The 6 factors to sleep better
Sleep in the Spotlight
The average person spends about 26 years of their life sleeping. Surprisingly, we also spend about 7 years of our life trying to get to sleep!
What’s so special about sleep that makes us spend 1/3 of our lives in bed? Sleep is an essential function, as important to us as oxygen, food and water. Sleep allows our body and mind to recharge, making us feel alert and ready to take on each new day. It improves concentration, regulates our mood, and sharpens our decision-making skills. Getting adequate rest also helps to prevent excessive weight gain and illnesses such as heart disease.
We have much more control over our sleep than we might think. We can improve our sleep quality by making changes in our daily lifestyle, night-time routine, and the environment we surround ourselves in. And these small changes might help to reduce the 7 years of our lives we spend trying to get to sleep in the first place.
6 Factors Impacting Our Sleep and Tips on How to Improve them
Our sleep is affected by our circadian rhythm, or our body’s natural process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle throughout the day. During the day light exposure signals to our master clock to stay alert and at night the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, tells us to stay asleep. Although sleep is a biological process out of our direct control, we can help to signal to our master clock when it is time to unwind for the night. We look at factors that impact our sleep and how we can adapt our lifestyle and environment to promote better sleep in these areas.
Food and Drink
Snooze Food and Sleep Killers
Our sleep is affected by what put in our body, especially in the hours leading up to night-time. It is important to be mindful of what we eat and drink, so we don’t find ourselves having trouble falling asleep.
Don’t go to bed hungry or too full: any discomfort could keep you up. If you feel hungry during the night try to eat a small, light snack.
Steer clear of foods difficult to digest: this includes high fat or protein rich foods such as red meat and fried foods.
Eat foods that aid sleep: snooze foods include bananas, milk, nuts and olives.
Avoid nicotine and alcohol before bed: these have stimulating effects which can take several hours to wear off. Alcohol makes us feel sleepy, but lowers the quality of our sleep.
Coffee is another sleep killer. As nutrionist Henriette Saevil explains: "Do not drink coffee after 14:00 in the afternoon. Caffeine can stay in our blood stream up to 12 h after the last cup, hence disrupting sleep"
Health and Medicine
Sleep for Health
Most adults need 6 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Our sleep rhythm changes over time, so the older we get the earlier we feel ready to fall asleep and wake up. For the best night’s sleep try to adapt your sleeping hours to your body’s natural clock.
Try to limit your nap: ensure your afternoon nap is not longer than 30 minutes so that it doesn’t impact your night-time sleep.
Wear the right pajamas: many people suffer from night sweats, with menopausal and pregnant women particularly susceptible. Wearing temperature regulating pajamas, keeping the bedroom cool, and having a glass of ice water close to the bed can help. NHS Doctor Ally Jaffee recommends to create a restful environment by having: "cool temperature in your room, dark curtains/blinds, or wear a sleep mask to keep the light out..and ensure minimal noise".
Health conditions and medication: Sometimes health conditions and medications can disrupt sleep. Contact your physician if you think you may have a severe sleeping problem, such as insomnia.
MOVE, SLEEP, REPEAT
Including exercise into your routine can reduce sleep onset, or the time it takes to fall asleep. By decreasing the amount of time we lie awake in bed each night, we are more likely to establish a healthier sleeping routine.
Regular exercise: regularly exercising helps us to fall asleep faster and sleep better. Doing sports for at least 150 minutes a week can improve sleep quality by 65%. Laura, a personal trainer, explains: "Physical activity decreases the time it takes to fall asleep and increases the time spent in deep sleep."
Avoid exercising close to bed: avoid exercising 2 hours before going to bed as we might be too energised or too warm to fall asleep.
Go outside: exposure to natural sunlight helps keep our sleep-wake cycle on track.
Exercising can increase total sleep time by up to 1.25 hours!
Create a healthy sleeping environment with temperature regulating sleepwear
We spend money investing in our daily clothes that we wear to work, to school, to run errands, and even for sports. If we spend almost 1/3 of our life in bed, why don’t we also invest in our sleepwear? Dagsmejan sleepwear uses the finest natural fibres combined with the latest textile technologies to create a comfortable sleeping environment and to solve individual sleep needs. Sustainably and ethically made in Europe, our sleepwear keeps you in the ideal sleeping temperature so we can sleep deeper and longer. Help set the mood for sleep with our three collections of sweat wicking pajamas.