleep spray’s online and they are very cheap, but just make sure that it has lavender in it. The scent of lavender works as an anxiolytic (an anxiety reliever) and as a sedative, to increase relaxation and calm, and help bring about sleep.

Taking a bath before bed and keeping the bedroom cool

A warm bath is relaxing anyway, as during bathing blood flow to the muscles is increased helping them relax and repair. But that is not the reason having a bath will help you get to sleep. When your body temperature rises in the bath and then subsequently cools, your body thinks that it has gone from daytime to night and releases sleep hormones. You should keep your bedroom cool to promote a relaxing environment and allow your body temperature to drop and stimulate sleep.

There are my top 3 fixes for disordered sleep. I hope that this article helps at least one person suffering from poor sleep. If you know of anyone that would benefit from reading this, feel free to forward it to them or share on your social media.

If you have any further questions about sleep and any of the associated issues please email me aliciaburkecoaching@gmail.com

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