4 Ways To Increase Your Sleep Quality
Getting a lot of sleep is hard, especially as a Mama! So instead of stressing yourself out trying to get more sleep, here are some tips on how to increase the quality of sleep that you DO get!
Ah coffee, coffee makes the world go round. But it can also affect your sleep quality if you are having too much of it or having it too close to bed-time. Studies suggest that consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can significantly worsen your sleep quality. It can also delay sleep onset, as well as alter the normal sleep stages. Caffeine can stay elevated in the blood for 6-8 hours so ensure you stop drinking caffeinated beverages around 6-8 hours before you plan to go to bed, and try not to exceed 500mg of caffeine in a 24 hour period as this can affect sleep quality too!
There are a few natural supplements that can help with sleep quality. These supplements can induce relaxation and help your sleep quality. These include:
- Magnesium: Responsible for over 600 reactions within your body, magnesium can help relax your body and enhance sleep quality.
- Valerian root: Several studies suggest that valerian can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality.
- Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits, it may assist in sleep, relaxation and stress management and reduction.
- L-theanine: An amino acid, l-theanine can improve relaxation, sleep and anxiety.
- Lavender: A powerful herb with many health benefits, lavender can induce a calming and sedentary effect to improve sleep.
Always check with your doctor before starting a supplement. All these supplements can be found at most health food stores.
Your sleep environment can make or break your sleep quality. Factors including temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement can all affect your sleep. To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, natural light, and artificial lights from devices e.g. alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place.
The temperature of your bedroom can play a role in how quickly you fall asleep, and remain asleep. Studies have suggested that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise.
Around 20°C seems to be a comfortable temperature for most people, and can help to regulate your cardiac autonomic response during sleep and keep you asleep for longer. However, it depends on your preferences and habits. But give these a go and see if it helps your sleep quality.
Is it just me or do you also get the best sleep at nice hotel rooms? Apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also affect sleep.
Studies have shown that a new mattress can improve sleep quality by 60%! If you can, try to buy a high-quality mattress and bedding every 5–8 years.
Your pillow choice is also important, if your neck and shoulders don’t get sufficient support, or are at an angle that causes it to be at an awkward position, this puts your spine and body out of alignment, leading to strain and discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and back, as well as impacting your sleep quality. The best pillow for you is one that feels comfortable to rest your head on, and supports your head, neck, and shoulders and matches your mattress.
Give these some thought next time you feel your sleep isn’t up to scratch! Sleep well Mamas.Did you know we are on YouTube! Watch the episode about sleep hygiene below. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more!