The tradition of embracing January 1st as a brand-new book to re-write our stories dates to 1800s. And it is still very much followed today. We bid adieu to 2022 and have made our resolutions for 2023: to be healthy, wealthy and wise! And good health is an outcome of good food and good sleep. As Thomas Dekker once said, “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” But how do we get a long and good sleep? We’ll answer this for you! These 23 tips and pointers will surely help you get a longer and better good night’s rest.
YOUR SLEEP SURROUNDINGS
1. GOOD BEDDING IS JUST AS IMPORTANT
Ensuring your bedding (including your mattress, pillow and bedsheets) meets your needs and preferences is the first step to a quality sleep. For instance, do you prefer sleeping on your side, on your back or on your stomach? Do you often have disturbed sleep because of night sweats? Or are you amongst many of those who feel too hot or too cold at night?
Identifying the issue and needs can help you make an informed decision in picking out the right fabric for you. The bedding fabric should aid in maintaining the optimal temperature for sleep and at the same time be breathable. Some of the best suggestions would be natural fabrics like Tencel, linen, or cotton.
Check out our lightweight, breathable bedding collection.
2. PREPARE YOUR BEDROOM
It’s time to switch off the bright bedroom lights. Using dim lights will ensure that the melatonin production is not hampered. This will also help you train your body to transition into bedtime.
Investing in some good light blocking curtains is a great idea too. Of course, let’s not forget the less obvious sources of light such as electronic devices on stand-by. As per research, being exposed to regular room lighting leads to a delayed onset of melatonin and a shortened melatonin duration by 90 minutes. Eventually steering towards a shorter and disturbed sleep.
3. MAINTAINING A COOLER BEDROOM TEMPERATURE
Our body temperature changes throughout the day as part of the circadian rhythm that it follows. As we start approaching bedtime, our body temperature starts to drop, and our hands and feet become warmer. This happens primarily because our body is trying to bring down its core temperature by emitting excess heat.
Breathing in cool air eases the core’s temperature reduction process and simultaneously stimulates the production of melatonin. Additionally, cool bedroom temperature reinforces the instinct of the body to sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is around 18°C or about 65°F.
4. WEAR THE RIGHT PAJAMAS
What we wear and the fabrics that we choose to sleep in, have a direct impact on our bodies and our sleep. When picking out your comfy sleepwear, ensure that breathability is your top criterion. No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat.
In fact, the most common sleep-disturbing factor is being too hot or too cold at night. Research shows continuously how body temperature and quality of sleep are inseparably linked. A breathable fabric ensures that heat is dissipated, and the body does not overheat and perspire. A temperature regulating pajamas can make a real difference to your sleep comfort.
DAGSMEJAN SLEEPWEAR FOR YOUR BEST SLEEP
Dagsmejan’s functional sleepwear is an amalgamation of sustainable natural fibers and the latest textile technology. The sleepwear is designed to best support your physiological needs when asleep. It is up to 8x more breathable than cotton, helps to draw moisture away from your skin quickly, and feels like a second skin. Discover our pajamas now:
5. CLEAN & FRESH SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
As per a study by the National Sleep Foundation, you have a 19% higher possibility to sleep better if you keep your bedding and bedroom clean and hygienic. Decluttering your bedroom and washing the bedsheets twice a week can have a significant impact on your sleep quality.
Your bedroom is a place to unwind yourself and prepare for a new day. Having distractions or clutter will debar you from relaxing and a getting a much-deserved good night’s rest.
6. AVOID ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN THE BEDROOM
Our smart devices emit electro-magnetic fields which tend to have side-effects. EMF have shown to mess up our neuroendocrine activity leading to the risk of stress, learning disorders, anxiety and circadian imbalance which hampers with our sleep quality.
So, taking a break once a day and keeping these devices at bay might help. Especially, at night. The ideal way is to leave your electronic devices out of your bedroom.
7. AROMATHERAPY TO THE RESCUE
Of the five senses, our olfactory sense is one the strongest yet underrated. How many times has the aroma of your favorite dish instantly made you smile? A million times! Our sense of smell can trigger memories, emotions, sway our moods, boost productivity and aid in a good night’s sleep.
Soothing scents from essential oils promote relaxation and actuate a sense of calmness. To name a few, lavender helps staving off insomnia, chamomile can keep anxiety at bay and ylang-ylang helps ease into sleep as it lowers blood pressure and calms the heart rate. One can use an air diffuser or rub a few drops against the palms of hands or even soak a linen cloth with a few drops and slowly inhale the subtle aroma.
