I’ve spent years wrestling the pillow which drove me to study sleep psychology. The explosion of sleep research in that last decade is slowly revealing the secrets to a good night’s rest. Here are a few evidence-based tips I’ve culled to get you in the right state for that sacred sleep:

The Rest Routine

Winding down from the day is just as important as gearing up for the day. Aside from periodic breaks throughout the day, blocking off that last 60–90min before you plan to fall asleep is a necessary pleasure. Pick three of your favourite self-care activities, one from each human condition zone (mind, body, soul), that you know works for you and stick to it like the way you stick to your meals or exercise regime. Purify the body, settle the mind, and feed your soul. These three steps are a sure-fire way of preparing the mind and body for that deliciously sweet sleep. Try this sleep meditation:

Eat To Sleep

What you eat in the evening has as much importance as what you eat before a workout. Eat light in the evening, but curate your menu to include foods high in B6, tryptophan, and magnesium. For B6, these can be grains, fish, vegetables, and soya bean; for tryptophan, these can be pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cheese or meat; and for magnesium, these can be avocado, nuts, and black beans. All these nutrients contribute to the production of that shy little sleep hormone, melatonin.

Comfort Is Key

Gone are the days when we could collapse on the sofa and wake up restored! Contemplate your sleep sanctuary by getting the mattress and pillow that best support your spine and neck. Research reveals that high temperatures are the leading cause of sleep disruption — and even nightmares. Regulate your slightly lower your body temperature by using natural fabrics for your bedclothes and bedding. This means bringing the room temperature down to at least 16 degrees centigrade or less and use materials made from linen, silk, satin, wools and bamboo.

Oct 12–14, 2018 will be the UK’s first sleep exhibition SOMNEX ! Save the date to hear the leading experts and experience the latest innovation and technology on rest and sleep science.

Written by

PhD candidate | Mindfulness-based psychologist specialising in sleep science and post-traumatic growth. Leading wellbeing workshops info@freshperception.com

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