If you need a confirmation about how important sleep is, look no farther than the annual World Sleep Day! That’s right, there is a global call by The World Sleep Society every year to help remind us all about the importance of quality sleep to our health as well as to raise awareness about sleep disorders - such as insomnia.
Sleeping disorders are more common than you think - Singapore is renowned as one of the five cities in the world with the least hours of sleep, while in Malaysia, at least 47% of the general population suffers from insomnia. In fact, at one point in our lives, each of us has at least experienced one type of sleeping problem; problem falling asleep, the tendency to wake up in the middle of the night, trouble going back to sleep, feeling tired after waking up even after a long sleep, to name a few.
That doesn’t sound too good, but what can we do to improve the quality of our sleep and ultimately, our mental and physical wellbeing? To help you celebrate World Sleep Day, we’ll share with you these 5 tried-and-tested tips to help you get the deep, restful sleep that you’ve been looking for all your life. Self-care starts now!
1. START A SLEEP SCHEDULE, AND STICK TO IT
Adults are encouraged to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, so play around with the sleep duration that suits you best (ideally 8 hours) and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This helps your body to regulate your sleep cycle and helps you to fall asleep and wake up faster.
2. REPEAT AFTER US, MY BED IS NOT A DINING TABLE/MOVIE THEATER
Sure, it’s okay to have the occasional Netflix and chill in bed or even the romantic breakfast in bed with your partner or even yourself (#treatyourself). But the keyword here is “occasional”.
Treat your bed as your sleeping sanctuary. After all, we humans are creatures of habit; doing this will encourage your mind and body to recognise that your bed is your designated snoozing spot, helping you to relax and fall asleep faster. It’s also good to establish a bedtime routine, such as taking a warm shower before bed or reading a few pages of your favourite book to relax your mind before sleep.
3. GET YOUR SNORING SORTED ONCE AND FOR ALL
Snoring might be funny in cartoons and movies, but in reality, it’s a real problem. Some people even wake THEMSELVES up when they snore, let alone a partner. There’s no need to be shy about it, lots of people have the same problem too. Talk to your doctor on how best to treat your snoring problem (whether by medication, losing weight, or nasal surgery) and at the same time, try changing your sleeping positions and changing your pillow.
Be sure to get a pillow that provides good neck support to help your sleeping posture and minimise snoring.
4. DON’T WORKOUT RIGHT BEFORE BED
True, working out (a.k.a. exercise) is important to help you sleep better, but schedule your workouts at least 3 hours before you go to sleep to allow your heart rate and body temperature to go down. Timing is the key, here. It takes at least 6 hours for your body temperature to cool down after a workout, and falling asleep while both your body temperature and heart rate are high would be difficult.
Do light stretches instead before bedtime, as they can help to relieve muscle tensions and improve the quality of your sleep. You can try yoga or these relaxing stretches before bed to help you sleep like a baby.
5. COVER ALL THE BASES BEFORE BEDTIME
All of us have experienced waking up in the middle of the night for one reason or another. It might be because you had the urge to pee, or because your partner steals the entire blanket and left you cold at night, or your upstairs neighbour has the tendency to randomly clean their house and rearrange their furniture at 1 AM, or your partner works late and likes to have ALL the lights on when he/she comes home. If any of these often scenarios happen to you, look for ways to prepare yourself for better sleep.
For example, if you find yourself waking up often to pee, reduce your liquid intake after 6 PM and make sure you pee before bed to lessen the chances of you waking up at night. For noise and light problems, sleep with earplugs (the good ones) and a sleep mask. Bonus point if you have a gel sleep mask, as it can also help reduce the puffiness and dark circles around your eyes. Now that’s a real beauty sleep.
6. DON’T FORCE IT
If you still can’t sleep after 20 minutes of tossing around in your bed, leave your bed for a bit and try doing a relaxing activity instead. We get it, it sounds counterproductive, but hear us out. If you have trouble falling asleep, there’s no point staying in bed and worrying about when you can finally doze off.
Try something soothing and calming to get your mind and body relaxed and sleepy - such as reading a book (make sure it’s not a thriller novel or it might keep you awake for a longer time), meditation, or even yoga stretches.
7. IF IT’S NOT YOU, IT MIGHT BE YOUR MATTRESS
Having the right mattress is important for your sleep quality. If you’ve tried all of the above but are still having problems sleeping, it’s time to get a new mattress. Pick a comfortable, breathable, and most importantly, springless mattress to help you get the best sleep quality and feel well rested in the morning.
Check out Sonno mattress for a heavenly sleeping experience that provides the best support for your spine and back. We offer a 100-night trial period, free delivery, and free return! Visit our website today to book your very own Sonno mattress.