BODY & MIND
8. ENSURE TO GET ENOUGH DAYLIGHT EXPOSURE
Our bodies have an instinctive clock that tells us when to sleep or not sleep; also called as circadian rhythm. Which is why we feel more energetic at the beginning of the day and well, sleepy toward the end of the day.
Daylight is one of the biggest cues for a healthy circadian rhythm. Getting enough daylight ensures that our sleep-wake cycle is on track, keeps us rejuvenated during the daytime and improves sleep quality and duration during night-time.
According to a study published at National Library of Medicine, daylight exposure significantly enhanced the sleep quality in people suffering from age-related insomnia from 77.5% to 90%.
9. MINIMISE THE EXPOSURE TO BLUE LIGHT DURING EVENINGS
We live in a world where disconnecting completely is rarely possible, especially with our devices. While light aids a healthy circadian rhythm during the day, it has an opposite impact on sleep at night.
To put in a layman’s language, the brain is tricked into thinking that it is still day and therefore keeps you active and reduces melatonin, the hormone responsible to get you ready to sleep and to keep you asleep. While you may think it does not significantly affect your sleep, you will be surprised to know that a two-hour blue light exposure reduces melatonin production by 22%!
For a better-quality sleep, devices like television, mobile phones, laptops or tablets should be avoided at least an hour before bedtime. If not, try to use eyeglasses with blue block technology or download apps that block blue wavelengths or dim your screens.
10. MOVE A LITTLE
Ever had that feeling when you’re physically so exhausted that you instantly fall asleep as soon as you are in your bed? Science says that being physically active help us sleep faster and sleep longer. Our bodies were naturally made to work. It loves a good workout, a good run or even an aerobic routine.
Research has proven that we can improve our sleep quality up to 65% if we exercise for about 150 minutes a week. And no, you do not necessarily have to do heavy lifting or run a marathon. Even a 10-minute walk can significantly improve your quality of sleep.
But there’s a catch. The exercise needs to happen at least four hours before bedtime. Keeping this 4-hour gap, gives your body some time to normalise the endorphin levels and bring down the heart rate.
11. TRY PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
There are times when we all struggle to fall asleep. In such situations, progressive muscle relaxation can be your rescue. PMR is a relaxation technique that helps you reduce muscle tension and fatigue thereby, calming your body. To do this exercise, work through your body from your toes to the tip of your head, tensing each muscle group as tightly as you can before fully relaxing them. Breathe in as you tense the muscle and breathe out as you let go.
12. UNDERSTAND YOUR CHRONOTYPE
Adults from the age of 27 need about six to nine hours of sound sleep. But most of us don’t get it. Understanding your chronotype (or personal rhythm that defines when you feel tired or alert) can help you get a better sleep at night. Early birds, start their day early and tend to end early too. Whereas it is difficult for night owls to wake up early and go to bed early .
Your chronotype changes with your age. The older we get, the earlier we sleep and the earlier we wake up.
13. MINIMISE LIQUID INTAKE BEFORE GOING TO BED
It is good to stay hydrated and is also very imperative for our health. However, a lot of liquid intakes, an hour before bed, can hamper your sound sleep. You might end up getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
14. MINIMISE YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
While you may think you sleep faster and longer after a couple of glasses of your favorite wine or scotch, it is actually quite the contrary. Alcohol disrupts the REM (rapid-eye movement) stage of your sleep cycle. This will leave you feeling drowsy, sluggish and with low concentration levels the next day.
A study in 2018 found that quantities of alcohol negatively influenced the sleep quality: Low amounts decreased sleep quality by 9.3%, moderate amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 24% and high amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 39.2%.
15. AVOID CAFFEINE AFTER 3PM
Many of us are best friends with caffeine. Some of you may ask why. Well, because it energises us, lifts our mood, and help us get out of sleep inertia. It does so by constricting our blood vessels, making our nerve cells work faster and making us feel more awake.
On an average, half-life of caffeine ranges from about five hours to seven hours. Now, what does this mean for us? So, half-life is the time taken to reduce the quantity of a substance by half of the original quantity. Which means, the regular cappuccino you had at 3 o’clock had about 80mg of caffeine. And by the time you get ready to go to bed at 9, chances are your body still has 40mg caffeine coursing through it. It can take up to 10-12 hours for caffeine to completely leave your system.
