Easy shortcuts for a better night’s sleep

10th October 2018 / Health

Easy shortcuts for a better night’s sleep

Zoe Milkowski

Do you find it hard to fall asleep? Do you constantly find yourself feeling tired and fatigued? Do you feel like you’ve tried every remedy? The reassuring news is, you’re not alone.

1 in 5 people in the UK report feeling unusually tired in their day to day life and, honestly, this comes as no surprise. The 21st century world is non-stop. There is always something to do and sometimes our ability to switch-off seems, well, off… To make things a little easier for you, we’ve done some research and compiled a few weird and wonderful tips to help you get a better night’s sleep. Sit back, relax and have a little read.


Dream in green

A research team from Oxford University have found that different coloured lights can affect your ability to sleep. The study found that green light promotes sleep, while blue light (the same type of light that comes from electrical devices) delays sleep onset – this could be for up to 19 minutes.


To be clear, we aren’t suggesting everyone paint their lightbulbs green… but an easier (and more well-known) take-home message we noted from this study is to eliminate some, if not all blue light sources before bedtime. These include phones, tablets and televisions – devices with screens should ideally all be avoided at least 30 minutes before bedtime.


Stay away from sugar

We may not want to hear it but principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, found in her study that ‘diet quality influenced sleep quality’. In fact, ‘a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters’. The study also found this to be true with increased sugar intake. By making small and consistent healthy changes to our diets we may be able to improve our sleep quality, feel more rested and be ready to get on with our day.


(A healthy diet and lifestyle really do have more than a few benefits and making small, healthy changes to the way we eat and the way we live can have huge impacts on more than one aspect of our lives)


Find your purpose in life

Ok, so it sounds a bit deep but scientists at the Northwestern Medicine and Rush University Medical Centre have found that having a reason to get out of bed in the morning results in a better night’s sleep at bedtime. Jason Ong, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was so confident in his study findings that he stated:  "Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia,".


So maybe we need to look more at why we’re getting out of bed in the morning to better understand how to enjoy getting into bed in the evenings. Just a thought…


Write a ‘To-do’ list

The simple act of writing down everything that you need to get done (which may quite possibly be what is keeping you awake) can actually help you to fall asleep. It may sound like something your mum would suggest, but scientists at Baylor University have found scientific proof behind it. "We live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime," said lead author Michael K. Scullin, Ph.D., director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory and assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. "Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads, and so we wanted to explore whether the act of writing them down could counteract night time difficulties with falling asleep."


Calm down dear

If you find yourself in bed; unable to sleep, tossing and turning and generally getting more and more anxious about the fact that you can’t sleep… Stop. Take a deep breath. Take a moment and try to think positively. Instead of what scientists call ‘catastrophising’ the fact that you can’t sleep (IE making it seem a lot worse than it really is), turn the situation on its head. Yes, you may not be able to sleep early tonight but the following night you will be so tired that you will knock out at 8pm.


Try a natural sleep aid

If your sleep issues are extreme, you should talk to your doctor, but for a gentle boost in sleep quality, an all-natural supplement like our Night complex could be exactly what you need. Packed with magnesium, glycine, lemon balm extract, reishi mushroom, and Montmorency cherry (one of the few food sources of melatonin) it is designed to help you sleep well, and wake feeling well-rested, not drowsy. Learn more