16. RESTRICT DAYTIME SNOOZE OR MAKE IT SHORT
While this differs case to case, longer daytime naps have seen to affect the night’s sleep, negatively. Taking longer naps in the afternoon tend to fidget with our internal clocks and induce sleep inertia during the day, leaving you feeling drowsy, sluggish and heavy-eyed. Instead, take shorter power naps of 20 minutes to feel rejuvenated.
17. A WARM BATH BEFORE GOING TO BED
Taking a warm shower or bath before going to sleep has proven to enhance the sleep quality. The idea of a warm bath or a warm shower is centered around the fact that the core body temperature declines as the body gets ready to sleep.
Remember the part of circadian rhythm where the body emits heat because it is cooling down to signal the production of melatonin? Well, a warm-water shower mimics that activity and acts as a natural cue to sleep time. A warm bath or shower helps you fall faster, makes your calmer and more relaxed.
18. BEDTIME RITUAL
We usually pay a lot of heed to our morning routines because it helps us set the tone for the entire day. So, how about trying to set the tone for your sleep?
A bedtime routine, if made recurring, can act as a cue for your body to get ready for bed. For instance, you could start by brushing your teeth, taking a warm bath, then changing you’re your comfortable pajamas, and get a book (not e-book!) to read or maybe do some breathing exercises in bed. This routine will eventually trigger your brain to think it is bed time and therefore sleep onset will be faster.
19. CONSISTENT SLEEP SCHEDULE
It may sound too strict, but honestly, it is just about discipline. Sticking to the same sleeping and awaking time will train your body and brain. Eventually, your natural circadian rhythm will adjust, and you will not need a lot of external sleep stimuli.
20. DON’T TRY TOO HARD TO FALL ASLEEP
You need to get a good sleep, not forced sleep. If you’re lying in bed, tossing and turning because you are unable to fall asleep, we’d suggest you get up and distract yourself with a light activity. Doing breathing exercises or PMR or even a book read can help calm your body and mind. Once, you feel tired, you can try to sleep again. Avoid bright light, screens and electronic devices though. The idea is to quieten down and not activate, the mind.
21. BUDGET IN TIME FOR SLEEP
Another way to ensure you get enough sleep is budgeting the time in. Let’s say you must wake up at 7. So, you can clock your way back to set a bedtime target, in this case 10pm or 11pm. While you do this, remember to keep some time in hand for your bedtime routine!
22. MAINTAIN A SLEEP DIARY
A sleep diary is a great way to record your sleep-related information such as wake up time, sleep time, time taken to fall asleep or number of sleep interruptions.. Keeping a tab on your sleep can help you find the factors that are interfering with your sleep quality.
Download the Dagsmejan sleep diary here.
23. YOUR BEDROOM IS NOT YOUR LIVING ROOM
The gravitational pull of your bed might seem difficult to breakthrough. Especially when your bedding is comfortable, and the bedroom is warm. But it is important to leave your bedroom after you wake up.
SLEEP BETTER WITH PAJAMAS BY DAGSMEJAN
Our four different collections cater to different physiological needs for sound sleep. Discover the perfect fit for your best sleep and find out why people call Dagsmejan the most comfortable pajamas.
STAY WARM COLLECTION
Do you tend to get cold at night? Then this merino wool pajamas set is for you: made from a blend of merino wool (100% mulesing-free) and eucalyptus, this fabric provides breathable warmth without you ever overheating. Also, ideal as thermal pajamas for the colder nights of the year.
The ultimate pajamas to keep you at the right sleeping temperature, all night long. More than 40% of people struggle with either being too hot or too cold at night, with night sweats also being an issue for many of them. Our patented fabric is designed to support your body's own thermoregulation making it the best pajamas for night sweats.
STAY COOL COLLECTION
Our innovative fabric of the Stay Cool Collection is designed especially for our hot sleepers. So, whether you generally feel hot during sleep or the hot summer nights keep you up, our smooth, cooling pajamas can help you get some sleep. The fabric has an evaporative cooling effect, thanks to the Eucalyptus fibers, which will make you feel noticeably cooler and ensure you get some good rest.
Does the muscle soreness from your workout keep you up? The revolutionary fabric combines cooling Eucalyptus fibers with heat activated minerals, recycling excess body heat and redirecting it as far infrared energy towards your muscles, enhancing muscle regeneration. Power your performance with recovery sleepwear.